SPN CONDEMNS THE BRUTALISATION, ARREST AND DETENTION OF REVOLUTIONNOW PROTESTERS AND JOURNALISTS
WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF ALL ARRESTED PROTESTERS
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemns the brutalisation, arrest and detention of RevolutionNow protesters and journalists in different parts of the country on Thursday 1st October 2020 being the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence. Particularly in Lagos, about 30 protesters were arrested and a Punch Newspaper reporter brutalized, by trigger happy policemen. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all protesters across the country. We support the demands of the protesters against the increase in fuel price and electricity tariff as well as the general hardship in the country.
Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, and other police officers and Department of State Service (DSS) operatives across the country have reconfirmed their attack dog status by attacking peaceful protesters in Lagos. We would recall that the antecedents of Hakeem Odumosu as the head of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) for several years before he was appointed the Commissioner of Police was characterised by violations of the rights of Nigerians. These attacks against peaceful protest and freedom of speech are also being carried out by the police across the federation. It should be clear to many that the Police and the Military are structured to protect the interest of a privileged few at the expense of the vast majority.
We also recall that the police also attacked the protest in Lagos led by the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) on September 10, 2020, wherein 14 protesters and 4 journalists were arrested and detained. The Lagos police repeated the same brutality on September 16, 2020, in a protest led by Joint Action Front (JAF). The Buhari-led government, just like the previous civilian governments, is taking Nigeria back to the inglorious jackboot military era wherein the fundamental human rights of Nigerians are willfully and brazenly attacked.
The Buhari-led government and Nigeria Police blatantly violate Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution (Fundamental Human Rights of Section 33-43) through its policies and actions. The fundamental human rights of Nigerians to freedom of speech, freedom to protest, freedom of assembly etc., are inalienable rights.
We are aware that President Buhari wants to brutalise Nigerians into accepting his anti-poor economic policies including the recent hikes in fuel and electricity tariff. We call on the working masses and youths to remain undaunted in the face of these attacks. We should continue to organize resistance against anti-poor policies of deregulation, privatization including hikes in electricity tariff and petrol prices and fight for a country wherein the interest of all is protected.
We of the SPN hold that an economy built and sustained on a capitalist programme especially with neo-liberal policies is recipe for disaster and undermines the economic interest of the vast majority of the working masses. An economy that will rescue Nigeria, industrialize it, create jobs on a massive scale and plan production and services to meet the needs of all would have to be nationalized (major sectors and industries to be publicly owned) and democratically controlled by the working people. This is the starting point of what we mean by socialism.
We call on the working masses and youth to join us in the struggle to build a better Nigeria where the needs of all, not the greed of few form the basis of governance and economy.
Despite mounting repression, the struggle to liberate Nigeria continues and victory is certain!
Acting National Chairperson