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Nigeria Crisis: Time for System Change

Socialist Democracy

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9 June 2004

NATIONAL CONSCIENCE PARTY
Lagos State Chapter
PRESS RELEASE

FREE FEMI ABORISHADE NOW

The Lagos State chapter of the National Conscience Party (NCP) unequivocally condemns the arrest of Mr. Femi Aborisade, the National General Secretary of the NCP for his active support for the general strike and protests by the working masses against the recent increase in fuel prices.

This morning, Mr. Aborisade was arrested by State Security Service officials in the premises of the Lagos State Television, Alausa, immediately after his participation on a live programme on the LTV, where he amongst other things condemned the incessant increment in fuel prices as anti-poor and accordingly urged mass support for the NLC-led general strike and protest.

For us in the Lagos State NCP, this arrest and detention shows beyond all reasonable doubt that the current so-called civil rule led by General Olusegun Obasanjo is nothing but the continuation of military dictatorship in another guise.

In case the current power holders have forgotten, the main reason why the working masses with leaders like Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Saro Wiwa, Femi Aborisade, etc made many sacrifices in the struggle against military dictatorship was the desire to create a society where the basic needs and aspirations of the vast majority of Nigerians can be met, where the working masses will have unfettered rights to protect their interests, including the rights to peaceful protests and strikes.

Against this background, the arrest and detention of Mr. Femi Aborisade is a throw back to the exploitative and repressive era of military dictatorship.

We consequently demand the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Femi Aborisade. If however, government and SSS believe that Mr. Aborisade has committed any offence, he should be immediately charged to court.

If this is not done immediately, all members of Lagos State NCP, supporters and all genuine change seeking workers and youths shall organise peaceful mass protest to the SSS office with a view to securing the immediate release of the NCP National General Secretary, Mr. Femi Aborisade.

The struggle continues!

Segun Sango

Chairman

Sina Odugbemi

Secretary

Femi Aborisade was released after a few hours. The State Director of Security, Toyin Akanle, told the Daily Independent that Femi was "merely invited for a friendly chat on various national issues"!