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February 2003

Zone D of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) issued the following statement in February 2003. Zone D, covering south-west Nigeria, is one of the four zones within NANS and is led by members of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

NANS SAYS NO TO WAR ON IRAQ

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D, i.e. the coordinating organ of all Nigerian students in all tertiary institutions in the South-West states is using this medium to officially solidarise with millions of the down trodden, oppressed, cheated, victimized, marginalized people of the world who have set aside February 15th 2003 as a special day for Anti-War protests.

This Anti-War campaign is aimed at telling war mongering United States President Mr. George Bush and his other ally, Tony Blair, that we are against bloodshed, massive destruction of lives and properties.

We make bold to posit that Nigerian Students today officially join the global opposition against the war, on the basis of practical reality which has shown that US planned attack (war) on Iraq is nothing but a premeditated attempt at controlling the economic and political power of Iraq, the world number two largest oil producing country. Despite the United Nations weapon inspectors’ report (Hans Blix and Mohammed El-Braradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency) absolving Iraq of possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) US’ insistence to go ahead with the "Oil for Blood War" further shows the hypocrisy of the United States.

While the US is hell bent at taking over leadership in Iraq so that it can directly control the economic (oil resources) and political force on the basis of Iraq possession of WMD, North Korea, equally tagged as part of the "axis of evil" is at present reactivating its nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, Colin Powel said that the US does not want to escalate any crisis, hence on North Korea, they will use diplomatic resolution. This is because US has a more and a better economic interest in the former than the latter. Equally, US lacks credibility to go ahead with this destruction because it has failed to get rid of itself and other permanent members of the Security Council on massive destructive weapons. Likewise, it has maintained criminal silence on the nuclear arsenals of its allies like Israel, Pakistan, India, etc. Why then the fuss about Iraq?

The same US had for years gradually and systematically made a monster of Saddam Hussein whom they enthroned and supported militarily, economically during Iraq’s war against Iran and Kuwait. Then Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, etc, were regarded by the US and Western press as "freedom fighters". However, the songs have changed today, they are now branded " World Terrorists" because of their clash of selfish and economic interests.

Hence, as enshrined in the charter of demands of NANS regarding all Nigerians Students as an internationalists who should be concerned about what is happening beyond our country, under foreign policy, we hereby declare of support and join millions Anti-War Protesters in New York, London. Berlin, Paris, Rome, Athens, Oslo, Amsterdam, Cairo, Stockholm, etc, to say NO to US War on Iraq.

We say no to 200 US billion dollars wastage on war but we rather demand that money be used to abolish poverty, hunger, and unemployment and to provide better welfare to Americans and the rest of the world.

We demand an end to this endemic global capitalist system that has made it possible for just less than 5 percent of the world population to be controlling over 95 percent of the world resources, we demand a democratic socialist order.

That the Nigerian Government under Obasanjo’s leadership should come out openly as a matter of urgency to condemn the US war on Iraq and the rest of the world.

Once again we say "No Blood for Oil" "Down with Bush’s war", we demand global peace, harmony, genuine democracy, fairness, justice and equity.

While we are not absolving Saddam Hussein’s regime of dictatorship and oppression especially against the poor working people of Iraq, we hasten to state that it is the duty of Iraqi masses (not that of US imperialism which is even more guilty of global dictatorship and oppression) with solidarity from the international working class to bring an end to such an oppressive regime and to replace it with a more democratic system of government. An attack on an Iraqi student is an attack on Nigerian student.

Alayande Stepten T.

Coordinator.