Protests against police brutality in Nigeria have taken a violent turn. Police have opened fire on peaceful demonstrators, killing at least twelve people. We publish here a press statement issued by Socialist Action’s sister section in Nigera, the Movement for a Socialist Alternative.
- Lekki Massacre: Kick out the Killer Buhari-led Regime Now!
- We hold Lagos State Governor Sanwo-Olu equally responsible
- Fight for a working people’s government!
We of the Movement for A Socialist Alternative (MSA) condemn in the strongest terms the bloody repression of #EndSARS peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate.
The Lekki Toll Gate and Alausa Secretariat have been the two major centers of mass mobilization in Lagos State against the rogue Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and police brutality for the past two weeks. For two weeks running, these protests had been organized in a peaceful and orderly manner.
The agitations and protests took a new turn when the regime and supporters began to mobilize and finance hoodlums to attack protesters in Abuja and Alausa area of Lagos. It was clear that it was a matter of time before the regime plays its trump card of a full declaration of war on the #EndSARS protesters across the country.
The Buhari-led regime has demonstrated to all that it is brutal as other regimes of the capitalist ruling elites in repressing peaceful protesters, despite posturing as a “regime of change”.
This is evidenced by deploying the military with armored tanks and machine guns to be freely used in the cover of the night against peaceful protesters, killing and fatally injuring many at the Lekki Tollgate, shooting and mauling down peaceful protesters, showcasing its hatred for civility, and disrespect for democratic rights.
The fact is that the #EndSARS protest against the Police and its gross act of brutality against the working masses and innocent citizens of the country is fed by the nature and character of the Nigerian ruling elites and their “accept or die” capitalist system of appropriating the resources of society for themselves alone. This is what has been made clear by the killings that has taken place at the Lekki Toll Gate.
We in the MSA condemn it in all ramification and state that the Buhari regime must be held accountable for every loss of life. We equally hold the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu equally responsible for the killings. The imposition of a 24 hours curfew by the Sanwo-Olu led Lagos state government, using the act of a few to condemn and equate as same with the peaceful protesters, was only an earlier scene of the same script to shooting down peaceful protesters.
Part of this coordinated conspiracy and murderous massacre was also the shut down and removal of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) at the Lekki Toll Gates and the street lights put off before troops were moved in to maul down the protesters.
We are not unaware that this use of maximum lethal force of the state by the Buhari regime and the Bola Ahmed Tinubu installed government of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu government in Lagos is in reality a desperate measure on their part to hold in check the developing and qualitative growth of the #EndSARS protest that has grown from a mere youth protest against police brutality, to assuming a General Strike character, with workplaces closed down, and street barricades dotting the country’s landscape, with the slogans calling for an ‘End to the Regime’ now directly targeted at the regime, with its ineptitude glaring for all to see.
There can be no better time for the mass of the organized working class to bring their might to bear than now with all of its strength with a 48 hours General strike in full support and condemnation of the killing of innocent citizens. The leadership of the trade unions, if it again chickens out of this historic necessity to take this step, will further be exposing itself, and bringing to light for workers to commence a campaign against it, for a new leadership that would put its interest first and foremost as opposed to defending the Buhari regime that has repeatedly demonstrated that its interest is not the wellbeing of the working masses.
The Churches and the Mosques must also add their voices, mobilizing their numbers and congregation to carry on with the agitations and the demands for the regime to quit, and for a Sovereign National Conference to be convoked, which will be made up of elected representatives of the workers of the various sectors of the economy, poor farmers and all strata of the oppressed masses. And as well as the right of the rank and file of the police and the military to elect their representatives to such a body to decide the way forward for Nigeria and take up the task of ending state repression and the economic deprivation of the masses. At such a conference the MSA will argue for the working class and poor masses to take control of the wealth and resources of Nigeria to be democratically planned for the needs of all and to end the economic tyranny of capitalism.
The MSA also calls on the rank and file of the military and the police to reject all orders from their officers to attack and oppress protesters. Rank and file soldiers and police should refuse to be used as a weapon against their working class sisters and brothers and instead unite with the protesters and back their demands, which in reality is ultimately for the good of all.
We reiterate the call for the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Adamu to resign and for the Chief of Army Staff, General Brutatai and other service chiefs of the military to go, for the killings of protesters to come to an end and for the working masses to take up the task of ending Buhari regime and capitalism.
We also call for new mass party of the working people, and at the same time to join and build the Socialist Party of Nigeria and commence the march to end capitalism vie a socialist revolution.