Socialist Worker

British royal visit to Nigeria after mass killing of peaceful marchers

by Socialist Workers and Youth League, Nigeria
Issue No. 2629

US soldiers training Nigerian troops in February this year

US soldiers training Nigerian troops in February this year (Pic: The US Army/Flickr)


Prince Charles visited Nigeria in West Africa this week in the aftermath of a horrendous state massacre.

Nigerian security forces massacred 49 people at an army roadblock on the road from Nyanya to Abuja on Monday of last week.

A peaceful, unarmed demonstration of Shia supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) was gunned down on the road.

The IMN says over 1,000 of its members are missing. The police say they are holding 400. The IMN was demonstrating for the release of its leader Ibrahim Zakzaky.

He has been illegally detained with his wife since the massacre of at least 350 IMN members in December 2015.

The high court ordered their release in December 2016, but this decision has been ignored by the security forces.

The massacre on the Nyanya road is the latest evidence of the inhumanity of the security forces. They have killed as many civilians in the north east of the country as the infamous Boko Haram group.

Violence

A report by Amnesty International shows the level of violence and killing aimed at the IMN.

“It seems the Nigerian military are deliberately using tactics designed to kill when dealing with IMN gatherings,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

“Many of these shootings clearly amount to extrajudicial executions,”

“Since a massacre of over 350 IMN supporters which took place in Zaria in 2015, the Nigerian authorities have consistently sent in the military to respond to IMN protests or marches. This strategy appears to be at least partly to blame for the bloodshed.”

The officers responsible for ordering this mass killing should be court martialled, but more importantly, the security forces need to be dissolved and re-constituted under popular control.

The police always side with the money bags. The answer to state intimidation is mass collective action.

A planned general strike over the level of the minimum wage that was set for this Tuesday was called off at the last minute.

As socialists we call for full support for protests and strikes over the massacre and other issues that are affecting Nigeria’s workers and poor.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.