We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemn in the strongest terms the brutal repression by the Nigerian army of protests in Zaria and Kaduna against the ongoing massacre in Gaza by the Israeli state. We denounce the killing of supporters and children of Islamic cleric, Ibrahim El- Zakzaky who held the protest march in Zaria. According to media reports, 35 followers of the El-Zakzaky were killed by the soldiers. A similar protest in Kaduna was massively repressed.
While there was an attempt by a section of the media to connote the entire affair as a “violent clash”, the glaring fact that the followers of El-Zakzaky were not armed makes it a classic case of repression. To us in the SPN, we deplore the attempt to use the excuse of fighting terrorism to clampdown on democratic rights including legitimate and peaceful protests.
We should also recall that a similar strong-arm approach including extra-judicial murder of Muhammed Yusuff, the founder of Boko Haram Islamist sect, contributed immensely to the degeneration of a containable security situation into a full-blown terrorist insurgency and activities.
There are also media reports that El-Zakzaky is renowned for regular preaching against activities and pronouncement of Boko Haram terrorist group. This means that his group cannot be linked with Boko Haram activities and the protest, which was just a part of an annual Shiite ceremony, was repressed because it was against Israel.
We call for the arrest and prosecution of soldiers including their commander who carried out this heinous act of killings of protesters in Zaria.
We call for solidarity mass actions to condemn the repression of pro-Palestine protests in Nigeria and to join forces with worldwide resistance of the Israeli state terror in Gaza.
We of the SPN advocate a relentless struggle of working people and youth of Palestine against the occupation and blockade of Gaza and West Bank by the Israeli state with the solidarity of the workers and youth in Israel for a Socialist Palestine and Socialist Israel. This will be a basis for a voluntary confederation of a socialist Middle East as part of a democratic socialist world.