Wednesday March 28, 2018
PROTEST AGAINST OBNOXIOUS LAND USE CHARGE
SPN SUPPORTS NBA PLANNED PROTEST
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Lagos State Chapter strongly condemns the siege on the Secretariat of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch by the Police. It is undemocratic and reminiscent of the era of military dictatorship. Therefore, we demand the immediate vacation of the NBA office by the police.
This obnoxious action of the police, apparently at the behest of Akinwunmi Ambode led APC government of Lagos State, is a repressive measure against the plan of the NBA Ikeja and civil society organizations to hold a protest march, tomorrow Thursday March 29, against the widely hated Land Use Charge Law that the Lagos Government has callously imposed on the people of the state.
The SPN fully supports the planned protest and will actively participate in it. As we stated in our last press statement, the new tax which is disproportionally anti-poor should be totally repealed.
We, therefore, condemn the threat by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police in the statement issued on Wednesday March 28 to brutally clamp down on the planned protest on Thursday March 29 ostensibly because of the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos. We consider the threat as a brazen attack on democratic and constitutional rights of any Nigerian who plans to organize or join the protest.
Indeed, the planned shutdown of the state because of the visit of the President is an aberration, which is condemnable, in any society that claims to practice democracy. So, the visit of the President is not an acceptable excuse to deny Lagosians their rights to embark on legitimate activities including peaceful protests.
We call on the police to immediately lift the siege on the NBA Ikeja office and respect the rights of NBA and CSO members to hold the protest as planned tomorrow.