Pretoria – The Julius Malema-led Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Wednesday saluted the “young lions” of Nigeria for intensifying the fight against police brutality under the banner of #EndSARS.
The protests now included “a more cogent revolutionary struggle” against corruption, maladministration and bad governance that has characterised Nigeria over decades, it said.
EFF national spokesperson Delisile Ngwenya said in a statement that Nigeria had seen seven military takeovers of governance, including two of its former military rulers turned democratically elected heads of state – former president Olusegun Obasanjo and the current head of state, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Nigeria is rich in oil and agriculture, yet the prices of petrol, diesel and petroleum products are beyond the reach of the vast majority of the citizens,” she continued.
The EFF sent a message of support to the thousands of Nigerian youths protesting on the streets and demanding an end to rampant corruption and police brutality.
“To the people and young lions of sister country Nigeria, the EFF extends its unequivocal support for your struggle to liberate yourself from the tyrannical regime of the recycled old military guard and assure you of our continued moral and political solidarity in the trenches of your battles,” said the EFF spokesperson.
“The struggle continues. It is not yet uhuru. Arise, compatriots, the battle cry of Nigeria.”
Ngwenya highlighted that despite being among the largest oil producers in the world since the 1970s, the scarcity of petrol, diesel and petroleum products in Nigeria had turned the country into an importer of the same riches that constitute 60% of state revenue.
“The indecisiveness of the successive governments to root out corruption and maladministration has heightened tribalistic and religious tensions amongst the populace, leading to the emergence of rogue terrorist formations.
“The absence of leadership and (presence of) self-serving ruling elitists has seen Nigeria undergo the worst of civil war that threatened the unity of Africans in the late ’60s,” said Ngwenya.
She said the EFF had noted the disturbing signals of an impending violent crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations and reminded the Buhari administration to learn from similar instances of “foolish rulers who undermined the might of the people in Romania, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and, lately, Sudan”.
“No amount of military power has conquered a resolve of masses in a popular struggle. Weapons of war are strictly reserved for armed insurrections and terrorist forces bludgeoning civilians in the north and not for protesters in a democratic state,” said Ngwenya.
“We call on the government of Buhari to exercise restraint and rein in its army and security services. One death is too many. The EFF calls on the South African government, the African Union and Ecowas (Economic Community of West African States) to send a strong message to the Buhari administration to desist from human rights abuse, arrests, detention and torture of protesters.”
International news agency Reuters has reported that soldiers opened fire on Nigerians protesting against police brutality in the Lekki district of the commercial capital Lagos on Tuesday, during which at least two people were shot.
African News Agency (ANA)