CWI Condemns Murder of Socialists in Nigeria

25/7/99 - Update

Protests against the killings have taken place at Nigerian Embassies throughout the world. Comrade Ayodele Akele, a DSM member, who was being victimised for leading a strike of public sector workers has been reinstated following a massive campaign.

Statement read out and agreed at European meeting of the Committee for a Workers’ International – Leuven, Belgium 12-17 July 1999
In Condemnation of Assassination of Nigerian student activists at OAU

This European meeting of the Committee for a Workers’ International, taking place in Belgium with 200 representatives present expresses its deepest condemnation of the assassination of seven student activists at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria on Saturday 10 July. These assassinations were carried out by reactionary right-wing cult members.
The CWI, which has affiliated sections and groups in 35 countries around the world, sends its condolences to the families of those who died and its best wishes for the speedy recovery of the several students who were critically injured.

This surprise attack which occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning while students were sleeping shows the cowardice of the right-wing cult gang who carried out this murderous attack. It demonstrates their inability to answer the programme and fighting activity of the left-wing led students’ union at OAU.

We salute the bravery of Tunde Oke (a member of the Democratic Socialist Movement, the Nigerian section of the CWI) and George Iwilade (Secretary-general of the student union and sympathiser of the DSM), as well as the others who died, in standing firm for the ideas of socialism. This led to the ultimate sacrifice – that of their lives - in the struggle for socialism. It is clear that the university authorities, particularly the vice-chancellor, have been implicated in backing the actions of this cult group. This is because the students’ union has been to the fore-front of struggles to democratise the university, to oppose increases in student fees and to expel right wing cult groups from the campuses.

The hypocrisy of the university authorities is shown by the fact that, despite warnings from the students’ union, the university authorities refused to expel the right wing cult groups from the campus whereas they have refused to admit the ten students expelled in 1996 for campaigning against the execution of Ogoni activist Ken Sarowiwa.

The assassinations at OAU represent a big test for the proclaimed democratic credentials of the new government. If the government does not take action against cult groups, it will stand condemned by its association with the perpetrators of these murderous assassinations.

The parties and groups of the CWI represented here demand the following:

a) The immediate removal of the university vice-chancellor.
b) The arrest and trial of the assassins and their sponsors in the university administration.
c) The establishment of a democratically elected independent inquiry.
d) The reinstatement of expelled student activists.

We the undersigned pledge ourselves to take these demands to the wider workers’ and students’ movement internationally.

We will not rest until the assassins and their sponsors are brought to justice.

Signed: Sozialistische Offensive, Austria
Militant Links, Belgium
Socialist Party, England and Wales
CWI- Scotland
Sozialistiche Alternative, Germany
Xekinhma, Greece
Socialist Party, Ireland North
Socialist Party, Ireland South
Justice Party, the Socialists, Sweden
Labor Militant, USA
Jammu and Kashmir National Awami Party, Kashmir.
Offensief, Netherlands
CWI-France (Gauche Revolutionnaire-La Commune)
Budoucnost, Czech Republic
Luta Socialista, Portugal
Maavak Sozialisti, Israel
Manifiesto-CIT, Spain