Baba Aye and Mbenga Komolafe are the co-convenors of the Coalition for Revolution (CORE) in Nigeria. This statement was issued to the national press on July 20, 2020 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter uprising in the United States and internationally. While Nigeria has thus far been spared the brunt of the coronavirus crisis, it’s oil oligarchy and international companies such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Chevron combine brutal repression and super exploitation to ensure the country remains one of the most unequal in the world, on part with Brazil and Mexico.
The Coalition for Revolution (ORE) Stands In Solidarity with the Strike For Black Lives, and Against Racism and Police Brutality
As working-class people across the United States embark on a general strike for Black Lives, and against anti-Black racism and police brutality today 20th July 2020, CORE, Nigeria, stands in solidarity with them. We also use this opportunity to condemn racism, ethnicism, and police brutality anywhere and everywhere in the world.
Racism, ethnicism, and sexism are ideologies used by the 1 percent of oppressors who exploit all working-class people to divide us. Systemic racism is ingrained into the dynamics of racism. That is why Malcolm X correctly stated that “you can’t have capitalism without racism.”
The police serve the purpose of the 1 percent to repress the poor masses. They are thus veritable tools for perpetuating systemic racism in multi-racial societies like the United States. The police are not our friend, anywhere. Not less than 30 people were killed by the police and other security agencies while effecting the (Covid-19) lockdown in Nigeria.
These include Tina Ezekwe, a 16-year old secondary school pupil at Oworonshoki, where CORE activists protested against this dastardly act in May. Earlier in January, the police equally killed Comrade Alex Ogbu. Alex was a journalist and leading member of a CORE affiliate.
[Read next, ROAPE: Nigerian Trade Union Leader Murdered.]
He was shot in the head while covering the peaceful demonstration of Shiite Moslems, demanding the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzakky. The police tried to lie their way through this murder, claiming he fell and hit his head on a sharp object. It took the clear result of an autopsy to make them own up to the homicide.
We call for #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd and in the same vein call for #JusticeForAlexOgbu, #JusticeForTinaEzekwe and #JusticeForAdamaTraoré. We salute Parisiens who trooped out in their numbers over the weekend to mark the fourth anniversary of the killing of Adama Troaré, who was murdered by the police on 24th July 2016.
We must show the connections between all these attacks of the state, systemic racism, and ethnicism for what they are: attempts of the ruling class to keep us cowed. But, as the global rebellion sparked by the killing of George Floyd shows, we will not be cowed.
We will fight until we are free. It is not enough for us to lament or to cry. We are angry and correctly so. But even this is not enough. We must be clear about what the solution to racism is, about our continued exploitation as working-class people and youths, and about the despoliation of the environment which has brought about a climate crisis.
That solution is revolution. That solution is for us, the 99 percent to unite and fight until we bring to birth a new world founded on solidarity, equality, and mutual respect.
Once again, we salute the bold initiative of the “Strike for Black Lives”. This must not be merely a moment. We must strengthen and deepen the movement arising before our eyes, and indeed which together we are building, for a new world which will emerge from our self-emancipation.
Black Lives Matter!
Down with racism! Down with police brutality!
Onward forward to Revolution!
[For international news and analysis from working-class, oppressed peoples, and socialist points of view, read No Borders News.]