On the 21st of January 2020, the Nigeria Police murdered Comrade Alex Ogbu in cold blood at the Berger junction in Abuja. Alex Ogbu until his untimely death was the National Administrative Secretary of Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), he was a revolutionary socialist, and a leading member of Socialist Workers and Youth League (SWL) who once served as the Abuja Branch Organsing Secretary.
Alex was a committed fighter on the side of working-class people and for social justice until the terrible hands of the repressive state in Nigeria fell him during the peaceful protest of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
The killing of Comrade Ogbu is another manifestation of institutionalised state violence by the Major General Buhari-led dictatorial regime. The state killings of Nigerians demanding social justice is now about as much as killings by the Boko Haram which is considered as a band of terrorists by the same state.
On the 22nd of July 2019, 22 peaceful protesters including a Youth Corp member serving with Channels TV were gunned down during the Free-Zakzaky rally by the by security personnel of the Nigerian state. Similarly, on 10 September, about 12 members of IMN were killed, that is in addition to scores of people that were killed between 2015 and 2018 by the Nigeria state. We believe the killing of Comrade Ogbu is not merely an unfortunate accident. It emerges from the siege of continuous physical, economic and social attacks on poor and oppressed people by the Nigerian state of exploiters and oppressors.
We Demand justice for Alex Ogbu and call on the popular masses to fight against this repressive regime for us to emancipate ourselves. The truth is that the bosses, particularly under General Buhari’s regime are responsible for the rising state of insecurity in the country.
On one hand the social conditions such as poor education, unemployment and poverty that forced many to turn towards violence and other social vices was created by the failure of the capitalist system they represent and the greediness of these bosses. On the other hand, the continuous use of State Violence by the Buhari-led regime precipitated and inspires further insecurity as largely impoverished youth turn to self-help, including crime.
The unemployment rate in the country continues to rise and Nigeria is currently the poverty capital of the world while the bosses live large on the wealth which our labour creates and the natural resources on our lands. These are the basic factors that necessitated and continue to sustain the state of insecurity in the country. Yet we the working people are subjected to this condition by the failure of the bosses and system of capitalism that puts the interest of a few above the need of majority.
It is thus clear that the system and the bosses who run it are the culprits regarding insecurity in the country. It is equally clear that Comrade Alex Ogbu who has been killed in his prime must not die in vain.
And to that end we call on the Nigeria masses, the labour movement in its entirety that is the NLC, TUC, ULC, FIWON and all left forces to join us to fight for justice for the fallen fighter and a democratic end to the state of insecurity, which entails a ceaseless fight to change the system.
In the immediate instance, we call for:
- An acceptance of culpability by the police on the killing of Alex Ogbu;
- The constitution of a judicial panel of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the killing and the continued state of siege in the country. This must include the trade unions and other popular organisations of working-class people;
- The police officers responsible for killing Alex Ogbu be brought to book;
- Compensation be paid to his family. His wife and 2-year old daughter must not be made to bear the brunt of economic consequences for the family as a result of the condemnable murder of their husband and father.