The Nigerian Labour movement and its seventeen Civil Society Organisations, have vowed to stop Nigerian companies from buying “stolen” phosphate, fertilizer and fishes from Morocco.
Addressing a press conference on the Moroccan forceful occupation of Western Sahara at the Labour House, Abuja on Wednesday, the Nigerian Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara (NMLWS); with members including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and seventeen Civil Society Organisations, emphasized that, through all forms of labour actions and legal means, “we will stop Nigerian companies buying stolen phosphate, fertilizer and fishes from Morocco.”
Beside taken legal action, the movement led by the NLC said it would picket all Nigerian companies dealing in stolen Western Sahara resources after putting them on notice, adding that Nigerian Government who supported the people of Western Sahara to gain independence from Spain in 1984, should not tolerate the occupation of the same country by a sister African country and be receiving the natural resources of Western Sahara plundered by Morocco.
Former National President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr Oladipo Fasina, who led the movement said: “Our history as a people, sense of morality and fairness does not permit us to be silent in the face of tyranny, subjugation and exploitation of a people. Our three main religions; the African Traditional Religion, Islam and Christianity do not permit that the head of the weak be crushed, or, stealing be accepted under any guise. So, we put all those dealing in stolen Western Sahara natural resources including their fishes on notice that they cannot continue to do business as usual.
“After giving this notice to the Nigerian companies dealing in stolen Western Sahara resources, we will picket them across the country and bring them before our courts. This also includes supermarkets selling sardines and fishes from Morocco because 92 per cent of these fishes are stolen from the Western Sahara coast.
“It is in furtherance of this, we have invited these lawyers to meet, exchanges ideas and plot our legal strategies and commence legal actions.”
He regretted that against all known tenets of African brotherhood, religious obligations and social justice, Morocco, has invaded and occupied a member country of the African Union, dehumanize its people and plunder its resources which it sells to European Union (EU) countries and companies in Nigeria.
Dr. Fasina said: “This Movement supports the development of Nigeria, but not with stolen resources. We insist that although our country needs fertilizer, but not that produced with the blood of our brothers and sisters in Western Sahara. About this, we are definite. This principle is planted in the Nigerian culture of non-exploitation of other peoples and defender of colonized peoples as we did in the struggle for the liberation of countries like Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa.”
He pointed out that the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the European Union (EU) and the international community which makes declarations on the sanctity of human rights should not remain silent in the face of atrocities perpetuated by Morocco in Western Sahara.
The former ASUU President said: “We, therefore, demand that the Moroccan monarchy and leadership be called to order and brought to book for gross human rights violations in Western Sahara.
“The consent and permission of the Saharawi people through the SADR government be secured before the natural resources of the country is utilized or traded in any form.
“The AU defends its member SADR by giving Morocco a timeline to vacate Western Sahara and if it fails, to expel and impose stiff sanctions against it as we did to Apartheid in South Africa.
“The UN expands the mandate of MINURSO to include human rights violations so its Mission can protect the Saharawi people.
“Morocco vacates the parts of Western Sahara it is occupying and allows the Saharawi like other Africans and peoples of the world to freely govern themselves and develop their country without any interference.
“All should be done to ensure that the Moroccan-Saharawi armed conflict is not re-ignited as renewed war can lead to an avoidable international conflagration.”