Monday, 20 February 2012

Police Disruption of Martyrs Memorial: The Muslim Congress Press Statement

The Muslim Congress (TMC)
1 Thanni Olodo Street, Off Ikorodu Road, Jibowu B/Stop, Lagos
08023462555, 08033096636
February 18, 2012


All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the universe. May His peace and blessings be upon the noble Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), his faithful companions and dutiful followers till the end of time, amin.
The Muslim Congress (TMC) joins lovers of free speech to express her disappointment at the insensitive, unprofessional, irresponsible and dastardly manner in which the Nigeria Police disrupted a peaceful and civilised procession at Maryland, Lagos. The procession was organised by the Joint Action Front (JAF) and its allies as a prelude for the Political Memorial in honour of those killed by the armed personnel in the course of the popular struggle for reversal of fuel pump price of January 9th – 16th 2012. It was also organised to immortalise the names of dead human right activists and martyrs of democracy like Comrades Chima Ubani, Tunji Oyeleru, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, Alao Aka Bashorun, Chief Gani Fawehinmi and many others.

The disrupted procession was led by patriotic individuals, responsible civil society groups and renowned faith-based groups like Dr. Oladipo Fashina (JAF Chairperson),Comrade Abiodun Aremu (JAF Secretary), Mallam Luqman AbdurRaheem (President, The Muslim Congress) , Barrister Adegbamigbe Omole, (Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association Ikeja & Lagos Branches) Mallam Qassim Badrudeen (President, MSSN Lagos/Representative of Conference of Islamic Organisations), Muhammad Fawehinmi (Son of late Gani Fawehinmi), Mrs. Ganiyat Fawehinmi (Wife of late Gani Fawehinmi), Justice, Peace and Development Commission (JDPC), Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Lagos State, and many other groups.

The Congress describes the deployment of aggressive policemen to repress, brutalise and injure innocent Nigerians on peaceful procession to Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos, using tear-gas as hasty, uncivilised, intolerant and undemocratic, considering the fact that the procession has been widely publicised through press conference to dispel fears, suspicions and insinuations from government and security agencies. Even journalists and pressmen from TVC, Galaxy, AIT, Silver Bird and print media were not spared. The use of tear-gas for peaceful process devoid of violence caused pandemonium, injuries, traffic jam and confusion at Maryland-Ojota area. Whosoever orders the disruption, has made a costly mistake by subverting free speech and freedom of association, a cardinal principle cherished by the international community and advanced democracies. This is another error from the Nigerian Police authority and government.

Long Live the Coalition against bad leadership and state repression, Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Luqman AbdurRaheem, MNIM, AMIMC, AMIOE
Amir, The Muslim Congress

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