The Coalition for Revolution (CORE) has condemned the Plateau State government for
forceful suppression of a peaceful memorial procession led by the youths of the state on Tuesday.
In a statement issued by its conveners, Baba Aye and Gbenga Komolafe, the group said the young people had set out for a memorial procession in memory of those who lost their lives in the violence that erupted in the state some 20 years ago, and to urge the rebirth of peace and harmony based on justice.
The group questioned the rationale of this directive if it should be directed at young people or bandits and other criminal elements.
CORE urged trade unions, civil society organisations, associations and all bodies in Plateau state, Nigeria and across the world to stand against state repression in Plateau state and across the country.
A statement from the group read, “Today makes it twenty years since unbridled carnage was let loose on Jos. The cycles of violence since then have taken several shapes. This includes and has equally been spurred by state repression.
“Law enforcement agents were once again all set to wreck violent havoc on young women and men in Jos this morning. These youth had taken it upon themselves to organize a memorial procession in memory of the dead and to urge the rebirth of peace and harmony based on justice.
“Organised as the September Seven Movement, they mobilised in their hundreds for a peaceful procession. But the police dispersed them, scattering the wreaths they came to lay for the dead. These policemen were seen drinking alcohol and smoking for hours before the procession was to commence.
“Is it young people who want to remember the dead that a serious state should be putting security agents on the alert for or bandits who have been having a field day in the same state; killing, maiming, and looting poor people?
“Thus, in the strongest of terms, we condemn the state government’s violation of the youth’s fundamental rights to organise, and freedom of assembly as enshrined in the constitution. We call on trade unions, civil society organizations, associations and all bodies in Plateau state, Nigeria and across the world who stand for peace and justice to raise their voices and stand up against state repression in Plateau state and across the country.
“This state of siege on the populace must be stopped. A state which finds itself unable to stop reactionary insurgency and bandits but flexes its muscles against unarmed people and disperses peaceful protests is terminally ill. Our struggle for system change must thus be taken up with more vigour, as we, the oppressed masses, fight for our total liberation.”