By Esther Atani, the Sight News
ABUJA: The Western Sahara has a right to nationhood and freedom from colonial oppression.
This was the statement made by Comrade Najeem Yasin, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Acting President at the welcoming ceremony of the President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic to Nigeria on Thursday, June 13 in Abuja.
The Nigerian Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara and the Nigeria Labour Congress welcomed His Excellency Brahim Ghali President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic to Nigeria to celebrate her just observed National Democracy Day.
In his welcome address, Comrade Najeem Yasin intimated that the Labour President’s absence at the event was due to his attendance at the Annual International Labour Conference holding in Geneva.
He cited ways the Congress had provided support for the Saharawi people by holding mass protests at the embassy of Morocco in Nigeria and providing an office space that will serve as a base of operations for the movement.
According to him, “As long as Western Sahara is not free, Africa is not free and all Africans and African countries must be involved in the struggle”.
He assured of the NLC’s unflinching support until victory is achieved, and demanded that African nations cease all public and trade relations with Morocco as their exports of phosphate and fish are stolen from the Western Sahara.
For his part, Comrade Oweh, Leader of the Saharawi Movement in Nigeria, cited Africa’s long history of slavery as being the main reason for the support of the Western Sahara.
He decried the fact the Saharawi people have lived in refugee camps for 44 years in terrible conditions and suffered racial discrimination from their fellow Africans.
He demanded that Moroccan forces quit Western Sahara and that further deployment of forces cease, and also demanded that the UN step into the issue by issuing a referendum as well as declare gross neglect of Western Sahara by Morocco as a crime against humanity.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stand firmly on the good side of history in his continued support of western Sahara and that he show the same support to Western Sahara as was extended to other African countries who suffered under colonialism.