Premium Times. -June 13, 2019Busayo Adegbola
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called for the isolation of Morocco for holding Western Sahara under colonial control and hindering the state from gaining sovereignty.
The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, said this at a press conference at the Congress’ headquarters in Abuja during the visit of the President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) to Nigeria.
Mr Wabba, who was represented by the President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Najeem Yasin, said that the NLC was fully aware and involved in the struggle of Saharawi people against Morocco’s colonial grip.
“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 said.
He said the NLC would continue to spearhead national solidarity of the labour movement and its allies in the academia, civil society, professional groups, among others in support of the struggles of the people of Western Sahara.
“Unfortunately an African country holding [sic] Africa’s last colony against the resolutions of the defunct Organisation of Africa Unity, now Africa Union, and the collective interests of all freedom-loving people across the world,” he said.
He, however, said that NLC had provided office space for the secretariat of the Nigeria Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara as part of its resolve and commitment to the liberation struggles of the Saharawi people.
“We have had meetings and programmes and will still hold mass meetings, conferences and programmes to deepen our solidarity and expand mass support for your liberation struggles, which we see as our collective struggle. We have also led a mass protest to the embassy of Morocco here in Abuja,” he said.
” So all must renew our collective demand that Morocco must be isolated in the global space by all countries, not just in Africa but in the entire world until Western Sahara gains sovereignty, free from colonial control,” he said.
Efforts to isolate Morocco
Similarly, the representative of the Nigerian Movement for Liberation of Western Sahara (NMLWS), Owei Lakemfa, said colonialism in Western Sahara has continued because Moroccans want to exploit the human and natural resources of the state.
“Never in the history of humanity, have a people been forced to live in such camps, as many Saharawis have been forced to live, for 44 years now.”
Mr Lakemfa said that the movement would not stop attacking Morocco.
He said there was an instance when they carried out a campaign to prevent Morocco from getting readmitted into the African Union (AU) but failed.
“However, when Morocco tried to join ECOWAS, we succeeded in stopping them. And they will never come to ECOWAS. Ebola-like foreign relations are unwanted in West Africa, ” he said.
Mr Lakemfa said it was an irony that some of the countries which support Morocco that are members of the European Union would claim to be champions of human rights.
Also speaking at the event, a representative of the Nigerian Youth of Western Sahara, Suleiman Fema, urged the Nigerian government to cut all trade ties with Morocco.
Mr Fema said the United Nations should conduct a referendum of self-determination in Western Sahara.
He appealed to the European Union to stop trading with Morocco in phosphate and fish as they are stolen from the SADR.
PREMIUM TIMES in 2015 reported how NLC demanded that Morocco put an end to its colonisation of Western Sahara.
Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic is a partially recognised state that claims the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara but controls only the easternmost one-fifth of the territory.
Morocco controls and administers the rest of the disputed territory and calls these lands its Southern Provinces.
Irrespective of Morocco’s influence, the Sahrawi Republic maintains diplomatic relations with 40 UN states and is a full member of the African Union.