Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has reacted to the death of President of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) Mahamed Abdelaziz describing it as a devastating blow to the struggle for the independence of the people of Western Sahara who have been under oppression and colonial shackles by the Moroccan authorities, the last colonialists in the continent of Africa.
President Mahamed Abdelaziz died after an illness in the United States on the morning of 31st May, 2016.
The Labour Congress in a message signed by its acting President Mohammed Kiri, said it received his death with shock describing him as a highly committed, politically conscious, amiable and focused leader radiating determination and confidence in the victory of his people over those who have emasculated their freedom for decades.
It noted that the struggles of the Saharawi under his leadership caught overwhelming global attention, especially at the United Nations which brokered a cease fire in 1991.
“The struggles of the Saharawi was effectively internationalised and did not only gain diplomatic recognition across all continents but also sat at major international conferences and meetings attended by world leaders. Indeed, Western Sahara became popularly known as a State within a State fighting vigorously for her own independence under Abdelaziz.
His place in history is large and we believe despite his unfortunate demise, the Saharawi people will be victorious in a short time as we believe his death will not daunt their collective commitment to the struggle.” NLC said
The late Abdelaziz was on a state visit to Nigeria in 2014 during which he was at the Headquarters of the NLC to commission the offices of the National Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara, which is hosted by the NLC and located at our National Headquarters.
NLC said despite the huge loss the President’s demise has caused the people of Saharawi, it remains committed to theirstruggle saying “we will continue to offer our solidarity in all forms within our capabilities and capacity to ensure the victory of the Saharawi people from the claws of those who still believe colonialism can survive the compelling freedom and progress the independence of Western Sahara offers humanity.
We commiserate with the government and people of Western Sahara and reassure them of our continued support and solidarity at all times.” It added