Saharawi Colonization: Don’t Invest in Morocco, NLC Warns Dangote

Saharawi Colonization: Don’t Invest in Morocco, NLC Warns Dangote
… As Gambari urges African leaders to put pressure on UN on SADR status
Chris Steven, Abuja
Plans by the African richest man, Aliko Dangote to expand his business empire to the North Africa country of Morocco have come under attacks as the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) on Saturday issued him a warning to desist from doing so.
The Labour Congress is worried that Dangote, despite Nigerian government’s stance against Morocco for its continued suppression of people of Western Sahara would have business interest in such a country.
Morocco has over the years come under criticisms for its continued colonization and subjugation of the people of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, (SADR) , otherwise known as Western Sahara.

The business mogul had in a business forum in Lagos disclosed that his firm was close to signing a deal with a Moroccan firm to supply phosphate to feed a planned fertilizer plant. 

This was as President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly rebuffed attempt by the Moroccan government to back its occupation of the Western Sahara people’s land during his presidential election campaign.

 Speaking in Abuja during the inauguration of National Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba warned that such plan would be met with a strong resistant from the labour movement.

The inauguration of the movement was spearheaded by the NLC and the Academic Staff Union of Universities,(ASUU).

Wabba, who described  Dangote’s planned business deal with Morocco as an affront on the rights of the people of Western Sahara to self- determination, expressed the determination of the NLC and it allies to stop the deal.

The NLC President  expressed shock at the business mogul’s planned business prospect with Morocco, especially at a time international outcry  for economic sanctions against the Moroccan’s government was at its ascendancy.

He said,”An injury to one is an injury to all. We heard that Dangote is planning business prospect with Morocco. We are ready to bring the full weight of the people to stop such business deal. We call on Dangote to respect the self-determination efforts of Saharawi people.

While decrying the deplorable conditions of the Saharawis, Comrade Wabba expressed the commitment of the Congress,  in conjunction with civil society organisations, to the total liberation of the Saharawi people.

In his keynote address, the Chairman, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and  Development, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, called on African leaders to put pressure on the members of the United Nations’ Security Council to support the process of decolonization of Western Sahara.

While calling for collective efforts to liberate the suffering Saharawis,  the former external affairs minister, however, insisted the UN could not be entirely relied upon, adding that only Africans could resolve it.

He said ,”As we now live in a world where the relentless forces of globalization and the threats to national, regional, and global security are growing on a daily basis, a threat to peace and security anywhere should be seen as a threat to peace everywhere and thus demanding collective response.

“The continued denial of the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Saharawi people constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

In his own address, the convener of the Committee for the Liberation of Western Sahara, Dr. Oladipo Fashina noted that goal of raising a mass movement was to join the army of international movement for the termination of colonialism n Africa.

As part of the moves to force the Moroccan government to respect the sovereignty of the SADR, the former ASUU President called for the economic, political and social isolation of Morocco as it was the case with the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

While lamenting the level of economic subjugation the Saharawis has been subjected to, Fashina stated,”The situation is a bit confusing because the Moroccan government has been fraudulently passing off products from Western Sahara as Moroccan. The bulk of canned fish by various names, sold in Nigeria today, is packaged in Western Sahara, yet they are labelled “products of Morocco.”.

“The phosphate which Morocco mines in Western Sahara is claimed to be a prod it of Morocco as well. As an occupied territory, Western Sahara is entitled to its own identity not that of another country, no matter what the claims of ancient fiefdom may be.

“For these reasons, we urge the forces of freedom all over the world to back their claim of solidarity with the Saharawi people with a commitment to driving Morocco out of Western Sahara.”