Nigeria urges Spain to embrace dialogue with Catalonia as pro-independence group calls for fresh protests


The Federal Government, on Friday, urged Spanish Government to embrace dialogue and reach peaceful solution with Catalonia following its recent declaration of independence.
In a statement by Mr Tope Elias-Fatile, the Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, government noted that the need to embrace dialogue was in the interest of peaceful coexistence between both parties.
He stated that government had “watched with keen interest” recent developments in Spain and encouraged parties to act within the framework of the constitution.
“We are confident in the ability of the Spanish Government and its institutions to resolve the issue amicably and secure the unity and territorial integrity of Spain.”
In November 2015, Catalan lawmakers approved a plan for secession from Spain by 2017 with a majority vote.
The plan was suspended by Spanish Constitutional Court, but the Catalan Government insisted that it would go ahead with the plan despite the suspension.
The Catalan Government in June 2017 announced that an independence referendum would be held on Oct. 1.
Spanish courts, however, declared the referendum illegal, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Catalonia ordered the seizure of equipment related to the referendum.
The Catalan Government, however, went ahead with the independence referendum on October 1, which was reportedly controversial.
On October 10, Catalonia’s Regional President, Carles Puigdemont, signed a declaration of independence and the parliament voted to declare independence on October 22.
In response, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dismissed the Executive Council of Catalonia, dissolved the Parliament of Catalonia and called for regional election on December 21.
Meanwhile, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), a pro-independence organisation in Catalonia, on Friday called for street demonstrations at the region’s city halls, in protest against the pre-trial detention of former regional government officials.
“Today at 7 p.m., we want everyone in front of the city hall to demand freedom of political prisoners,’’ the ANC said in a Twitter post.
It added that “`they will not silence the voice of a free people!”.
The ANC and another pro-independence group, Omnium Cultural, had also scheduled another
mass protest for Nov. 12.
Meanwhile, major regional trade union — CSC — called for general strike on Nov. 8.
The Spanish National Court on Thursday ordered pre-trial detention without bail for eight former members of Catalonia’s ousted regional government, including ex-vice president, Oriol Junqueras.
A ninth former member of the regional government, Santi Vila, was released on Friday after posting bail of 50,000 euros (58,300 dollars).
The lawyer for Catalonia’s former president, Carles Puigdemont, who is currently in Belgium, on Thursday told a Belgian broadcaster that his client was the subject of a European arrest warrant, although there has been no confirmation of the warrant from Spain.
The leaders of both the ANC and Omnium Cultural, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, have been in pre-trial detention since October 17.
Sanchez and Cuixart were both charged with sedition for their role in mass protests in the lead-up to Catalonia’s disputed October 1 referendum on independence.
The Spanish central government dismissed Puigdemont’s secessionist regional leadership hours after the Catalan parliament in Barcelona voted to proclaim an independent republic on October 27.


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