LABOUR PARTY NATIONAL CONVENTION 2009
Campaign for Mass Based Labour Party (CMB-LP):
LABOUR PARTY NATIONAL CONVENTION 2009
LABOUR PARTY FOR POWER IN 2011
- Labour Party for Labouring Masses
- Open Up the Party for Mass Recruitment, Set Membership Target
- Trade Unions Must Actively Participate and Mobilise Rank and File Workers
- Contest Elections with Democratically Elected Credible Candidates
This Labour Party Convention meets at a time of unmitigated socio-economic crises. The country is in deep decline. The Federal government hardly functions and when it acts, like on deregulation, it does so only in the interests of the robber elite. The trade unions are forced repeatedly to struggle against government policies. This is why a working peoples’ government is the goal, which the Labour Party and the trade unions should strive for.
The trade unions have taken the correct position in opposing the deregulation policy of the Yar’Adua government. It is the duty and responsibility of the Labour Party to help mobilize the working masses across the country in support of the struggle to defeat this anti-poor policy.
Consequently, the Campaign for Mass Based Labour Party (CMB-LP) calls on the delegates and Labour Party leadership to use the occasion of this National Convention to reposition the party for its historical task of leading workers and poor masses to wrest political power from the self-serving, thieving, inefficient and corrupt ruling elites at all levels.
The CMB-LP is a Pan-Nigerian campaign body set up by labour activists, progressive trade union officials, socialists, and rank and file workers, with the sole task of mass recruitment of working class elements into the Labour Party and reinvigorating the party’s activities.
We hold strongly that Labour Party has huge potentials to mobilize change-seeking workers, professionals, artisans, traders, youths, students and poor masses. It is therefore incumbent on the Party leaders, Labour leaders and pro-masses activists to strive to maximize this potential and build the party as a formidable, mass based political movement that could wrest power from the corrupt ruling elite and use the wealth of the country for the benefit of all.
The importance of this task can never be overemphasized, as on the daily basis it is confirmed that the ever-increasing problems the Nigerian workers and masses are facing can only be resolved by taking power out of the hands of the ruling elite. This can only take place by the working class building its own political party and employing the democratic rights it has won to take political power and change the society.
It is unfortunate that since the party came into existence in 2002, it has not considered it seriously the contest for political power. In most states, the beliefs of the leadership is that the party is not ripe for power, while in most cases where the party contested it is just to provide platform for politicians who had lost out in their original parties. We consider this belittling for a party with huge potential and enormous goodwill as the Labour Party.
Therefore, as the 2011 general elections approach, we would like the party to arrive at a far reaching resolution in the interest of workers and poor masses who look up to it as the most viable platform against ceaseless neo-liberal attacks, official corruption and bad governance. In other words, we strongly advocate that this Convention should resolve to build the Labour Party as a formidable working class political alternative that could wrest power from the thieving elite and usher in a government that will guarantee basic needs of all (education, health care, housing, decent jobs, potable water, power, etc), infrastructure development and a much better society.
This National Convention should resolve to contest elections from Councillors up to President with credible candidates and genuine pro-people programme. Never again should our great party be reduced to dumping ground of political rejects or commodity on sale for interested corrupt, anti poor politicians. With the veritable social base of workers, youths, artisans, professionals and poor masses, the party has capacity to defeat any political party. The examples of Ondo and Edo states graphically attest to this assertion. Even though, in Edo state Comrade Adams Oshiomhole contested on the platform of the Action Congress, the facts on the ground show that it was his inimitable credentials as Labour leader, who led workers and ordinary Nigerians in the struggle against attacks on living standards, as well as the formidable foot soldiers constituted by members of the Labour Party during and after the poll that ensured his emergence as the governor. While the roles of the judiciary in ensuring that justice eventually prevailed are commendable in both Ondo and Edo states, the fact is that the overwhelming mass support the party and candidates enjoyed from the working masses should have made a contrary decision by the judiciary utterly unwise – thus plunging the states into abyss of violent protests like happened in Ondo in 1983.
We believe that Comrade Oshiomhole should quit the AC and join in the building of Labour Party, both nationally and in Edo State, and that the Labour Party in Edo state should contest the local government and 2011 State Assembly elections independently.
Nationally, this Convention should resolve that the party will not join a so-called mega party which is going to be peopled by self-serving elements who share similar anti-poor, neo-liberal programme with the PDP. They are not opposed to deregulation and privatization of key sectors of the economy just like the PDP. The Labour Party can be built as the genuine mega party if, in and out of offices, it identifies with the daily struggles of workers and poor masses for improved living and working conditions, join forces with other pro-working people groupings and trade unions on specific issues like struggles against anti-poor neo-liberal policies like deregulation and privatization, and embrace a pro-working class programme. With this the party will attract millions of supporters and defeat the PDP and any other party without any polluting alliances.
However, there is no way of talking electoral politics without recruiting members and building structures. The fact is that in some states like Lagos the party is not open to workers and others who want to join. Worse still, there are no functional secretariats and structures. We therefore call on this Convention to resolve on the programme of mass recruitment into the party and building of functional party structures at workplaces, ward and local government areas and state levels, and all must have fully functional and democratically elected leaderships.
Unfortunately, Labour Party is largely only Labour in name; the proportion of workers as members is very low. This is because there have not been conscious efforts to popularize the party among workers and other working people elements. We call on the Trade Unions to support moves to popularize the party and mobilize workers in thousands to join the party, and run the party democratically.
The CMB-LP insists that the tasks of building a formidable Labour Party are the responsibility of all. The leadership of the Trade Unions and the Party as well as workers must therefore play the historical role expected of them and build this great party.
We call on the delegates to resolve on programme and activities towards actualization of the following: