DSM CALLS ON NLC AND TUC TO BUILD LABOUR PARTY AS A MASS BASED WORKING CLASS PARTY IN EDO STATE AS A
DSM CALLS ON NLC AND TUC TO BUILD LABOUR PARTY AS A MASS BASED WORKING CLASS PARTY IN EDO STATE AS A MEANS TO RESOLVING THE CRISIS
Mr. Lateef Adams, For Edo State Chapter of the DSM
The Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) regrets the negative turn of events in Edo state Labour Party. What started as a purely internal development within the Party has now degenerated into worrisome situation wherein the police sealed up the Party’s state secretariat. Way back on December 22 2009, a group of individuals claiming to involve representatives of the Party from 15 out of the 18 Local Governments Area (LGA) in Edo State held what was called a special state congress at the end of which the substantive state party executives was dissolved and in its place a Transition Committee was put in place to organize an election within 3 months to fill the party posts at the state level. Two reasons were adduced by the organizers of that meeting which informed their decisions:
1. They accused the state leadership of the party headed by Dr. John Ogbeide of having manipulated the processes of choosing delegates for the National Convention of the Labour Party which held at Abuja between 11 and 12 of December, 2009.
2. Dr. John Ogbeide’s leadership was equally accused of having overstayed its tenure of office and for failure to organize new elections as stipulated in the party’s constitution.
The consequent effort of those elements chosen by the special congress to take over the party secretariat, and other relevant materials, and the resistance of the state officers allegedly removed from office by the special congress is what apparently resulted in the police sealing up the Party secretariat allegedly to prevent the dispute to become violent.
THE TRANSITION COMMITTEE
Frankly speaking, the issues/allegations raised against the state Party leadership by the state special congress are very fundamental and germane to the building of the Labour Party as a true political platform of the working class and the oppressed strata. In fact, members of the DSM nationally, especially through the Campaign for a Mass-Based Labour Party (CMB-LP), a pressure group made up of trade union activists, socialists, working class elements, have been making similar demands including opening of the Party’s activities and membership to ordinary working class elements and youths.
Most significantly however, we observe the unusual rapidity with which the special congress in issue was called and that 15 of the 18 Local Government Areas (LGA) were represented with about 500 party members. Our surprise is simply informed by the fact that prior to this special congress, the individuals that spear-headed the congress in issue have never been known through relevant Party structures and among rank and file Party members to be campaigning over the issues for which the Ogbeide led leadership has now been dissolved.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE
It will be an unpardonable political crime to allow the current face-off to paralyse the Labour Party’s activities in Edo State. We therefore call on the state leaderships of the NLC and TUC, together with genuine change seeking working class elements, to immediately step into this rift with a view to find a quick and democratically accepted solution. Among other things, the NLC and TUC need to step up their participation and activities in building Labour Party as a genuine party of the working masses and all oppressed elements. This can be done through campaigns and struggles against all anti-poor policies of the ruling class, as well as fighting and be seen to be fighting for the day-to-day improvement in the living conditions of the masses. This in our opinion is the surest way to discourage a situation where the Labour Party becomes just another party for political careerists and hustlers.
Specifically, the NLC, TUC leaders and rank and file members of the Party must insist that a new democratically composed and embracing electoral panel be constituted to oversee the election of Party officers at state and local government levels within the shortest period of time. This is the best way to address all relevant issues pertaining to the building of the Party as well as giving opportunity to prospective candidates to come up openly with their political as well as organizational ideas needed to take the party forward in Edo State. The NLC and TUC leaders in Edo State, as well as rank and file members of the Labour Party, must collectively insist that the police authority must immediately lift its siege of the Edo State’s secretariat of the Labour Party.
At a time, when the utter failure and corruption of the ruling capitalist parties (PDP, ANPP, AC, APGA, etc) have become more apparent to the generality of the people accompanied with a deep desire for an alternative political party that can end mass misery in the midst of abundance, the Edo State Labour Party cannot afford to provide an excuse for the capitalist elite to paralyse the growth of Labour Party in Edo State and nationally. We hereby warn that this negative turn of event is inevitable should the NLC and TUC fail to build the Labour Party as a mass based working class political party amongst the rank and file workers and other oppressed strata, not just in Edo state, but also across the federation.