CHANGE: Through Reform or Revolution?
CHANGE: Through Reform or Revolution?
By H.T. Soweto
Five months (5) after its inauguration, the Buhari government which was swept into power in an historic election continues to enjoy perhaps the most widespread support any government has ever had. After 16 years of brutal assault on living standards and democratic rights and serial corruption by the former ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), there is an enormous and overwhelming outpouring of hope that with the allegedly incorruptible Buhari, the change Nigeria needs has finally come.
The masses’ expectation and hope are clearly understandable. After the trauma of the last 16 years which saw mass impoverishment in the midst of an over a decade-long boom, the working masses and youth of Nigeria are seized with an enormous hunger for change. But against the background of the failure of the labour movement to build a genuine mass workers’ political party that could articulate this desire, the All Progressive Congress (APC) was able to put itself forward as an alternative. This in addition to Buhari’s alleged incorruptible personae.
To many people, although not uniformly throughout the country, Buhari is a messiah armed with a magic wand. His body language alone is trusted to make things happen. According to a global survey firm, TNS, which conducted an opinion poll in August, as many as 80 percent of Nigerians are confident that president Muhammadu Buhari has the ability to fix and grow the economy. 91 percent support his anti-corruption crusade, 74 per cent think the president is performing, 55 per cent think the country is heading in the right direction while 74 percent and 78 per cent reported improved power and fuel supply respectively (Nigeria Watch – an online news medium). Similarly a survey conducted in June by NOI Polls, an opinion research agency founded by former finance minister, Okonjo Iweala, says 70 per cent of Nigerians approved Buhari’s performance in office (Punch. July 17, 2015).
These figures, overwhelming as they are, are replayed in real life during debates at bus stops, markets, workplaces, television and radio stations as well as the social media. For instance, on the occasion of Buhari’s 100 days in office, the Vanguard newspaper collated the opinion of Nigerians. One of the respondents made the following comments: “Buhari’s personality has inspired a new way of doing things in the power sector, where the fear of the consequences of under-productivity has become the beginning of wisdom. NEPA officials now realize that only doing one’s job well can justify one’s desire to keep it. Also, the improvement being witnessed in the power sector goes to show that the style and personality of a leader can make a lot of difference in a nation’s fortunes”. (Vangaurd, September 5, 2015). This comment illustrates the enormous hope many people repose in the new government and how they are quick to ascribe any little change in living condition, even when accidental, on the genius of the “new sheriff in town”.
While taking note of these enormous hope and expectations, Socialists have a duty and responsibility to warn the working masses and youth of the dangers of entertaining illusions in a capitalist government, including one headed by an allegedly righteous and incorruptible president. Of crucial importance is the need to clearly understand what change really is or should entail; whether or not the change people overwhelmingly desire is possible by simply reforming capitalism (i.e. by making the system less corrupt and efficient) as Buhari has set out to do or through a thorough revolutionary change in the economic and political structure of society as Socialists canvass.
MASS MISERY IN THE MIDST OF ABUNDANCE
Despite the abundance of all the human and material resources required to provide a happy and prosperous life for all its citizens, Nigeria is adjudged as one of the worst places to be born in. Nigeria is the biggest economy on the continent and 5th largest exporter of crude oil in the world. Yet at least 67.9 per cent of its over 170 million people live below the poverty line and about 50 million are unemployed. Blessed with more than 300 million square metres of arable land or 1.9 per cent of world arable land, yet Nigeria can hardly feed itself.
Given that this is the situation after decades of capitalism running Nigeria, Socialists argue that all of the problems and challenges that confront Nigeria can be overcome if a government that is truly committed to the welfare of the people comes to power. To do this such a government would have to mobilize all of society’s wealth on massive public works programme to rebuild failing infrastructures like roads, rail, pipe borne water and hospitals, build homes for the homeless, schools for the 10.5 million out of school children; and improve generation and supply of electricity but also expand access to thousands of homes in the countryside that are still without electricity half a century after independence.
The agricultural sector which used to be Nigeria’s key foreign exchange earner can be overhauled in a couple of years through intensive state intervention. Such state intervention would include the provision of cheap credit, fertilizers, pesticide, seeds and equipments to farmers, a fair redistribution of land and establishment of model large scale farms to demonstrate the advantage of large holdings over tillage of small plots and to accelerate sustenance in food production and cash crops. This will open up a slew of new jobs not just in farming itself but in the agro-allied industries thus helping the thousands of trained engineers, scientists, agronomists, biologists etc who often have to settle for jobs other than their professional calling.
To be clear, several of Buhari’s promised programmes are not only laudable but possible. In fact in some cases, like education and healthcare, they are not even far-reaching enough. For instance, with Nigeria’s vast resources, there is no basis for that tragic clause “Nigeria shall provide free and quality education as at when practicable” to continue to exist in our constitution! Free and functional education at all levels is very possible now. It is also quite possible to provide decent jobs for all unemployed people. The textile sector used to employ nearly a million workers in the 1980s, now it employs less than 100, 000. With a population of over 170 million Nigerians who definitely must wear cloth, a government can pump money into reviving the textile sector without suffering any loss and yet creating massive job opportunities! Over 220, 000 teachers are needed to breach the phenomenal teacher shortage in the primary and secondary schools. Nigeria is not in short supply of graduates who can fill these positions.
Our hospitals are death centres. Thousands of Nigerians die annually as a result of the dysfunctionality of the health sector and because we do not have enough doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. Nigeria is a country of immensely talented people many of whom are doing great in their professions abroad. If the right medical facilities and training are provided, we can turn our health sector around in a few years. This will require massive public funding of the health sector, employment of more medical personnel, improvement in pay and working conditions and the provision of free health care to ensure that no one is unable to receive treatment because of inability to pay. Also it is entirely possible to pay a decent monthly allowance, better than the N5, 000 promised by Buhari, to all unemployed people. So also is it possible to pay decent pension to all retirees and establish state-funded old people care facilities all across the country to ensure our parents and grandparents live a decent life in retirement.
In spite of the on-going economic crisis, it is entirely possible to raise the minimum wage to a level where the most poorly paid workers can begin to see meaningful improvements in their living standards! A living wage, which presupposes an economy and society that works for people’s needs and not profit, is equally entirely possible. The school feeding programme is not at all an ambitious programme. With Nigeria’s agricultural potentials, there is no justifiable reason why a Nigerian, more so a child, should go hungry! Because of the backward nature of farming and the reliance on food imports, the cost of food items is abysmally high leading to constant rise in inflation. State intervention in agriculture could, together with job creation and serious anti-corruption measures, crash the cost of food items while substantially reducing the estimated cost of the school feeding programme.
However, for a government to succeed in doing all of these, it must do away with all pro-market policies of privatization and deregulation and instead be devoted to uprooting the capitalist system. Such a fundamental change would mean that the country’s resources would be used in the interests of the majority, not for the profit of the few. To achieve this would entail taking into public ownership the commanding heights of the economy starting with the oil industry, banks and the financial system and placing these under democratic control and management of the working people. This is because the first question is: how will government pay for all of these social programmes if the economic levers of society are left in the hands of a tiny minority? For instance, for as long as Nigeria’s oil industry is dominated by a bunch of International Oil Companies (IOCs) alongside a few indigenous oil companies, no amount of clean up the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) receives would ensure Nigeria is able to earn enough from its massive crude oil resources. At current rate, the IOCs benefit the most and their profits are repatriated out of the country. Nationalizing the oil industry and other key economic sectors is therefore an inevitable step to ensure that far-reaching reforms in social conditions are able to succeed and sustained. However this has to be linked with a democratically managed socialist plan of the economy, which can rapidly open up the possibility of overcoming most of Nigeria’s socio-economic challenges in a few years.
Otherwise every progressive step to improve the living conditions of the working masses and youth will flounder against the barriers of the market system. Furthermore, by leaving the capitalist system intact while aiming to improve living conditions, a big chunk of society’s wealth is left in the hands of a tiny minority of enormously rich elite; meaning that not much is available to the government to carry out any of these progressive policies. Also by leaving the economic power in the hands of this tiny rich minority, a reformist government inadvertently digs its own grave. Even without control of an army or other instrument of coercion, under capitalism the rich elite and multinationals are still able to control the government because of the sheer wealth they have been able to accumulate and the role they play in the economy. With this economic might, they control political parties, parliament, media, and government institutions. And if they so decide, they can sabotage or bring down a government trying to work within the capitalist system once its reformist policies begins to threaten their profit margins and rule.
This is the exact dilemma that confronts the change mantra of the Buhari government. Can it take the difficult but politically-correct road of clashing with the market and putting to an end the capitalist system or will it try to implement reforms within the bounds of the market? To take the first road (the revolutionary road), Buhari would have to be prepared to ditch the ruling elite (his class) and join the ranks of the working masses and combative youth whose entire life and future depends on the fulfillment of his promises. This would mean building a mass movement to sweep away both the capitalist economic and political architecture including the cabals and powerful interests that are beneficiaries of the capitalist-induced condition of mass penury in the midst of abundance and wish it to continue. To take the second road of working within the capitalist system (the reformist road), Buhari would have to balance between the conflicting interests in his own political party and the political establishment hoping to satisfy these interests while saving a few pennies to implement some social programmes. This is not a revolutionary road but one of compromise and inevitably, failure to bring real change.
BUHARI: A CAPITALIST REFORMER DOOMED TO FAIL
From all indications, Buhari will follow the second road. Recently, Buhari declared he would continue with privatization policies a corner stone of capitalism. And this is not a surprise. For all his righteousness, Buhari remains a member of the ruling elite, of the Northern ruling oligarchy extraction, and has no vision of an alternative to capitalism. His promised social reforms and purported Spartan lifestyle, laudable as they are, are merely products of his personal feelings that the system could be fairer and just. But this is at best a completely illogical expectation from a system that thrives on profit. He appears “progressive” relative to other members of the ruling elite only because he still lives in and subscribes to the philosophy of a bygone capitalist era that which existed in a period just before the collapse of the Soviet Union and other Stalinist states when many capitalist leaders in Africa and other third world countries favored a policy of state intervention in the economy and controlled markets, a policy that was dumped by the onset of neo-liberal “open markets”, and pro-imperialist, policies.
Buhari came to power in 1983 and left in 1985 – four good years before the Berlin Wall came crashing down and the cold war ended. But since then, neo-liberalism or laissez-faire capitalism has taken over; largely fueled by the ideological triumphalism over the collapse of the stalinist Soviet Union which the ruling class wrongly interpreted as the defeat of socialism. Having been relieved of the constant worry of a “communist” revolution, the defenders of the capitalist system are now able to go on a rapid neo-liberal offensive cutting wages and social programmes in their tow and even in the midst of economic growth. The result is a grotesque social inequality with just 85 individuals having the same wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people in the world.
In today’s capitalist system, Buhari is an anachronism. Even in 1983 when he was a military head of state and wielded far more powers, his war against corruption which included efforts to prevent hoarding of essential goods and attempts to curb luxurious spending came up against the brick wall of the system. This is aside the enormous human rights violations his regime committed that included soldiers flogging civil servants and members of the public as well as jailing of journalists and other opponents of government. In 1984, the Buhari/Idiagbon regime carried out one of the most far-reaching attacks on public education by dismantling the cafeteria system in the public universities. As far as the regime, which came into power also in a similar period of economic crisis as we have today, was concerned, all was fair game in its efforts to curb waste and corruption in the system. No distinction existed for Buhari between the corrupt elite and the ordinary people who are victims of the capitalist system. When he was removed in a coup in 1985, there was no report of a protest. Actually many heaved a sigh of relief.
But with the passage of years and Nigerians’ subsequent experience of large-scale mega corruption and treasury looting, Buhari’s modest efforts in the 80s to rid Nigeria of corruption and especially his purported Spartan life raises the hope of millions that perhaps he could be an harbinger of the change Nigerians desire to end the vicious cycle of mass poverty in the midst of abundance. Particularly, people hope he could help to deal with corruption. Unfortunately, save for a few efforts at probing a few looters and implementing some social programmes, Buhari is bound to fail and disappoint the vast millions that daily await the fulfillment of his promises. And the reasons are not farfetched.
One is that, apart from Buhari’s own tie to capitalism, he has also come into power on a platform that cannot bring genuine change. The tragedy of the current situation in Nigeria is that the government that is seeking to implement change is formed by a political party (the All Progressive Congress) dominated by all of the crooks who have contributed in one way or the other over the last 50 years to the terrible situation Nigeria and Nigerians have found themselves. As an evidence of the first-class crooks that reside in APC, recently there was a news report that alarmed the nation for its brashness. According to the Daily Post of October 4, 2015, the news went thus:
“Kogi State APC Chairman, Alhaji Hadi Ametuo, has assured Kogi people that his party’s candidate in the forthcoming governorship poll, Prince Audu Abubakar, would return the over N11 billion he allegedly stole while in office.
“Audu is being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, for misappropriating N11 billion of the state’s funds while he was governor between 1999 and 2003.
“Responding to the questions from the media regarding Audu’s 11billion naira EFCC case, Ametuo said ‘Nobody is a saint. No governor can claim he has not done any malpractice or stolen anything during his time in the office.
“‘We heard of Saraki’s case, even Tinubu is being accused of stealing funds but the truth is that Prince Abubakar Audu has pledged to return the money to the Kogi treasury when he gets elected on the November 21st, yes he will return the 11billion naira or even more than that and that will add to the Kogi economy’.
“Ametuo, who rated Audu’s first term in the office more than the current government of Capt. Idris Wada, added that Audu deserved the electoral votes of the Kogi people due to his experience and achievements in his first time at the Lugard House”.
RIDING ON THE BACK OF A TIGER
With this kind of elements surrounding Buhari, lasting genuine change can never be possible under the APC. To ensure that a single social programme sees the light of the day, these are the kind of elements Buhari will have to first negotiate with, appease and satisfy. The trial of the senate President Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) indicates just the sort of sordid and shady characters that are in control of state power and would have direct influence on the direction of governance. And to be sure, there are worse crooks than these in the APC who are not yet exposed to the public. For instance, Buhari’s choice of ministers after a prolonged 4-month wait shows that regardless of Buhari’s famous inauguration day declaration that he belongs to everybody and to nobody, there is no way he can run his government without taking care of special interests. Many of the names he eventually nominated were so predictable that Buhari could have formed his cabinet a week after inauguration, instead of five months after. Many of Buhari’s ministers are the same elements who worked on his campaign and for months have been touted in public as possible nominees.
No doubt there must have been many reasons for the long wait including the official excuse that Buhari needed to do some groundwork first before announcing his ministers. But also very likely is that Buhari came under intense pressure and that the process of negotiation and appeasement of the principalities and powers within and outside the party necessarily took months to accomplish before a satisfactory list could emerge. As Ayo Akinfe, writer for London-based Nigerian Watch, put it “Nigeria is yet to find a way to reward party grandees other than offer them appointments and government contracts” (Quoted in “Nigeria: Buhari’s government begins to take shape, but it’s not over yet” by Lagun Akinloye published in African Arguments 6/10/2015).
Even as a capitalist leader, Buhari may be sincere. But aside his ideological shortcomings, he has found himself on a platform where none of his aspirations are shared. For the grandees of the APC, Buhari was a winning card to claw their way into political power at the centre and once there, the whole lofty aspirations of change they publicly identified with during campaigns do not count anymore. What count now are their interests. For capitalist politicians, especially the sort on the African continent, political power is the pathway to wealth accumulation. They spent millions on Buhari’s campaign; now is the time to be compensated. And where their interests are blocked or checkmated, they can go to any extreme including defying the party as Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives speaker Yakubu Dogara did during the national assembly leadership controversy. And they can do more in similar circumstances. Five months of the APC in power and all of these sordid characteristics of the Nigerian neo-colonial capitalist politicians’ lust for power as a means for personal aggrandizement has already manifested. How much more the next three and a half years? Buhari’s dilemma is akin to that faced by someone riding on the back of a tiger; he may end up as the tiger’s dinner.
This and many more is why Socialists continue to hammer on the need to build a mass working class political alternative to campaign for a socialist alternative to capitalism. Regardless of his alleged righteousness, Buhari is just a man. There is little, if anything, one righteous person can do in the midst of a thousand thieves! Achieving real change requires not just one righteous man but a mass movement of hundreds of thousands and millions who are committed to changing the status quo.
This is in addition to the ideological contradiction that is bound to open up within the APC between the Statists represented by Buhari and those, apparently in the majority within the party, committed to lazzez faire capitalism especially anti-poor policies of privatization and deregulation.
A picture of this contradiction manifested recently when Buhari come out fully to declare that his government would not withdraw fuel subsidy because of its negative impacts on the poor and would instead work to improve refining capacity of the refineries so that Nigeria does not have to import petroleum products. This no doubt is significant for an incumbent president! But in the same breadth, the Buhari administration not only declared to continue with privatization but the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently told a gathering of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) that further increase in electricity tariff is inevitable.
More of these contradictions would emerge in the coming period. Among Buhari’s ministers are notable champions of neo-liberalism like former Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and former Lagos State Governor, Tunde Fashola. While pouring accolades on Fashola’s alleged performance as Lagos State governor, the media (especially foreign ones) often fail to mention that, very much like Charles Dickens’ Tale of two Cities, Fashola succeeded in building two Lagos one for the rich and the other for the poor. Under Fashola’s reign in Lagos, the living conditions of the working people and poor masses were relentlessly attacked under the guise of transforming Lagos into a megacity. To create room for development that benefits the rich, poor people’s homes in communities like Ijora Badia etc were demolished without compensation. Okada (motorcycle taxis) riders were banned or restricted from many roads leading to loss of income to nearly a million unemployed youth who take to this job for survival. In addition, Fashola’s flagship education policy was no other than the increase of fees at the Lagos State University from N25, 000 to N350, 000. It took mass struggle of the students and workers of the University supported by the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) and other civil society organizations for this monstrous hike to be reversed three years later.
With these sorts of elements working with Buhari for the next three and a half years, it could mean that even Buhari’s resolve not to remove fuel subsidy might be defeated and a new policy issued which would see subsidy removed, refineries sold and fuel price hitting the roof. Already the government is taking serious flaks over its decision not to devalue the naira a third time. But all these could change when a substantive finance minister who is more amenable to the demands of the global capitalist system takes over. That Buhari cannot hold up against entrenched interests is shown by how fast the government retreated and unbanned 113 vessels it had initially banned from lifting Nigeria’s crude for involvement in oil theft. Moreso as the economic crisis worsens so also would pressure increase on Buhari to consider the advice and prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
However pressure from neo-liberal sharks would not be the only factor that will succeed in pushing Buhari government. Concerted pressure through struggles from the labour movement, students’ movement and communities can succeed in forcing concessions from him as well. The recent retreat of the government on the question of subsidy withdrawal is an indication of this. Obviously this will be temporary but it does show that struggle can win. Actually, Buhari government would be a very unstable one that would have to balance precariously between satisfying the interests of millions of voters and meeting the mandates of capitalism. Especially as expectations are very high, the government will be careful not to disappoint at this initial stage.
This therefore provides opportunities for the labour movement to advance the interests of the workers and poor masses on a range of issues like the need for a new national minimum wage, provision of jobs for the teeming population of unemployed, increased funding of education and implementation of agreements reached with unions etc. But this can only happen, not through timid appeals to the conscience of the government, but if labour shows through its conducts and actions that it is prepared to go to any length to actualize these demands including calling a nationwide strike action and mass protest. We stress this point particularly because the way and manner the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has been relating with the Buhari government since its inauguration leave much to be desired. Recent public statements of the NLC in particular have tended to sow illusion in the ability of a capitalist government to resolve all of the contradictions and crises in which society and the working masses have found themselves. On the issue of corruption for instance, the NLC has assumed the unfortunate position of a cheerleader.
From all intents and purposes, it appears that the labour leadership believes that the Buhari government would yield to workers’ demands without a serious fight. This perspective is a dangerous one that if not corrected will in the long run spell doom for the interests of the working class and poor masses. What the labour leadership fails to understand is that against the background of the capitalist economic crisis, the Buhari government will, aside a few token concessions here and there, want to avoid meeting the most crucial demands of the working masses for improvement in their conditions. Especially when it comes to those demands that can directly threaten the interests of the profit system, the government will most likely resist meeting them. It is therefore essential that the labour leadership and labour movement understand that class collaborationism does not pay. Only spirited mass struggle and the preparedness of the powerful labour movement to bare its fang can win concessions and respite for the long-suffering workers, youth and poor masses of Nigeria.
However, on the basis of capitalism, whatever concessions are won would be temporary which raises the need for the labour movement to lead a movement to defeat capitalism and enthrone a democratic socialist alternative. To do this, the labour movement would have to revisit the question of building a mass working class political party that stands for the collective interests of the working masses. As presently constituted, the Labour Party (LP) does not represent the class interests of the working masses. To this end, the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) calls for a conference of all trade unions, socialist groups, civil societies and pro-masses organizations to discuss and deliberate on the ways and manner a new mass workers political alternative could be built to lead the revolutionary struggle to change society.
Above all, the on-going economic crisis afflicting Nigeria will seriously checkmate how much of Buhari’s promises he is able to fulfill. Due to this crisis, government crude oil earnings has dropped dramatically and the national currency devalued by about 23 per cent. If Buhari had been elected in a period of economic boom, perhaps he could have had the opportunity of big reserves and savings to dip into to finance social programmes whilst preserving capitalism. But in a capitalist system faced with an economic crisis and a fast diminishing savings, Buhari will inevitably implement austerity measures which will severely hurt the working class, youth and poor masses. This is moreso because he is not prepared to look beyond capitalism. Meanwhile the economic crisis underscores the impracticability of the capitalist system and the need for an alternative that can ensure that economic growth impacts positively on the living standards of the mass majority.
Buhari government already announced support for planned increase in electricity tariff is an indication of what more to expect. This will be seen as a big betrayal by communities already up in struggle for the past 6 months against distribution companies over crazy and exploitative bills. Many will rightly interpret it to mean that despite all its change mantra, Buhari government defends the interest of the private investors instead of that of poor people and communities. On this and many other issues like minimum wage, education and cost of living, struggles will break out in the coming period all of which will shake up mass consciousness allowing the working masses and youth to begin to draw revolutionary conclusions of the need for a socialist alternative.
Without mincing words, no meaningful and thorough-going change can happen unless the iniquitous economic and political system of capitalism is dismantled. This is because Nigeria’s socio-economic malaise including the insidious menace of corruption is rooted in the capitalist neo-liberal arrangement which places premium on profit over people’s needs. For instance, corruption is an inevitable corollary of an unjust capitalist socio-economic arrangement that makes a few individuals multi- billionaires while the mass majority wallow in misery and squalor. Fighting corruption as Buhari wants to do, without ending the system that breeds it is a futile venture that can only result in the trial and imprisonment of a few looters while the corruption continues to thrive. At the worst, the anti-corruption war may even end up as a tool to get at the regime’s political opponents rather than a sincere step to clean up the government. For if the anti-corruption war is to be really fought, perhaps not one politician of the APC including the ministerial nominees can emerge without blemish. But a real sweeping out of corruption can only be achieved by the mass of the population taking democratic control over society and the economy and thereby ending looting.
The same goes for Buhari’s war against insurgency. Boko Haram and the condition of insecurity pervading the nation are creations of the terrible social conditions in which vast army of educated and uneducated youth roam the street unemployed and hungry, along with the state’s long history of repression. Against this background, there is no amount of military effort that can permanently end insurgency and insecurity. This is already obvious from the way, after they were routed in Sambisa forest and other previously-held territories, the Boko Haram insurgency has now festered with the possibility of suicide bombings taking place anywhere. It is very unlikely that the 3-month deadline, which ends in December, given to the military to end the insurgency will be met. Unless, and this is a very remote possibility, government is able to reach a deal with the insurgents. It is remote because Boko Haram is already a fractured group with no obvious centralized command centre making the possibility of a deal very unlikely.
Only by building a genuine mass movement committed to ending the system that breeds crime and insurgency and taking control of society’s wealth and mobilizing this to provide jobs, homes, education, sustenance and a decent life for all can we begin to rid Nigeria of this terrible tragedy. To be sure, socialists fight for reforms. This is the essence of our active and energetic participation in struggles against fee hike, for free education, for minimum age, against retrenchment, for defense of democratic rights etc. However, even while we fight for reforms and know that struggle can win concessions, Socialists are conscious of the fact that no real improvement in people’s conditions can be permanently won so far the capitalist system remains. This is why our struggle for reforms goes hand in hand with organizing for an end to capitalism and revolutionary transformation of society. Permanent and genuine change is impossible through reform, only through the Socialist revolution.
At the six-week coaching were 450 students who, like thousands of others, could have had nowhere to go were the coaching not provided for free. They are 450 additional reasons government must provide free, public funded and quality education at all levels. At the closing ceremony, gifts and awards were given out to students who excelled in their different subjects. Drama, singing sessions, comedy and poetry presentation were also made by the children.