A CALL FOR COLLABORATION TO BUILD THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF NIGERIA (SPN)
A CALL FOR COLLABORATION TO BUILD THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF NIGERIA (SPN)
- An Open Letter to Trade Unions, CSOs and Change-Seeking Individuals
By Chinedu Bosah, SPN National Secretary
The formation of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) was initiated in 2013 by the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) in alliance with working class, students and youth activists across the country who are disenchanted with the dominant pro-rich political parties (PDP, APC, APGA etc.), the failure of the Labour Party and were seeking a new political alternative.
Now that the SPN has been registered following a legal battle that lasted three and a half years , we are calling for collaboration with genuine-minded Nigerians who share our ideals about the urgent necessity to usher in a new political dispensation for the country. We charge labour leaders and activists, students, youth and ordinary Nigerians who are desirous of a new Nigeria to consider supporting and joining the SPN as a crucial necessity. This is because without doing so and given the absence of a mass working class political alternative, the fate of the mass of impoverished and long-suffering Nigerians will once more be left to be decided, during the 2019 general elections and beyond, by the dominant pro-rich capitalist parties who have no agenda whatsoever of resolving any of the socio-economic crises the country is enmeshed in.
WHO CAN BE A MEMBER OF THE SPN?
You do not have to already be a socialist to become a member of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN). You only need to accept the above-outlined programmes of the party and commit to work together with other party members to spread these programmes among the mass of the people and build the party in all nooks and cranny of the country.
The SPN is a broad party hoping to bring together all Nigerians who are angry, disenchanted and fed up with the failure of governance in this country to chart a new course for Nigeria in the interests of working people, the poor and oppressed. We believe that the working class and the poor masses must organize politically because only they can find a true solution to Nigeria’s crises. Any member of the capitalist ruling class that claims to want to resolve the crisis of Nigeria is only deceiving the people. This has been proved by the dismal failure of the Buhari/APC government over the past three years.
We are therefore very confident that in the daily efforts of the working class and downtrodden to fight for a better Nigeria, they will through their experience eventually come to the conclusion as we have already done that only the replacement of outmoded capitalist system with a democratic socialist system will put a permanent end to the condition of mass misery in the midst of abundance that Nigeria is enmeshed in.
HOW IS THE SPN DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?
The SPN is led by Nigerians many of whom are notable activists with credible antecedent in the struggle of the labour movement, students’ movement, civil society and community campaigns. The SPN is a party of workers, youth, farmers, artisans, students and the downtrodden. These are the layers of Nigerians who are not represented by the dominant political parties and who are often adversely affected by the pro-rich capitalist policies of successive governments. These are the people the SPN wants to organize and activate into political action.
As a result the SPN has no godfathers. The party is owned and controlled by all members. This is not just a political statement, our emergence and the internal regime of the party proves this fact to be true. The party is funded through the membership fee of all members. In order to ensure that the downtrodden have a place in our party, our membership fee is the cheapest in the country. Students and unemployed members pay a minimum of N100 monthly membership fee while worker’s pay a minimum of N200 monthly. We say minimum which means anyone who can afford to pay a higher rate is equally welcomed.
The basic requirement for membership are, aside from what the Nigerian Constitution and Electoral Law say, acceptance of the party’s programmes and regular attendance of meetings/party activities and payment of monthly membership fee. All party members are qualified to hold elective posts in the party at all levels and also to fly the flag of the party for public offices at any level from LGA to States and the Federal level. We charge and accept no nomination fee to select the party’s candidates for public offices. Also the burden of electoral campaign financing will be jointly borne out by all members of the party through financial contributions instead of the practice in the dominant parties like PDP, APC, APGA etc. wherein only party members with deep pockets or rich backers can ever dare to fly the party flag because of the enormous cost.
Our mission in the SPN is to break the monopoly of rich politicians on the electoral space, end the rule of corruption and looting and to clear the way for the mass of the working people and the downtrodden to change the country’s direction. We want to demystify the idea that only some so-called “experts”, “career politicians” or “professionals” can hold political offices by activating ordinary Nigerians e.g. workers, artisans, teachers, doctors, nurses, market men and women, farmers, students young and ordinary Nigerians etc. who believe in service and fundamental change rather than looting to vie for and occupy political offices.
All candidates who win political offices on the platform of the SPN shall accept nothing more than the average wage of a civil servant as salary and allowances in the respective offices they won in addition to incidental expenses in the course of their duty. The remainder shall be donated to the party as well as used periodically to support the struggles of workers, students, youth and communities in their daily resistance against anti-poor policies. By putting ordinary people in power, our objective is to have a society run in the interests of the poor who are the majority. But for too long, the members of the billionaire’s club or their proxies are the ones who vie and win political offices and the result is that they run governance in the interest of their own class alone abandoning the workers and poor people.
Last but not the least, the SPN is not merely an electoral machine. We see election as another theatre equally as important as other theatres of the struggle of the working class and downtrodden against oppression and exploitation. In the workplace, campuses and communities, the working people and youth suffer atrocious attacks on their rights and conditions and struggles are breaking out in these places. The SPN will always stand shoulder to shoulder with workers, youth and oppressed people at the barricade to jointly struggle against attacks on their rights and for improvement in their conditions.
THE SPN NEEDS YOU; WILL YOU JOIN US?
The SPN needs your support to be able to serve as a political alternative to the mass of Nigerians who are angry and fed up with the status quo. While we continue to call on the labour movement to form and build a mass working peoples’ party, the SPN can serve as an important political vehicle to begin to organize now the mass of people who need genuine change. We urge you to join us today to begin to build the party on every streets, neighbourhoods, workplaces, wards, LGAs, States and across the country.
If you need further discussion or physical meeting to discuss whatever questions or suggestions you may have concerning our programmes, the nature of our party, the need for a mass workers’ party and/or what role you can play in the SPN, please do not hesitate to call on us and we will gladly oblige. We would welcome the opportunity to speak to any trade union, community, youth or cultural group about our party and how we could work together.
OUR PROGRAMME IN BRIEF
1. The SPN stands for the following:
2. Provision of free and functional public education,
3. Free and functional public health care
4. Job creation to absorb all unemployed graduates and non-graduates
5. Payment of living wage to all category of workers
6. An end to contract staffing, piece rate, crazy target and other exploitative anti-labour practices in all workplaces whether public or private
7. Unemployment benefit and genuine social welfare scheme to those in need
8. Immediate crash public programme to overhaul public infrastructure e.g. roads, air, sea and rail transportation
9. A crash public programme to build affordable, low cost housing estates across the country to bring an end to homeless and slum housing conditions
10. Reversal of the failed privatization of the power sector and re-nationalization of the sector under democratic workers and consumers control
11. Immediate repair of existing refineries and building of new ones to end perennial scarcity and high prices of petroleum products
12. An end to private ownership of the economy. In accordance with Chapter 2, Section 16, subsection 2 (c) of the 1999 constitution, the SPN stands for public ownership and public democratic control and management of the oil and gas sector, mines, banks as well as other key sectors of the national economy in order to end mass poverty and inequality and mobilize the resources of the country for infrastructure and economic developments
13. Recall of all victimized (e.g. sacked, suspended, dismissed, illegally detained/imprisoned etc.) activists in the labour, students and community movements and respect of democratic rights of workers, youth and all communities and ethnic groups
14. A genuine, all-inclusive and transparent anti-corruption fight that will begin with the reduction of the salaries and allowances of political office holders to the average wage of civil servant as well as diligent prosecution and seizure of the ill-gotten wealth of looters
15. Immediate and comprehensive plan to modernize agriculture, ensure massive public investment and assist small crop and livestock farmers in order to guarantee food security and also end farmer/herder clashes.
16. A just and egalitarian Nigeria under which the democratic rights of all people including ethnic and religious minorities will be respected including their right to determine their own fate.