A Pact with Osun People
A Pact with Osun People
Being the SPN Manifesto of Barrister Alfred Adegoke for Governor of Osun State
The masses in Osun State are suffering from serious economic and social crises, more than ever before. The reasons for this are well known:
- More than 30 months’ arrears of half-salaries and half-pensions are owed;
- Fractional salaries are being paid to workers;
- The state is in a serious debt crisis;
- Provision of social services like education and health care is poor;
- Uncompleted and abandoned projects litter the state;
- Poverty has become the lots of the majority; and
- Government imposition of exploitative tax on the already suffering poor masses, and their small businesses.
Upon these, politicians and officials under the current government have become sudden millionaires and billionaires. If allowed to continue, the APC government will further plunge the state into worse crisis. At the same time, the masses should not put their hope in PDP, SDP and other capitalist parties because they do not have any fundamental solutions to the crises created by the Aregbesola/APC government as they operate on the same anti-poor capitalist ideology that APC operate with.
Why we are in the race for Governor
It is because of the above reasons that the SPN is raising a workers’, farmers’ and peasants’ socialist banner to provide a real alternative to working people, youths and the poor masses in Osun State. The struggle to rescue Osun State is enormous. This is why we have started in earnest to provide the alternative socialist banner. SPN, with its track record of defending the interests of the working people, youth and the oppressed, will be providing the platform for the working people, youth and the poor to form a formidable force to defeat their oppressors.
Comrade Alfred Adegoke has been a longtime activist and socialist, who has committed close to 30 years of his life to emancipation of working people. He was the Secretary General of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Students’ Union in 1988/89. He was also a major figure in the anti-military rule struggle. He was a national mobilization officer of the Joint Action Committee of Nigeria (JACON), led by the legendary late Gani Fawehinmi that led the struggle against the Abacha monstrous regime. He is a lawyer of over 25 years’ experience, and has used his legal resources to defend the poor, students, youths and workers. He was a prominent figure in the struggles of Osun State workers and retirees against poor working conditions, unpaid salaries and pensions since the Bisi Akande/AD and Oyinlola/PDP era. He hails from Agbeye town in Odo-Otin Local Government of Osun State. He is happily married with children.
What we plan to do
The SPN is committed to implement the following pro-poor and pro-working class socialist programmes. These are:
1. Governor and all political office holders will be on workers’ salaries without jumbo allowance
2. End the rule of fractional/half salaries, pensions and gratuities. SPN will immediately pay full salaries, pensions and gratuities of workers and retirees. SPN will also pay all arrears of salaries and pensions, and gratuities, currently owed workers and retirees in Osun State, within the shortest possible time, but based on open democratic discussions and agreement with workers and pensioners.
We shall do this by immediately ending fraudulent and frivolous spending including huge emoluments for political appointees and politicians in public office, security votes, stoppage to unjustified deductions from state allocations, etc. We shall also block all loopholes used by politicians to waste our resources. Transparent and regular public accounting of how this money is spent shall be rendered from time to time.
No official of an SPN government will collect salary when workers have not received theirs.
3. End to exploitative tax regime that places huge tax burden on the poor but allow the rich few to continue to amass more wealth. SPN will implement progressive tax policy in favour of the poor.
4. Massive spending on social infrastructures like education, health, mass housing and water projects, etc. Through this, we hope to put youths and able-bodied citizens in decent, regular and pensionable jobs with right to join a trade union, as against the fraudulent and exploitative volunteer job schemes like OYES and NPower, and so-called ‘entrepreneurship schemes’.
5. End to the fraudulent contract system, which has been used by current and previous governments to pilfer away several billions of naira, and throw the state into needless debt crisis of not less than N200 billion. SPN government will review all contracts entered into by all previous governments, and all looted funds through fraudulent contracts and other means will be recovered. We will end all unjustified and fraudulent contracts entered into by previous governments. We will set-up democratic probe committees comprising representatives of workers, retirees, youth, communities, other social groups and the government, etc. to recover our stolen and looted monies.
6. While ending the fraudulent contract system, SPN government will equip the Ministry of Works with adequate equipment, machineries, expertise and manpower to undertake mass public works programmes such as mass building of schools, hospitals, roads, mass housing, water-works, mass electrification etc. This will be done under the supervision of committees comprising representatives of workers, communities, relevant professional groups and government. All uncompleted projects will be completed within the best possible time.
7. Provision of free and quality education, healthcare and water supply for all. SPN will cancel all fees in all public primary and secondary schools, and reduce fees in higher institutions to affordable level. SPN will invest in expansion of facilities in all schools and tertiary institutions including building of adequate number of classrooms, lecture rooms, hostels, laboratories, libraries and workshops. More teachers and non-academic staff will be employed on regular basis. Potable water supply will be provided in all communities and homes at affordable rates.
8. SPN will embark on crash programme to rebuild all health facilities across the state. New health facilities and hospitals will be built; while adequate medical and health workers will be employed. Working conditions of health and medical workers will be improved upon, while all outstanding welfare and training issues will be resolved. SPN government will prioritize preventive medicine as much as curative medicine.
9. Running of educational institutions, schools and health institutions will be reviewed to allow for democratic involvement of teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, students, medical officers, non-medical staff and communities, in the running, monitoring and supervision of schools, educational institutions and health institutions.
10. Adequate funding in agriculture and agro-allied sector. SPN government will provide machineries, equipment and inputs in all local governments for poor farmers and peasants to access at an affordable rate. Funds will also be provided for farmers’ cooperatives, while government will establish state farms/plantations and provide basic infrastructure (roads, hospitals, schools, potable water, housing etc.) in farm settlements and rural areas so as to put tens of thousands into jobs and ensure food sufficiency. Agro allied industries will also be set up to process some of agricultural inputs.
11. SPN government will invest in industrialization. Osun State is blessed with mineral and agricultural resources, which an SPN government will harness to the full use of the state. We will utilize our local resources like sand, granite, etc. to undertake many of our projects.
12. SPN government in Osun will create an open and thoroughly democratic government involving relevant stakeholders like workers, trade unions and associations, communities, artisans, professional groups, etc. in government policy making and implementation. We will also institutionalize democratic local government system that will be responsible to local communities. SPN government in Osun State will support the genuine struggles and demands of working people, youths and the poor masses throughout Nigeria for improvement in their living conditions.
13. SPN Osun Governor will lead campaigns for the nationalization of public resources (e.g. oil and gas), assets, enterprises, and the capitalist class’s wealth. It is only by nationalization of the major sections of the economy and their democratic management that massive public wealth going to private pockets will be recovered and used to meet the needs of all.