NIGERIA ON THE BRINK: INSECURITY, INFLATION, POVERTY AND A GOVERNMENT WITH NO ANSWERS
ONLY THE COMING TO POWER OF A WORKERS AND POOR PEOPLE’S GOVERNMENT BASED ON SOCIALIST PROGRAMMES CAN SAVE IT
WE CONDEMN NBC’S THREAT OF SANCTION AGAINST CHANNELS TELEVISION AS AN ATTACK ON PRESS FREEDOM.
SPN CALLS ON THE NLC AND TUC TO DECLARE A SERIOUSLY PREPARED ONE-DAY GENERAL STRIKE AND MASS RALLIES TO PROTEST PRESIDENT BUHARI GOVERNMENT’S ABDICATION OF RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY.
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) wishes to alert workers, the youth and the oppressed masses to the fact that Nigeria is on the brink of a looming catastrophe unless something is done urgently to pull it back. Events of the past few weeks and months which include daily killings, and abductions including of school children and scores of university undergraduates, attacks on the police, violent occurrences and attacks of all kinds by bandits and gunmen across all the six (6) geo political zones of the country including the fast developing crisis in the South East, provide ample evidence for this assertion. Gruesomely, five of the abducted students of Greenfield University in Kaduna State, have been murdered in cold blood.
First, the SPN hereby calls for the immediate rescue of the remaining kidnapped students of Greenfield University, the kidnapped three students of the Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi, Benue State and hundreds of other Nigerians in the captivity of Boko Haram, kidnappers, criminal Fulani herdsmen, bandits and gunmen of all kinds,. Particularly the Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu, students of Federal College of Forestry, Kaduna, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi Benue etc.. We believe their blood will be on the head of the President Buhari led government should they be left to their fate.
As things stand today, it is self-delusory to believe that anybody is in charge of Nigeria. Evidently, the ruling APC has lost control as the country continues to slide and sink deeper into the abyss every day. Bandits, kidnappers, war lords, AK 47-wielding militants of all kinds are now the undisputed rulers and sovereigns of swathes of territories in the North East, border villages and uninhabited forests in the North Central and other parts. The security operatives– poorly paid, poorly armed and poorly motivated – have been stretched thin by the crises and appears to be just “managing” and “containing” it rather than stopping the daily carnage. In many ways, Nigeria is now no more than an open air cemetery given how human lives are routinely lost in daily acts of butchery. A failing state with some features similar to Somalia or Libya – this is what Nigeria is slowly morphing into.
Under this worrisome conditions, the SPN believes that unless the working people begin to organize and mobilize to take their destinies into their own hands, Nigeria could disintegrate violently. This is why we are once again calling on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to end their criminal silence and culture of barking without biting and instead declare, as a first step, a one day general strike and mass rallies/protest to express the displeasure of the working people and youth of Nigeria about the raging insecurity and violent crisis rocking the country and the apparent failure of the government at federal and state levels to do anything. Labour’s failure to give a national lead has contributed to the worsening of this crisis. Such a day of protest and strike can be a turning point that is also used to raise economic and democratic demands like prompt payment of N30, 000 minimum age, halt and reversal of mass sack in Kaduna and other states, end to casualisation, reversal of electricity privatization, end to attacks on press freedom and the rights to freedom of expression and association, release of all persons whose detentions are politically motivated and the need to break free of crisis ridden capitalism by the nationalization of key sectors of the economy under democratic workers control and management.
However self defense is also necessary since the police and the military can no more be relied upon to safe guard lives and properties. Hence, the SPN calls for the setting up of armed independent non-sectarian, multi-ethnic and multi-religious community self defense brigades under the democratic control of communities and labour unions to protect and defend people from attacks. It is vital for such a brigade to be independent of government and also scrupulously democratic. This is the only way it can avoid the debacle of the Civilian JTF which was initially successful against Boko Haram when it was a force created and controlled by the people themselves but was soon taken over by government and became an auxiliary force of the military.
In the same vein, we strongly condemn the threat of fine and suspension of “Politics Today” – a programme of the Channels Television – by the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for interviewing Emma Powerful, the spokesperson of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB). This is nothing but attack on press freedom reminiscent of the dark days of military absolutism. In this wise, we also call for the release of Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka who have been detained since April 5, 2021 on the orders of the Government of Kogi state for pasting posters demanding “Buhari must go”.
Our position as a political party is that what all these developments point to is the fact that on top of its woeful failures in the area of job provision, education funding, Healthcare provision and improvement in living standards, the Buhari All Progressive Congress (APC) has woefully failed in the area of protection of lives and property.
Rapidly but steadily, Nigeria is becoming a failed state and a killing field under the rule of the Buhari APC government. Events in the South East, North West, North East and North Central are tell-tale signs of a state in a process of atrophy as it comes against powerful social forces unleashed by the desperate conditions of life in Nigeria created by the rabidly anti-poor and pro-capitalist policies of the past 6 decades.
While not endorsing calls for violence or supporting actual acts of violence by any separatist or secessionist groups, the SPN recognizes and supports the right to self-determination. Nigeria’s unity though desirable, and we work for it as a party, cannot be enforced by force of arms. It can only be guaranteed through democratic dialogue, recognition of the rights of all ethnic nationalities and equitable administration and distribution of Nigeria’s wealth and resources. It is in this light that the SPN strongly condemns the high handed repression of pro-Biafra agitators in the South East.
To begin to resolve the crisis and separatist agitations threatening to tear Nigeria asunder, the SPN supports the call for referendum wherever there is a trenchant agitation for separation to allow the people of such an ethnic nationality to freely and democratically decide what they want, that is, whether they want to secede or remain in a united Nigeria and on what basis. But they must be preceded by democratic conferences involving the masses that debate the issues and how any referendum is run.
Along this line, the SPN also calls for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) dominated by elected representatives of trade unions, pro-masses organizations, youth and students unions, socialists, media, professional bodies, ethnic nationalities and faith-based groups to discuss the terms and socio economic programmes upon which a united Nigeria will be constructed. At such a conference of the people of Nigeria, the SPN will argue vigorously for Socialism to be adopted as the economic and political programme upon which to construct a new united Nigeria. This is because only the programmes of socialism can save Nigeria today.
In conclusion, we call on the labour movement to realize that the working people are the only force in society today that can save Nigeria from the looming catastrophe and not look to careerist, pro-capitalist politicians for saviour. This is why it is once again vital that the NLC and TUC consider the need to form and build a new mass workers’ party that can serve as a platform to mobilize all working and toiling people of Nigeria to wrest political power from the self-serving capitalist ruling elite whose ruinous anti-poor policies of the past 60 years is what has pushed Nigeria to the edge of the precipice today. We of the SPN offer our party to the labour movement to utilize in building this new mass working class alternative. We think this is the shortest route towards providing Nigerians most of whom are fed with the two main capitalist parties of the APC and PDP with a real alternative.
Acting National Chairperson