DSM Agege/Ifako-Ijaye Branch Engage Working People on Tinubu Government
On Monday May 29, while a section of the ruling capitalist elites gathered in Abuja to celebrate the inauguration of Bola Tinubu as the President of Nigeria, members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) Agege/Ifako-Ijaye branch in Lagos, held a tabling session (involving leafletting and paper sale) as part of effort to engage the working people over the inevitable struggles ahead. This is especially as Tinubu himself has openly declared his readiness to continue to implement neoliberal policies “regardless of how much the people protest”. He indeed announced the removal of fuel subsidy in his inauguration speech. We were not aware of the announcement during the tabling though.
By Gideon Adeyeni
Incidentally, the first headline on the front page of the current Socialist Democracy, our bimonthly paper, reads “How Will Nigeria Fare Under Tinubu Presidency? Urgent Tasks before Workers, Youth and the Poor Masses”.
This helped open conversations with the people we interacted with during the tabling.
For us, we maintain that there can be improvements in working and living conditions only if we struggle. So, there is no doubt a need for workers, youths and toiling masses of Nigeria to convert our valid anger into resistance actions like picketing, strikes, boycotts et cetera on the myriad of issues such as fuel price hike, police brutality, poor wages and salaries, insecurity, inaccessibility to education and healthcare, homelessness among others, in the coming period. However, ultimately these issues and demands have to be linked with the struggle to end the iniquitous capitalist system through a socialist revolution.
From different engagements during the tabling session, the general mood on the street is mixed. While there was no visible sign of elation on the street as can be observed among the camp of APC, there are ordinary citizens who feel that the former governor should be given some time “for him to do what he has done in Lagos”. For this set of people, the endless traffic jams, tanker accidents, burgeoning homelessness and growing gangsterism, perennial flooding et cetera that characterise Lagos do not expose the failure of the successive capitalist governments that have ruled the state since 1999.
There are also those who, based on experiences of disappointment with the repression of resistance efforts like the #EndSARS and/or religious orientation, feel there is nothing significant to be expected from the government. People in this category remember how Tinubu supported the violent repression of the #EndSARS with such comments like that in which he asked “what were the protesters doing there?”
And of course, there are those who agree with us, that the only way that the Nigerian working people, youth and toiling masses can prevent further degeneration in living conditions is not to lose guard and continue to organize to resist anti-poor policies and programmes. One of such is a lady who during our engagement with her decried the brutal exploitation of workers by Chinese employers in Nigeria, and thereafter expressed her readiness to be part of effort to struggle for better working and living conditions for the Nigerian people.
We sold copies of SD and made a few contacts who agreed to be invited to a public meeting on Tinubu government being planned by the branch.