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Socialist Democracy April - May 2003 | Index





On Wednesday 12th March, the presidential campaign team of the National Conscience Party (NCP) was attacked in Ekiti State by agents suspected to belong to the ruling political party in the state, the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

The team, which was travelling back to Ondo State, after a successful campaign tour of Ekiti State was ambushed along the Akure-Ondo road by a gang of four assailants.

The first car in the convoy was stopped and its occupants forced to disembark. Three of the occupants were ordered to lie flat on the road while the driver, Raji was matchetted and asked to take them to where the NCP presidential candidate, Chief Gani Fawehinmi was. The rogues kept on shouting "where is Gani, ……where is Gani?"

Fortunately, the other vehicles in the convoy including the car in which Gani was, were able to escape on time and went to report the incident at a police post in a nearby village. The injured driver was admitted into an hospital in Akure and his injuries were so serious that he could not move down to Lagos with the rest of the team the day after the attack.

The attempted attack on Gani has introduced a new dimension to the rising wave of political violence including assassination of political opponents, in the country in recent months. Before, political violence has been between different factions of the pro-rich elite parties. This has resulted in the death of hundreds of people since 1999. The latest major victim of this type of violence was Marshall Harry, the South-south coordinator of the ANPP who was assassinated in Abuja on 6th March.

But the attack on Gani is a clear indication that the ruling class will stop at nothing to prevent a party like the NCP which they perceive as a potential threat to the rule of looting from coming to power. The capitalist elite are becoming alarmed at the warm reception and support which the gospel of change of the NCP has been getting from the downtrodden masses in the streets and in the community.

The 12th March attack should therefore, be seen as a danger signal by the NCP, the party members, activists and leadership. It shows that the party at all levels need to put in place concrete measures for the protection of its members, meetings, other gatherings and offices. Self-defence teams should be formed for this purpose.

Chief Gani has rightfully condemned the police for failing to provide him with police coverage as it is supposed to be for presidential candidates. But the police and other state security organs cannot be relied upon to provide security and protection for a change-seeking organisation like the NCP. The best protection will come from party members and the working people. That is why the most reliable strategy for building the NCP should be as a party fighting uncompromising for the interests of the working masses and organising a mass movement for real change in society.




Socialist Democracy April - May 2003 | Index