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Socialist Democracy July 2004


AS CLASS DIVIDE SHARPENS: Ruling Class Must Prepare For Class War

By Toyin Adebajo


Since the inception of the Obasanjo led government, it has not hidden its disdain for the Nigerian working class which is clearly shown through its neo-liberal policies and its penchant for attacking workers rights, working condition, standard of living, etc, vis-à-vis mass retrenchment in the public sector, non-payment of pensions, gratuities and other entitlement to retired workers, the monetisation policy, selling of buildings which are occupied by the workers, paying peanuts as salaries, continuous increase in school fees and fuel prices, etc amongst others. The regime has also failed to protect the workers against the profiteering vultures parading as investors.

These policies being pursued with vigour backed with the well crafted agenda of the World Bank and IMF which are aimed at undermining the working and living conditions of the working class are part of the policy to make Nigeria and Nigerians perpetual wage slaves, living on the handouts of the capitalist while tied to the machines and their children condemned to the vicious circle of poverty.

The Obasanjo's government decision to have the workers suffer miserably for its failed economic policies has brought untold hardship on the working class, with continuous downward spiral on the living conditions of the working class. In fact, the gap between the rich and poor is ever getting wider. For instance, while over 80% of Nigerians live on one dollar per day, less than 5% controls billions of dollars. This explains the reason why the poor are dying of preventable diseases such as malaria, cholera, typhoid, hypertension while the ruling elites can boast of dying through constipation and Viagra induced cardiac arrest.

The working class has from time to time fought for some concessions from the ruling elites which have yielded some fruits but only to be taken back within a short time.

This shows that with organised struggles, working masses can force concessions from the ruling class. The working class should not suffer the illusion that under this system there can be a just and equitable distribution of wealth among the classes because the capitalist system is a world of its own opposite where you will have the haves and the haves not.

However, the working class must make attempt to do away with this unjust system by attacking it at its weakest link, setting themselves free from wage labour and its contradictions. The government persistent attacks on the workers' living standard should be resisted by the mass of the workers which will inevitably lead to class conflict, pitching the workers against the employers and the state apparatus and ultimately against the capitalist system.

The war against poverty, oppression and injustice can be won but not easily. The correct Marxist ideas and tactics must be read, and digested by the rank and file of the working class which must be transformed into programmes and actions to serve as weapons and guide through the struggles.

Some of the tactics and programmes include the building of virile unionism in work places, factories, on the streets, etc and the establishment of a democratic mass based workers' party which is to organise the workers for an eventual takeover of power to transform the society on a socialist basis where the commanding heights of the economy will be nationalized for the overall benefit of our society under the democratic management and control of the workers.



Socialist Democracy July 2004