Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

For struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

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National Secretariat

162, Ipaja Road,

Agege, Lagos.

Tel: 234-01-4925671

 

 24th January, 2001

 

Press Statement

 

For A Working Peopleís Party Now!

The Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) welcomes the declaration by the NLC president, Adams Oshiomhole that the trade unions are considering the formation of a Labour Party. The 21 months of the civil rule of the governments formed by the three registered capitalist parties: the PDP, APP and AD at federal, state and local levels have clearly shown that the present civilian rulers and their parties lack any fundamental solution to the innumerable economic, social and political problems facing Nigeria. Their policies and actions are diametrically opposed to the yearnings and aspirations of the masses as seen in mass unemployment, mass retrenchment, privatisation and commercialisation of public assets and utilities, endemic corruption, etc.

However, the NLC presidentís caveat for the formation of such a working peoplesí party on the inability of the present civilian administration to advance or move Nigeria forward is belated. All indices have shown that the present regimes lack any solution to the crisis facing the country. In actual fact, the present rulers are part of the nationís problems.

Therefore, rather than waiting fruitlessly for the present governments and parties to perform, the NLC leadership should immediately commence the formation of a fighting, independent, mass party of the working people that will be prepared to organise and lead mass struggles against capitalist attacks on the living and working conditions of the working masses and for the provision of basic necessities of life like water, light, food, housing, education, healthcare, functional transportation, telecommunication system, etc. The party will fight against privatisation, commercialisation, retrenchment and for decent living wages and publicly funded and controlled social services.

As against the present system of production on the basis of profit for a tiny rich few, production will be based on genuine human needs with public ownership of the commanding sectors of the economy under the democratic control and management of the working people. For the party to be a labour party not only in name but also in deed, it has to be built around the rank and file workers and peasant farmers, students and unemployed, market women and artisans and other oppressed strata in the society with their democratic participation in all party activities and decision-making.

Therefore, more than ever before, the NLC, trade unions, socialists, labour, youths and community activists need to call a conference at which the process for the formation of the Labour Party will be worked out.

The formation of such a political party will not be an easy task as the ruling class via its electoral agency, INEC, will fight tooth and nail to stop the party from electoral contest. The historic task to struggle against party registration policy and the fight for the removal of all anti-workers laws which deny workers or unions the right to participate in political party activities or to use their resources for political purposes is placed on workers and their unions under the auspices of NLC.

 

SEGUN SANGO (signed)

General Secretary