Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

3rd Rotimi Ewebiyi Symposium and Re-launch of Endowment Fund

3rd Rotimi Ewebiyi Symposium and Re-launch of Endowment Fund

The 3rd Rotimi Ewebiyi Endowment Fund Symposium and Re-launch of the Endowment Fund for upkeep and education of Rotimi Ewebiyi’s children was held at the International Press Centre (IPC), Ogba, Lagos on Saturday, August 18, 2007. The theme of the symposium is “Can Yar’Adua Government Provide Better Living and Working Conditions for the Poor Working Masses?

Rotimi Ewebiyi, fondly called RE by comrades, died on June 4, 2004 of cancer. Until his death he was the national organizer of the DSM.

Fifty persons, including members and non-members of DSM, were in attendance at the programme that spanned over 3 hours. Amongst the speakers were Lanre Osaze of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Abiodun Aremu of the United Action for Democracy (UAD), Sina Odugbemi, and Debo Adeniran of CHILDREN and Segun Sango of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM).

Addressing the topic from different angles, all those that spoke made it emphatically clear that the living condition of the working masses could not be bettered by the Yar’Adua administration on the basis of anti-poor neo-liberal policies.

Most of the speakers acknowledged the steadfastness of DSM in regenerating socialist fighters and propagating the socialist ideas. This explains why, despite RE’s exceptional character that appeared inimitable, his demise has not caused dislocation of ideas and growth of the DSM.

Most of the speakers eulogized RE, and commended the DSM for putting up such a worthy programme and also for being consistent in that respect. The point was also made that RE’s picture should be enlarged and placed a strategic place at the DSM Centre so as to serve as a reminder of the Endowment Fund

Speaking further on the theme of the symposium, the speakers reminded us that the current government was a product of a massively rigged election. Worse, it is bent to continue with the programme of privatization and other anti poor policies despite all the attempts to create a semblance of different style of administration. This is in order to warm the illegitimate government into the acceptance of the poor working masses.

The need for building of a political party of workers and poor people was also stressed by speakers. It was made clear that it is only a party that belongs to workers and poor people that will be able to fight for and truly defend the right of workers and poor people. The role of events that will lead to the creation of such a party was also stressed on. A challenge was put forward that we should not relent on calling on labour and pro-masses’ organizations to begin a process of formation of such party.

Participants were urged to emulate the late RE and follow his footsteps politically. As such, they were urged to ensure that the struggle does not die, but rather be taken to greater heights that will culminate in not only improving the welfare of workers and poor people, but ultimately lead to a socialist revolution that will transform society for the good of humanity. Comrades were urged to read meticulously, criticize skilfully and work assiduously as we struggle jointly to change society.

The Re-launch of the RE Endowment Fund was finally done after the symposium. Emphasis was made on the need for comrades and others present to donate generously to the fund to assist the family that RE left behind. This was more imperative in the face of the pressing need of the children at the moment. Keye, the eldest son, has just got admission into Lagos State University (LASU). The house rent of the children has been due for payment since June. All this is in addition to the recurrent expenditure of the children. An impressive donation of N220,000.00 (two hundred and twenty thousand naira) was raised, though only N4,900.00 (four thousand, nine hundred naira) was received right at the programme the rest is in form of pledges from comrades, labour, pro-masses’ organizations and individuals. Some donations are also expected to be made by other organizations so that the N300,000 (three hundred thousand naira) target will be made.

Emmanuel Adikwu