Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



A new branch of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) – CWI Nigeria has been opened at the Federal Polytechnic Bida in Niger State.

It held its first symposium on August 13 with about 40 students in attendance. Speakers included the president of the Students’ Union, chairman of the senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnic (SSANP), a representative of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Soweto (DSM member and ERC National Coordinator).

The symposium kicked off with an introduction of the DSM by Dimeji Macaulay, the branch coordinator. Speaking at the symposium, Chairman of SSANP, Mr. Kudu Aliyu pointed out that Nigeria is running the most expensive presidential system of government all over the world which is equally responsible for the crises in all key sectors of the economy. Most especially, the education sector which contains 40% of the citizen is not properly funded. He went further to make comprehensive analysis of how tertiary institutions suffer from cuts in education funding by government. This according to him has made it difficult for students to have access to equipment and facility for practical and quality education.

Mr. Yabagbagi Idris, representing the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) Bida branch, spoke on the lingering crises in the Polytechnic and the disparity between HND/Bsc which makes polytechnic students and graduates to suffer discrimination within the education sector as well as at workplaces.

H.T Soweto spoke on the political and economic situation in the country. According to him, the high incidence of poverty and underdevelopment in the country is as a result of the failure of capitalism and the corruption of the politicians in government who are not interested in the welfare of the masses rather in making profit at the expense of the vast majority.

The class character of the regime can be seen in the attitude of the government towards the demand for increase in education funding for the youth as well as of workers’ demand for N18, 000 minimum wage. All the major political parties in power seem united on not paying the minimum wage even when they pay themselves jumbo salaries and outrageous allowances. According to him, all this shows that students, youth and workers can only win concession through struggles. He called on students to unite to fight for improved education funding and challenged the staff unions to build a movement to challenge anti-poor education policies on campus.

At the end of the event, eleven students promised to join the DSM while 18 copies of Socialist Democracy (SD) and the DSM pamphlet: “Nigerian on a cliff edge were sold”. Also a sum of N1,095 was raised as fighting fund.

Report by Dimeji Macauley and Odukanmi Tobi