Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



Students, workers and community people draw the need for a genuine working people’s political alternative

As Nigeria marked another independence anniversary on October 1, students, workers, youth and community people in Osun State held mass action and public discussion on the overwhelming neo-liberal attacks on education and living standards and how to fight back. The mass action which took off at the Oke-fia round-about in Osogbo was organized by members of New Nigerian Youth Movement and Progressive Students’ Group Socialist Party of Nigeria.

The protest, though made up of few elements was outstanding against the background of the domineering jamboree organized by ruling All Progressives’ Congress (APC) and the Rauf Aregbesola-led regime in Osun State. The members of the protesting groups drawn from University of Osun (UNIOSUN), Ladoke Akinola University of Technology (LAUTECH) and Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) was on privatization of education, hike in school fees, and for the Federal Government to meet the demands of the striking lecturers.

The rally procession stopped at various points within the city including Alekuwodu and Olaiya Junction to address mass of the people. DSM comrades who were part of the rally were equally allowed to speak with Comrade Kola Ibrahim emphasizing the need for a wider mass movement to resist the attacks on education while linking it to system change.

The rally culminated in the Public Meeting organized by the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR), earlier scheduled for 12pm on the same day brought together old students of Fakunle High School, the protesting contingent and the entire public to discuss the education crisis in Osun state especially in the face of planned merger of schools, another euphemism for closure of many schools by the Aregbesola government. Members of the Old Students’ Association of Fakunle Comprehensive High School, who have been collaborating with the CDWR and the ERC on the ongoing campaign against this policy had produced and circulated thousands of leaflets as well as posters opposing the planned demolition of the school for the purpose of erecting a shopping mall!

The Public meeting saw speeches given by Comrade Olayemi Abiona Castro, the Osun State CDWR Coordinator, Comrade Alfred Adegoke of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and the coordinators of Progressive Students’ Group and New Nigerian Youth Movement respectively. Comrades Abiona Castro and Alfred Adegoke underlined the fact that both the PDP-led Federal Government and the Aregbesola-led APC government in Osun State are culpable in the attacks on education. They made categorical demands on the Aregbesola regime to renovate the schools in Osun State and not to demolish them, stop the mindless merger of schools, abolish the sale of school uniforms, cancel the planned sale of demolished school to private firms and end the corrupt contract system. These demands were well received at the meeting and the meeting ended on the note to build further mass actions against the attacks.

The meeting, which was well policed by huge contingent of security forces including the SSS and the Police, confirmed the independent work that comrades of the Democratic Socialist Movement are doing in building independent mass mobilization of workers, students, pupils, teachers, pensioners and the poor against rolling attacks by the Aregbesola-led regime, in which many pseudo-left elements have found accommodation. Also, on the basis of the patient work we have been doing through our platforms, despite our limited numerical strength, the DSM and SPN are emerging as the main alternative force to reckon with in the state. This is also linked to growing search for alternative, as governorship election approaches, mid-2014. The DSM in Osun State is prepared to offer leadership to the tumultuous mass struggles of workers students, pupils, parents, teachers, pensioners and workers that are bound to break out in the immediate period against the bankrupt education policies as well as other neo-liberal attacks of the Aregbesola regime.

Ayo Ademiluyi
DSM Osun State