Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

RIVERS’ STATE CRISIS: Working Masses Must Fight For Socialist Change

RIVERS’ STATE CRISIS: Working Masses Must Fight For Socialist Change

(By Onwunalu Alexander)

The last has not been heard of the political crisis ravaging Rivers’ state. Following the defection of Rotimi Amaechi from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), a chain of dramatic events has continued to grip the state. The Rivers State Police Command when it was under the control of Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu was terror at its height. The former CP ordered its officers and men under his control to break up pro-Amaechi rallies.

Allegedly in one of such fracas, Senator Magnus Abe was allegedly shot by rubber bullets, a claim which was denied by the former Rivers State CP. A section of Ogoni youths in support of the “wounded” Senator had taken to the streets afterwards while another section of the community took side with Goodluck Jonathan.

All of these events led to agitation and outcries for the removal of Mbu. The Jonathan regime was forced to cave in to pressure by ordering the removal of Mbu through the Inspector-General of Police. In short, the crisis in Rivers state is an inter-play of power struggle between different sections of the ruling elite with the opposition APC led Amaechi administration pitted against the PDP-led Jonathan regime. The Democratic Socialist Movement calls for no support for any sections of the looting elite but call on working masses and youth to embrace the Socialist Party of Nigeria in order to effect genuine socialist change.

This call is against the background of the position of the resolution of the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress that “it will have no alternative than to ask (its) teeming members all over the country and especially in Rivers state to take whatever steps that is necessary to protect their lives and property”(Guardian, Friday January 24,2014). This portends a looming deeper crisis.

What the entire scenario of anarchy and prevailing situation of pre-election crisis signify for the labour movement is the urgency of the need for a genuine working masses’ political alternative. In this direction, the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) in Rivers would strive to link the task of rebuilding the workers and students’ movement in the state to the development of an independent working peoples political alternative to both the PDP and APC in Rivers state and Nigeria in general.