Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM




We of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) condemn in strongest terms, but are not surprised by, the endorsement of Goodluck Jonathan for second term as President by the Labour Party. In several media reports, Daniel Iwuanyanwu, the National Chairman of the Labour Party, was credited with the declaration of support for Goodluck Jonathan in the coming 2015 general elections as it did in 2011.

To us, this latest opportunistic act is part of chain of events in the Labour Party in which the Daniel Iwuanyanwu-led National Executive Committee of the party has sold the soul of the party to rejected elements from the main anti-poor ruling parties. Indeed, Labour Party has become the proxy political platform of the ruling PDP. This explains its unflinching support for the anti-poor policies of the PDP government.

We recall that the Labour Party was formed and registered by the Nigeria Labour Congress as Party for Social Democracy in 2002 before the change to its present name in 2004. This party should have provided working class people a political and electoral alternative both at the barricades of struggle and at the ballot box. Such a party would never have supported Goodluck Jonathan, an anti-working class and pro-rich President that has foisted terrible neo-liberal policies on the Nigerian working masses including the fuel subsidy removal amidst other hemorrhaging attacks.

However, the failure of the central leadership of the labour movement to strategically build the Labour Party as a fighting mass-based working class political alternative has turned it into a dumping ground for candidates who have lost out of the power tussles within the main parties. The party has transformed under the leadership of Daniel Iwuanyanwu into a “cash-and-carry” political party with exorbitant candidature fees, effectively blocking out poor rank-and-file workers from contesting through the platform of the party. It was in this manner that the party stood in 2007 and 2011 general elections in which it only acted as a party of last resort for anti-poor bourgeois candidates.

Yet, these bankrupt and anti-poor activities of the Labour Party leadership are given robust solidarity by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress. It is on record that the Abdulwahed Omar, the NLC President was quoted by the media of publicly endorsing the Labour Party candidature of Ifeanyi Ubah, a subsidy scam suspect for the last Anambra gubernatorial elections. This equally explains why the NLC has not voiced any opposition to the endorsement of Goodluck Jonathan, a clear anti-working class President, for a second term by the Labour Party.

We hold that the overwhelming conclusion that should be drawn by genuine working class activists and socialists is that the present Labour Party cannot play a role in advancing the interests of working people. The very few individual genuine labour activists still in the Labour Party need to openly condemn any support for Jonathan and recognize that now there is no registered party that represents the interest of workers and masses both during and outside elections.

Some time ago the DSM drew the conclusion that the refusal of the NLC leaders to cleanse the Labour Party of opportunists and pro-capitalists meant that this party would not become a genuine working peoples’ political alternative. This explains why we of the DSM and likeminds have initiated the formation of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) to contest elections and identify with daily struggles of the working people while at the same time work towards a mass working people party on socialist program. We therefore call on workers and other sections of the working people to join SPN and help build it in order to fill the void created by bankruptcy and failure of the Labour Party.

Segun Sango
General Secretary, DSM