Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



But We Remain Undaunted!

By Chinedu Bosah National Secretary, SPN

Three years ago, precisely in January 2014 the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) began its registration process and submitted its application on June 12, 2014. Formed by socialists, workers and youth activists, the SPN is meant to serve as an alternative to the pro-rich capitalist parties especially given the consistent refusal of the leadership of labour movement to form such a party. As we all know, the Labour Party (LP) formed by the Nigeria Labour Congress has turned into a second-eleven of the capitalist parties.

Unfortunately since then, INEC has created one stumbling block or the other. As a result we had no choice than to institute a legal action against INEC in a suit filed on September 10, 2014 at the Federal High Court Abuja after our application was baselessly rejected. When the matter came up for hearing on March 3, 2015 (the second adjourned date), INEC’s lawyer requested an out-of-court settlement, which was granted. But this has turned out to be a ruse and a time-wasting tactics. This delay tactics has been used to frustrate the matter. The INEC usually come to court to give the impression that the matter will be resolved soon just as its lawyer did at the last court sitting held on March 2, 2017 while at the same time it continues to frustrate the registration process.

Between November 19, 2014 when the matter was scheduled for the first hearing and the next adjourned date which is on May 4, 2017, the matter has suffered 15 adjournments, while the court sat only five times out of which the matter was mentioned only 4 times. The party has equally organized several protest marches in 4 states (Lagos, Oyo, Osun and Abuja) to INEC offices and to media houses in the past 2 years at different times as a means to further the campaign and mount pressure on INEC.

The SPN case against INEC has shown the limit and weakness of the judicial system as a means of seeking justice for working people. For over 30 months and still counting, justice has been delayed. Aside the fact that judges have lots of cases to handle, which is partly a product of the under-funding of the judiciary, also judges see cases like this as low-profile that can be left to languish in court for a long time. Hence, the inequality between the privileged and under-privileged is very pronounced in the bourgeois court system. This calls for radical reform of the judiciary into a well-funded, accountable and just system. It is only a working peoples’ government that can transform the very cumbersome, expensive and anti-poor judiciary into one that serves the interest of the vast majority.

No doubt, INEC is all out to stop or frustrate pro-masses political parties like the SPN from coming into existence in line with the ruling class agenda to dominate the political space. But we shall not relent. We urge all those who desire a genuine political voice for working people and youth to continue to support the SPN and stand with us.

But while the legal and political struggle for SPN registration continues, it is vital that the work of building the party at National, State, Local Government and the Wards also continues. This is because though the electoral plane is very vital, it is not the only avenue open to a party that stands for working and poor people. Workers struggles, students’ protests against fee hike and victimization, struggles of communities against crazy light bills, evictions, demolition, exploitation and other neo-liberal attacks are equally vital avenue of intervention by the SPN. We must build the SPN as a party that identifies at all times with the everyday struggles of working and toiling people for herein lays one of the important areas that distinguish us from the capitalist locusts who only remember the people during elections.

As 2019 general elections beckons, the labour movement regrettably still lacks a coherent economic and political agenda to liberate the working and toiling people from the endless mass poverty and suffering engendered by capitalism. We in the SPN say no to this! The working class and poor people need a political alternative and a real choice in the next elections. This is why we are calling on the leadership of the labour movement to initiate a process of creating an alternative platform by rallying the entire labour movement for discussion as a means of setting in motion the building of a viable alternative mass political party for workers and the poor.