Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



Undaunted and unrelenting, we must take the struggle forward!

Statement by the SPN candidate for Ogun State House of Assembly, Ifo constituency II, Comrade Hassan Taiwo Soweto

Comrades and friends,

As the candidate I want to start by thanking all members and supporters of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Ifo LGA, Ogun for the tremendous electoral campaign and party building activities of the past few months. I also thank all those who donated to the campaign.

Clearly, the SPN is not winning this election especially because of mismanagement of the voters’ registration exercise which disenfranchised several potential voters including many party members and supporters, voter intimidation, widespread vote-buying and fear by a section of voters not to waste their votes. All Polling Units were drowned in a hail of naira notes under the watchful eyes of INEC staff and security operatives. This is aside many cases of infraction of the electoral laws. Nevertheless, we have won other things which should make every party member and supporter hold their head high with pride.

Over the course of the campaign throughout the length and breadth of the six wards of Ifo constituency II, Ogun State, we successfully raised the profile of the SPN not as just any new party but as a genuine political alternative for workers, the poor, the youth and the downtrodden. We also grew the party from just a few members 6 months ago to a party that was able to run a campaign in an electoral constituency containing 6 wards and spread over an immense expanse of land. This campaign also recorded inspiring financial contributions from trade unions, pro-masses organizations and change-seeking people who responded to our every appeals. In the last two weeks before the election, we set records in fundraising – one of which was achieving over 70% of our fundraising targets within a week! This alone is victory.

Regardless of the outcome of the election which would be “won” by either of the two anti-poor capitalist parties, APC or APM, the name of our party, our socialist ideas and our programmes to utilize elected office to build movements to fight for provision of better road infrastructures, public education, healthcare, jobs and basic amenities has been firmly imprinted in mass consciousness. Therefore what we need to concentrate on going forward is how to build on the success we have already achieved. This requires intensifying party building, political education and intervention in mass struggles.

The next four years in our constituency as well as in Ogun state will be one filled with implementation of anti-poor and anti-worker policies. This is because the two political parties (APC and APM) most likely to win both governorship and house of assembly elections are anti-poor capitalist parties. Like a leopard that cannot change its spot, every government formed by capitalist politicians will on the long run attack the interests of the working people. Instead of standing for the interest of Ifo 02 against the anti-poor policies likely to be implemented by the State government, the two likely winner of the house of assembly seat which we contested will most certainly acquiesce to every anti-poor policies of the stage government. Except for a few cosmetic projects, they also will most certainly fail to stand for the interest of our communities in terms of road infrastructures, provision of public education and healthcare etc.

Therefore, the only way our constituency can hope to see any real improvement in public infrastructures under a government formed by any of these capitalist parties is by fighting for it. We in the SPN are prepared to play a vital role in these struggles. We will be ready to work with the CDAs, CDCs, artisan groups etc to begin to build movement to fight for construction of the main roads in the constituency, regular grading of other roads, repair of decrepit public school buildings and establishment of more, improved funding of the health sector including direct government intervention to help communities in need of primary health care facilities, decent jobs young people, payment of a living wage to workers and a campaign against IKEDC to halt exploitation of customers, provide prepaid meter and transformers where needed etc. This is because what is crucial to us is not political position, but how to win improvement in the condition of the working people – something which is only possible on a lasting basis through the overthrow of capitalism and enthronement of socialism.

Therefore I urge all party members and supporters to take a well-deserved rest in order to quickly gain the energy needed for the next step. We have placed our hands on the oars. We are neither stopping nor looking back. We thank all those who donated to the campaign and we assure you that we shall furnish you with details of income and expenditure. We do hope to enjoy similar support from you in the course of the next few years as we continue to build the party and the struggles of the working and toiling people in Ifo and Ogun state.

Comrade Hassan Taiwo Soweto
SPN candidate for Ogun State House of Assembly, Ifo constituency II.
March 10, 2019

NB: Please note that this is an initial statement as we await declaration of result at the Collation centre. Once results are declared, a more comprehensive statement will be issued by the party.