By - DSM
Communique of SPN/DSM Symposium on First Anniversary of Oyetola/APC Government in Osun State
- On 30th November, 2019, the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Osun State, in conjunction with Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), held a public symposium to review the Oyetola government’s one year in office.
The symposium, which was attended by workers, youth, students, activists, labour leaders, professionals, and civil society groups discussed extensively on the character of the Oyetola government. The symposium concluded that the Oyetola/APC government in Osun State has been a monumental failure in the last one year. The symposium noted that the Oyetola government is only following the footpath of Aregbesola government, with continuation of anti-poor capitalist policies, including imposition of obnoxious taxes levies on the people and mismanagement of the state resources. The Oyetola government is only serving as a cover up for the massive fraud under the Aregbesola government.
Consequently, the symposium:
1. Noted that the Oyetola government, while failing to improve the state of public education in the state, has further commercialized education out of the reach of the poor people. Fees running to N25, 000 has been introduced in the new mega-schools built by the government, while the management of these schools have been handed over to private hand. This means that the government has effectively commercialized the schools. Also, in other public schools, which have received no serious attention in terms of renovation, the government has re-introduced the earlier abolished PTA levy of N1500 per term, out of which the government is collecting N500 as tax. This means that the schools are now being run by levies collected from parents, while government is only paying salaries. In the tertiary education sector, the government has also increased tax clearance for students from N3, 500 per annum to N10, 500. Consequently, the symposium reject all of these policies and called for their immediate reversal.
2. The symposium/meeting also lamented the poor state of healthcare in the state. The symposium/meeting noted that the so-called Osun Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) is a fraud as there is no functional health institution in the state where the scheme will be functional. The symposium/meeting reject the obnoxious N1, 500 being deducted monthly from workers’ salary for the OHIS. This is tantamount to stealing from workers’ salaries.
3. The symposium/meeting also called for the immediate implementation of N30, 000 minimum wage in Osun State, and payment of 30 months salaries and pension arrears. The symposium/meeting called for the immediate end to all fraudulent deductions from workers’ salaries including the monthly N1, 500 OHIS deduction, water charge deduction, etc. The symposium/meeting further demanded for stoppage to deduction without remittance, and called for the immediate remittance all of deductions made by the Oyetola and the past Aregbesola governments from workers’ salaries for contributory pensions, union dues, cooperative, etc.
4. The symposium/meeting moreover called for end to all attacks on the working people and the poor in Osun State. The symposium/meeting demanded the end to the witch-hunt of workers and unionists in Osun State University (UNIOSUN), immediate recall of the 25 suspended workers and activists of UNIOSUN, and withdrawal of all trumped up charges against them. It called for the public probe of the vice chancellor and management of the university.
5. The symposium/meeting furthermore called for the immediate PUBLIC AND DEMOCRATIC probe of the finances of Osun State to ascertain the true state of indebtedness, and probe how the debts incurred were spent.
6. The symposium/meeting also demanded an end to jumbo pay for all politicians and political office holders.
7. The symposium/meeting demanded the immediate release of Omoyele Sowore, Olawale Bakare (Mandate) and other activists and citizens currently under political detention of Buhari government, the Nigerian Police, DSS, etc. It called for end to the rising culture of repression under the Buhari/APC government. The symposium/meeting called for the stoppage of the Social Media Bill and the much-hated Hate Speech bills currently at the National Assembly.
8. The symposium/meeting noted that behind the growing mass misery and poverty in the land is the capitalist system being practiced in Nigeria. The symposium/meeting therefore called on labour movement, as the bastion of mass opposition of the working and oppressed people to mobilise the people for mass actions to liberate the country from the capitalism-induced mass misery, suffering and underdevelopment in the midst of superabundance. Only socialist programmes and government based on the working people can liberate the country, economically, socially and politically.
9. Symposium/meeting called on workers to rebuild their unions as fighting unions.
Consequently, the symposium/meeting/symposium agreed to begin to mobilize mass of workers, youth, students, artisans and the poor against various anti-poor policies being implemented by the Oyetola/APC government in Osun State. The symposium/meeting agreed that the DSM and other interested organizations should reach out to various other groups and unions interested in fighting back against attacks on the people.
DSM State Coordinator