Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



By Moshood Oshunfurewa, DSM Ajegunle Branch

In spite of the heavy economic and societal burden placed on the Nigerian masses and the working people by the failure of the corrupt capitalist government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the COVID-19 pandemic, twenty-four (24) Ajegunle residents, including comrades of the DSM, participated in a public symposium organized by the Ajegunle community branch of the organization.
The public symposium held on July 4, 2020 at NUD Primary School in the slum city of Lagos. There was a serious attention from all the participants to the lead speaker, Comrade Chinedu Bosah, a member of DSM NEC and National Secretary of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), when leading the discussion on the theme of the day.
In his speech, he examined different sectors of Nigeria’s economy and how the government deliberately through various anti-poor policies and profit-driving greed of the capitalist system made the economy comatose for the ordinary people and the working class of the country. For instance, despite the lockdown across the country, inflation of food, fuel and transport prices that have resulted in a negative impact for the working people and poor, all the country’s private electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) recently insisted on increment of the electricity tariff to a tune of 60% hike. This is aside the fact that salaries are being drastically cut by both government and private sector while they are yet to implement N30, 000 naira minimum wage; said comrade Chinedu.

Chinedu Bosah introducing the discussion

Also, Nigeria is not in deep economic crises because of the country’s multi-faith beliefs, population or tribes but because of capitalism and class domination. The population of the country statistically and largely a young one that ought to be more productive but the capitalist system undermines it and has plunged many young people into joblessness.
Nigeria is stupendously rich in human and natural resources that if harnessed, democratically managed and controlled by working people, development will speed up.
Comrade Chinedu submitted that the problem of the Nigeria society is systemic and it will continue irrespective of the bourgeois personality that occupies political offices and therefore working class and poor must organise in struggle and fight for consistently improvement and ultimately for socialism.
Dr Robinson Orus, Chairman of the Landlord and Tenants Association (LTA), that recently went to court on the issue of electricity hike and crazy billing spoke about their experience and compared it to what obtained in the country when the electricity sector was still under government control and concluded that it was better.
Truly, the electricity was relatively better when it was under public ownership but it was also very far from being satisfactory. Indeed, NEPA, the name of the utility was pejoratively defined as ‘Never Expect Power Always’, and its successor PHCN became ‘Please Hold your Candle Now’. This underscores how terrible was the supply even then despite the huge public resources purportedly allocated to the sector. This is why while we of the DSM call for the renationalisation of power sector, given the monumental failure of electricity privatisation, we also say that the sector has to be under the democratic control of workers and consumers.
Dr Robinson concluded by calling on the residents particularly the youths to engage in the struggles on electricity, roads, medical care for all and other social welfare of the masses and called on participants to join the DSM.

Mrs Juliana Ekele, an aged woman who mobilized about seven residents of the community to the symposium, lamented the growing lackadaisical attitude of young people in the community to struggles that will liberate them from vices and other burdens they shoulder, and stressed the needs to politically organize to resist the government.
Comrade Victor Osakwe in his sum up underscored the fact that it is not easy to resist the ongoing attacks. But he stressed the fact that the system we live in is highly unequal and undemocratic to all the working people and the poor. This is the basic reason for poorly funded and equipped education, health care and other services. So, the working masses and youths have to fight and resist attacks in order to improve their conditions.
He concluded his sum up that it is until we all are organised and build a mass-based working people’s political party with the right and concrete idea of socialism and programmes with workers as its vanguard that we can achieve the socialist transformation of the country.
A “Join Us” call was made by Comrade Emiedafe Edherue of the branch and the sum of N3, 500 was raised as struggle fund to support the work of the organisation especially the production of political materials to equip the library. The meeting ended by 2:30 pm. Another meeting took place for about two hours, with 7 members, one of who is a lady who just joined, and discussed the recent split from the DSM and the task of building a vibrant Ajegunle DSM branch.