Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM


  • For a democratic control of local government administration by elected representatives of workers and community people

 By Akande Daniel Babatunde, CDWR, FCT Chapter, Abuja

Karu local government is in Nasarawa State and under the leadership of Samuel Akala as the Chairman who has introduced a new wave of exploitative policies that negatively affects market men, market women and artisans in the local government area. The taxes imposed on the working people and the poor masses in the local government have become too unbearable and Campaign for Democratic and Worker Rights (CDWR) Abuja chapter condemns it. These taxes including the so-called harmonized taxes and that of health department among others are outrageous and do not conform to the current prevailing economic reality in Nigeria.

At the same time, the action of the local government in privatizing most of the local government departments to the private individuals with the sole aim of profit-making at the expense of the working people in the local government area is fraudulent and exploitative. These continuous attacks on the poor and working people clearly show that without an organized resistance of the traders, artisans, small businesses such as schools, petrol stations etc., against the pro-capitalist policies of the APC government, small businesses and the working masses will be adversely affected.

Already, there is growing anger among workers and small business owners owing to the multiple/obnoxious taxation and the deplorable state of basic infrastructure in the local government area. Some business organisations are already expressing the displeasure against the local government on the issue of multiple taxation by taking the local government to court while hoteliers association within Karu local government has challenged the Health/environmental department, one of the local government departments which have been privatized, on its multiple taxation policy.

The multiple taxations of the Karu Local Government are nothing but an attack on the working class and the masses. Hence, the privatization and multiple taxations are therefore vexatious and condemnable.

We hereby call on all the trade unions, artisan groups, traders associations and the working masses organisations in general in Karu local government area to begin to organize and resist these attacks.

The CDWR demands the reversal of privatisation and cancellation of all obnoxious taxes as it is fraudulent and exploitative means to extort poor working people and the artisans. We also demand the democratic control of Karu Local Government by workers and community people. We equally demand the permanent employment of the workers being used as casuals under these privatized departments.

Finally, we call on the mass of the working people and the poor within the Karu local government to get organized and defending their rights against all anti-poor policies, it is on this note that we call on workers to join CDWR and use it as a fighting platform for resisting capitalist exploitation and to struggle for better working conditions.