Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemns the abduction of at least 317 girls who are students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe town in Zamfara state. This is one abduction too many! The cluelessness and helplessness of the Buhari regime, the military and security forces is sickening but also vexatious.

It is unforgiveable that 300 school children are stolen in the full sight of the security forces and despite heavy monies voted over the years to keep schools, especially in the North, safe and equip security forces. We cannot even begin to imagine the anguish of the victims’ families and the fear of other parents and school children about their safety both in the schools and communities in the North. We hereby demand that no effort be spared to ensure they are rescued alive.

We also call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and all pro-working people and socialist organisations to also condemn these incessant abductions and, most importantly, begin to map out a programme of class struggle to save the working masses from this endless horror that the Buhari government has become.

We note that this abduction is coming on the heels of two recent outrageous and vexatious abductions of school students. These are: one, last week’s abduction of about 42 people including 27 students in Kagara, in neighbouring Niger state, and secondly, the abduction of about 300 school boys in Kankara, Katsina state, in December last year. So, we also demand the immediate rescue of staff and students of Kagara School as well as Leah Sharibu and Chibok girls still in the captivity of Boko Haram.

These frequent abductions by bandits amidst the ravages of criminal herdsmen, destruction of farmlands, rape of women and killings, cattle rustling, Boko Haram insurgency and the ongoing military onslaught on alleged Biafra separatists, together with repeated instances of police and military extortion, are tell-tale signs of the crises the country is in. Clearly, there is no doubt that the capitalist state as represented by the Buhari government has lost substantial capacity to continue to guarantee the safety of the lives of the Nigerian people, notably the working and toiling masses. Such is the monumental failure of the Buhari government and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

In fact, given the severity of the crises, to contemplate this failed Buhari government staying till 2023 to complete the remnant of its second term is to submit the Nigerian people to another 2 years of endless horror and tragedy. If an opinion poll is conducted today, tens of millions will vote for Buhari to go. This will include many of those who voted for him to clinch a second term in office two years ago.

While capitalism and the legacy of colonialism are the fundamental factors behind the crises of insecurity and ethno-religious division ravaging the country, President Buhari’s lacklustre attitude and cluelessness as well as the clannishness, provincialism and banal ethnic bias of the president and the Presidency as a whole are the components that have helped to fan the flames of the fire. But the anti-poor capitalist state governments across the country are equally guilty. Their own anti-poor policies, blinding corruption and playing of ethnic card and cluelessness are equally responsible for the raging fire.

It is not a surprise that the areas hardest hit by insecurity is the Northern region which is always at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to all indices of human progress be it literacy, healthcare, child and maternal mortality, etc. Zamfara state in particular where this latest abduction has taken place is one of the most backward in human and infrastructural development with very little to show for the federal allocations and the internally generated revenue that has accrued to the state since 1999.

There is hardly any inch of the Nigerian territory that is safe today. Even in the South West and South South, where a semblance of sanity and serenity exist, this calm does not go beyond the surface as the underbelly of the deplorable socio-economic situation here also shows that the condition for an explosion do not only exist but are being primed. There is a rising growth of different youth gangsters terrorising ordinary people in Lagos, Oyo and Ogun states. Also the recent threat by a new group to commence militancy in the Niger Delta is a key pointer to what is likely to unfold as time goes on. Besides, the tension generated by the spate of kidnapping and killing by criminal elements of Fulani extraction in Ibarapa and Oke Ogun areas of Oyo State has not died down. It is the growing ethnic tension that manifested in the recent clash between Yoruba and Hausa communities in Shasha Ibadan.

In the midst of this storm of crises and confusion, the SPN wish to warn that the way out is neither an ethnic war nor separation even though the SPN recognises the right to self-determination. The only way forward that can be of benefit to the working masses and youth of the different parts of Nigeria is a mass movement aimed at sending the failed Buhari regime packing and putting in its place a workers and poor people’s government armed with Socialist policies.

On this basis, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) hereby reiterates its call on the leadership of the NLC, TUC and other pro-working people’s organisations not to continue to watch while Nigeria is hanging precariously on a cliff edge. We call on the NLC and TUC, being the pan-Nigerian mass organisations representing the entirety of the working class of Nigeria, to convene an urgent conference in the coming weeks of genuine representatives of labour and the working people, civil society, Socialists, pro-working organisations, professional groups, peasants associations and ethnic nationalities.

Such a conference will have the singular task of democratically discussing and mapping out a programme of immediate mobilisation and start of collective struggle both to defend the socio-economic interests of the entirety of the working people, organise the practical measures for setting up democratically-controlled and non-sectarian communal self-defence in all communities facing attacks from bandits, terrorists , kidnappers and criminal groups of any kind, defend democratic rights, take a clear independent class position on the Nationality Question and also to begin the earnest task of building a mass working peoples party with Socialist programmes to fight for political power replacing the present failed, and generally robber, leaders with genuine representatives of the mass of Nigerians.

But this kind of initiative cannot simply be left to the national labour leaders who may be reluctant to act because of their pro-capitalist orientation. It is also crucial that local initiatives are taken by community associations, activists, the youth, Socialists, local trade unions, representatives of ethnic nationalities and other groups to mobilise and organise to call such conferences at community and state levels with similar mandate as outlined above. Such a series of local community initiatives can link up across and up to the national level to convene a national summit which could then launch the above-outlined programme on a national basis.

This is the most important step to take at this historic hour and failure of the labour movement taking this step may spell doom for the country and its poor and toiling working people.

Abiodun Bamigboye                                                                Chinedu Bosah

Acting National Chairperson                                                        National Secretary

E-mail: [email protected]