Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



The presidential election was held on February 25, 2022, and Bola Tinubu has been declared president-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) amidst controversies. One feature of the election was voting by many along ethnic and religious lines, something which is not unprecedented though. In the absence of a mass working people’s political party, the capitalist ruling elite employs divide-and-rule tactics, in their battle for the control of the collective wealth of the society for self-serving interest. They do this without minding the potential for a tribal and religious division to lead to catastrophic violence. Hence, the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) stands against the current attempts by desperate anti-poor politicians to divide the masses along tribal and religious lines. We call for the unity of the working people and oppressed masses to defend their class interests right now and in the aftermath of the general elections.

Ahead of the gubernatorial election scheduled to take place on March 18, 2023, these capitalist parties and politicians have intensified the rhetorics and mobilization of the masses along tribal and religious lines. Working people and the poor must reject any attempt to divide them. They should bear in mind that these capitalist politicians will reinforce attacks on their democratic rights and living standards through all forms of exploitative policies after the general elections irrespective of tribe and religion. For instance, workers and the poor of any ethnic group or religion are not exempted from the pain of high prices and scarcity of petrol. Rather, they are forced to pay despite earning poverty wages and are subjected to poor living standards. None of these self-serving politicians has advocated a living wage for workers or implemented any while political officeholders receive jumbo salaries and allowances. As a matter of fact, many of these capitalist politicians have stoutly refused to pay the poverty-stricken N30,000 minimum wage while others have implemented adulterated formulas.

During the presidential election, political thugs suspected to be from APC reportedly attacked some polling units where the party had little voting support in Lagos. The presidential results from Lagos wherein the APC lost to Labour Party led to the rumour that there would be attacks on Igbos and their businesses and,on February 27 and 28, many shops across Lagos State did not open. The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns these attacks and call on the people of different tribes and religion to organize defense committees in communities to resist any planned attacks during the forthcoming elections and afterward. For instance, there are claims that the Wednesday 8 March 2023 fire outbreak at Akere Auto Spare Parts Market at Ajeromi Ifelodun local government – an opposition stronghold with heavy presence of people of Igbo ethnic group may be the work of armed arsonists trying to scuttle the forthcoming gubernatorial and state assembly elections.

For those who desire to vote in the forthcoming Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections across the country, there should be no molestations and attacks because of their voting choices. Unfortunately, the police and other security agencies cannot be fully trusted to ensure the protection of the lives and properties of all Nigerians devoid of bias. Therefore, it is up to trade unions and community associations to take up the urgent task of uniting the working people in a collective effort to protect themselves against thugs and arsonists and struggle for their class interests so as to undermine the potential of the ethnic and religious bile being stoked by the ruling elite from sinking root.

Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) calls on the trade unions and working masses to reject and resist divisions along ethnic and religious lines and unite against these self-serving politicians and political parties including mobilizing to resist all anti-people policies (petrol price hikes, electricity tariff hike, scarcity of cash, hike in school fees, etc.) that will be unleashed on the people by the governments that will be formed at all levels and across the country.

Rufus Olusesan

National Chairperson

Chinedu Bosah

National Publicity Secretary

E-mail: [email protected]