Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Oyo State: THE “MOU” SIGNED BY THE NLC LEADERSHIP FALLS BELOW WORKERS EXPECTATIONS!


PRESS STATEMENT

* TUC and JNC failure to join the seven weeks struggle of the NLC undermined workers solidarity
* TUC, NLC and JNC must be united in struggle for immediate payment of all salary/pension arrears and to defeat the looming retrenchment of workers under restructuring policy of the APC-led government in the state!
The Oyo State Chapter of Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN agrees with the leadership of the Oyo State Chapter of Trade Union Congress, TUC and Joint Negotiating Council, JNC over the statement that the MOU signed by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC on Monday, 25th of July 2016 as a basis upon which its seven weeks old strike was suspended is “inimical to the future of workers in the state”.

The Tuesday, 2nd August, 2016 edition of the Nation newspaper reported that the Oyo State chairman of TUC, Comrade Andrew Emelieze “condemned in strong term the agreement between Oyo Government and NLC”. According to the TUC chair, the agreement is a fraud and that TUC will not be part of it as the agreement is inimical to the future of workers. On his own part, the Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council, JNC, Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran also berated the MOU and lamented that his jurisdiction has been encroached as was claimed in the report that he was not carried along as the chairman of JNC in the process that led to the agreement signed. 

SPN agrees to some of these sentiments. First, the MOU signed by the labour leaders is at variance with the minimal demands of the striking workers. Except for the withdrawal of litigations filed against the labour leaders by the state government, other demands of the workers which included immediate payment of at least 3 out of the 6 months’ salary owing when the strike started in June and pension arrears; reversal of the decision to sell off some public schools; adequate funding of the education sector including payment of living wages and other incentives for educational workers were completely missing in the so called MOU.

Secondly, the labour leaders suspended the strike after signing the MOU without recourse to the congress of the striking workers where government proposals could have been democratically discussed and resolved upon. Actually an emergency congress was held on the very same day the agreement was signed but the workers were kept in the dark. Instead, the labour leaders kept assuring workers up to the time they left for the meeting with the state government that no agreement would be signed until the congress approved one and that they should not believe any news outside the directive given at the congress.

The SPN condemns this kind of top-down, autocratic method and approach of the NLC labour leadership which unfortunately is typical of many trade union leaders, including those in JNC and TUC. However, it is also important to say, that the attitude of both JNC and TUC also contributed to the weakness of the struggle and so-called rotten deal. Take for instance, the TUC and JNC leadership did not only refuse to mobilise their members to join the seven weeks olds strike embarked upon by the NLC members but also publicly dissociated itself from both strike and the anti-privatisation rally that led to the arrest; subsequent detention and arraignment of the labour leaders by the Senator Ajimobi-led APC government in the state. 

If the above-stated seemingly “radical” position of the TUC and JNC against the signed MOU is anything to go by, it therefore means that the rotten MOU signed by the NLC would have been otherwise and correspond to the expectation and aspiration of mass of workers in the state should they have aligned themselves with the NLC struggle that lasted for seven weeks despite all government gimmicks to deprive the struggle of the mass of the public support it enjoyed throughout the period it lasted.

It is in view of this, that SPN insists that, the refusal of the TUC and JNC to join the NLC in the struggle against non-payment of salaries and pension arrears is also responsible for the rotten deal signed by the NLC leadership despite the commendable determination exhibited at the early stage of the struggle.  

This is why SPN, in order to end the prevailing ugly trend whereby determined struggles end in seemingly compromised call on the leadership of TUC, NLC and JNC to bury their ego and forge a united struggle on the basis of the collective interest of the entire workers in the state regardless of union in order to be able to force the state government to pay all backlog of unpaid salaries and pension.

Otherwise, the extra five days ultimatum recently issued by the TUC leadership in the state after the expiration of the 15 days ultimatum earlier issued to the state government to pay all outstanding arrears with interest and the planned mass action scheduled to hold on Monday August 8, 2016 may also fail to yield any result.

  Bamigboye Abiodun (Abbey Trotsky)
State Secretary, SPN Oyo Chapter
               08033914091

Monday, 18 July 2016

OGUN STATE COUNCIL POLLS:


WE CALL ON THE WORKING MASSES TO JOIN AND BUILD A GENUINE POLITICAL ALTERNATIVE TO ALL THE ANTI-POOR PARTIES


PRESS STATEMENT

We of the  Ogun State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria(SPN) view the release of the election timetable by the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission into the Twenty(20) Local Governments and 37(thirty seven) Local Council Development Areas by the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission as a step long overdue. According to a media release signed by Alhaja Risikat Iyabo Ogunfemi, the Chairperson of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission, the local council elections are scheduled to hold on Saturday, 8th October, 2016.  We of the Ogun State   SPN have been at the forefront of the mass campaign for elections to be held into the local councils.

The Socialist Party of Nigeria is a party formed in 2012 by genuine socialists, rank-and-file workers, artisans and change-seeking youth as a party that expressly stands for a clear-cut programme of wresting political power from the hands of the entire anti-poor ruling elite. The main promoter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria, the Democratic Socialist Movement has a long history of consistent intervention in the struggles of the workers’ movement, students’ movement and the community movement. It has stridently called on the leadership of the labour movement to build a genuine mass working people’s political alternative that can alter the current socio-economic situation in favour of the working masses.  It initiated the Socialist Party of Nigeria to serve as a striking example to the broader working people’s movement and campaign for the building of a wider mass working people’s political alternative. Despite the fact that the Socialist Party of Nigeria has met all requirements under the law to be registered and has complied with further guidelines by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the out-of-court settlement granted to INEC in the pending suit challenging the non-registration of the SPN at the Federal High Court in Abuja, INEC has refused and neglected to furnish the SPN with its Certificate of Registration.  

In Ogun State, the Socialist Party of Nigeria through the Education Rights’ Campaign has supported the struggles of students in different tertiary institutions in Ogun State (OOU, TASUED, TASCE, etc) against education commercialization. We also participated through the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights in the mass protests and struggles of Ogun State workers for the payment of their unpaid salaries, earlier this year. 

We submit that the local council elections at this period comes handy as a referendum on the anti-worker Ibikunle  Amosun-led All Progressives’ Congress Ogun State Government that has illegally refused to remit pension and dues deducted from workers salaries . However, we are quick to warn that the array of similar anti-poor political parties such as the People’s Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Unity Party of Nigeria and the Labour Party who are posturing as “alternatives” to the All Progressives’ Congress in the forthcoming local council polls are as inherently anti-worker and anti-masses as the APC.

We also call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to oblige the Socialist Party of Nigeria its Certificate of Registration as it has met  all requirements known to law and it is willing to participate in the forthcoming local council polls in Ogun State as well as other elections across the country. We call on workers, students, artisans, traders, okada riders, tri-cycle(Maruwa) riders, unemployed people and young people seeking for a way out of the long nightmare of the unjust exploitation under all the anti-poor political parties to join the Socialist Party of Nigeria in Ogun State to build a real and genuine political alternative that can wrest power and put the enormous wealth of society into meeting the real needs of all - education, jobs, social housing,etc-and not for the benefit of the few rich.  


EKO JOHN NICHOLAS                                                             
 State Secretary                                 


To JOIN the SPN in Ogun State: Contact 08022634850, 09097933015

Friday, 8 July 2016

WE CONDEMN BAN ON STREET TRADING IN LAGOS

Stop all attacks  on democratic rights
PRESS STATEMENT

We of the Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria strongly condemn the statement credited to Akinwumi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State banning street trading and ordering the arrest of ordinary people who buy from street hawkers. Ambode reportedly relied on the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Markets Prohibition Law, which provides that anyone who buys from a street hawker is liable to N90,000(Ninety thousand naira) fine.

We of the SPN holds that this incongruous provision inserted into the Laws of Lagos State is in itself a breach of the fundamental right to movable property which is enshrined under Chapter Four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended) and the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Markets Prohibition Law is unconstitutional in its entirety and repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. We decry this attempt at mass criminalization by the Lagos State Government and call on the Lagos State House of Assembly to repeal the Law as fast as possible. We also call for  the repeal of the Lagos State Special Offences Law, with which the Lagos State Special and Environmental Offences Taskforce(Taskforce) and Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) have made life intolerable for the poor, homeless and jobless in Lagos State.

We call on the mass of the working people in Lagos State to stand up and resist this move to turn the state to a “banana republic” and organize mass actions to resist this madness. We call for series of unrelenting mass protests until the Lagos State Government backs down on this order and the Lagos State House of Assembly repeals the law.

DARE TO STRUGGLE! DARE TO WIN!
WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR CHAINS!
 

Moshood Osunfurewa
State Secretary