Saturday, 16 December 2017

REGISTRATION OF 21 POLITICAL PARTIES BY INEC: SPN ALSO DEMANDS ITS REGISTRATION AS ORDERED BY COURT



PRESS STATEMENT

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) welcomes the registration of 21 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, SPN is calling on INEC to immediately obey the judgment of the Federal High Court that was delivered by Justice Kolawole Gabriel on November 28, 2017. The judgment ordered INEC to register SPN within 30 days of the judgment. It is eighteen days after the judgment and we expect that INEC would have complied. 

Hopefully, the registration of the 21 political parties will further open up the political space. But only the emergence of a political party with a genuine pro-masses ideology and programmes different from the anti-poor and neo-liberal capitalist programmes of the PDP and APC will truly give more options to the people. This is why the registration of the SPN is crucial to ensure that voters have a real choice.

Some of the new political parties recently registered submitted their applications much after the SPN whose application was submitted on June 12 2013 – more than four years ago!

It is becoming clear that INEC’s refusal to register the SPN despite having fulfilled all requirements and conditions since the year 2014 is politically motivated. Members of SPN have a constitutional and democratic right to form a political party. 

We are hereby using this opportunity to demand that INEC should register the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and issue the party its registration certificate without any further delay.  


Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

SPN: AT THE THRESHOLD OF WORKING CLASS POLITICAL ALTERNATIVE HISTORY!

TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON DECEMBER 7 BY THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF NIGERIA (SPN) IN REACTION TO THE COURT JUDGMENT OF THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT DIRECTING INEC TO REGISTER THE PARTY

As you may already be aware, a Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole in a judgment delivered on Tuesday November 28, 2017 ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) within thirty (30) days.

We of the SPN welcome this judgment, which confirms our democratic and legitimate right to freedom of association as a political party for the main purpose of participating in the electoral and governance processes on the basis of socialist ideas and programmes as our name clearly indicates.
It would be recalled that the SPN had on September 10, 2014 instituted a case at the Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging INEC's undemocratic refusal to register the party despite fulfilling all constitutional and legal requirements including the payment of INEC-imposed One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00) administrative fees.

While we welcome the judgment, we hold that it is a sad commentary on the judicial system that a seemingly straight forward case lasted over three years. This is due to the systemic problem in the nation's judiciary in addition to the delay tactics of the INEC. We call on the government to adequately fund the judiciary, just as we campaign for a more democratic and vibrant judicial system that defends the majority, especially working people, youth and the poor who constitute the vast majority of our population, but are mostly the victims of injustice and defective judicial system.

SPN extends its gratitude to Mr. Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika and the Citipoint Chambers for rendering legal services at no cost to the party. We equally congratulate all party members, sympathizers and collaborators for their supports, steadfastness and persistent campaigning thus far. This victory is for the long suffering working masses, who are yearning for a viable, genuine and radical political alternative as well as a better society.

WHAT NEXT?

We hereby call on INEC to issue SPN its certificate without delay so that concrete party work including mobilizing the mass of the people towards genuine working class oriented transformation of Nigeria can begin in earnest. SPN is prepared to be a robust and effective opposition to the pro-rich and anti-poor political parties in power at all levels. At the moment there is no opposition in Nigeria because the two biggest parties, APC and PDP, embraces the same neo-liberal and anti-poor policies. We are equally poised to play a role in forthcoming elections both in the states as well as the 2019 general elections as a credible political alternative to all those who are disenchanted with the status quo and desire a different kind of politics.

INEC has already wasted enough time; it should not further serve as a clog in the wheel of progress. The court order should be immediately complied with by INEC. Nigerian working people cannot wait any longer to have the party that represents their long term interests on the ballot. 

Furthermore, we call on workers, trade unionists, activists, students, traders, journalists, unemployed, artisans, pro-labour organizations to join and build the SPN across the length and breadth of this country. We are building a party that stands for millions of people and not for the looters. 

Hence, we are committed to challenging the present capitalist arrangement that has made live unbearable for majority of the population, despite the stupendous natural, agricultural, human and material resources in the country, and the world. Meanwhile, the rich few continue to live in superabundance and wasteful opulence. This is the product of capitalist political economic relation. It is this obviously unjust arrangement that SPN wants to challenge through mass mobilization of the working people, youth and the oppressed to effect radical political change through democratic processes, with a view to implementing socialist programmes.

WHAT SPN STANDS FOR IN BRIEF

The condition of living for the vast majority of Nigerians has become increasingly difficult due to rising cost of living and massive job losses. The resultant effect of this rising cost of living is growing poverty. This is an indictment of the Buhari/APC-led government and all previous capitalist governments. 

Instead of meeting the aspirations of the people, the Buhari government is committed to capitalism and its agencies, the IMF and World Bank, whose anti-poor policies of privatization, deregulation and cuts in social spending are responsible for our woes. 

As a political party, we are all out to offer and campaign for a socialist alternative. Our core agenda is to defend and protect the socio-economic and political interest of workers and the poor masses in general.
  • SPN is committed to reversing all anti-people policies of privatization, commercialization, deregulation etc., and in its place, the commanding heights of the economy starting with the oil and gas industry, banks and financial institutions will be nationalized and placed under democratic control of workers and consumers in order to end corruption and bring about efficiency. This socio-economic plan is geared towards meeting the needs of all as against the profit of a privileged few as we presently have it.
  • Hence we shall reverse the privatization of public electricity and place it under democratic public control. We shall increase power generation exponentially and ensure stable supply of cheap electricity to home and industry, pursue and recover all public monies which has been given to the private owners of electricity and put to trial all those responsible for the stealing of our public wealth through different guises.
  • SPN is committed to massive public expenditure in basic infrastructures and social services like transport system, education, healthcare, mass housing, technology, water supply, etc., in order to create jobs on a massive scale. We shall immediately declare public education and healthcare free at all levels. We shall do all these by mobilisation and judicious use of the resources and also by not enriching few contractors through fictitious and wasteful contract system. We shall establish and equip a democratically-managed public work department, which will undertake most of public projects. Contracting will only be used where there is obvious lack of capacity (technical and otherwise) of the public work department.
  • We are committed to reducing jumbo salaries and allowances of top political office holders and top bureaucrats to salary of public workers. All revenue saved by this reduction will be invested in basic infrastructures.
  • Besides, our party will implement living wage and pension. We support the N56, 000 minimum wage declared by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and we want it increased in line with the inflationary rate. Hence, we demand an end to unpaid salary/pension regime in the culpable states that has further pauperized the workers.
  • SPN is committed to progressive taxation and shifting the tax burden from the poor to the rich. Therefore, the wealth and assets of the super-rich will be taxed heavily. If the rich can spend hundreds of millions of naira to procure properties they hardly use or use for luxury, they should be able to pay heavy tax on them. We do not need to rely on philanthropy of the rich few to run our society; we need them to pay their socially fair share of tax on the wealth and assets acquired through the sweat of working people, and at the expense of the society.
  • SPN stands for the protection of democratic rights including the rights of all minority groups and ethnic nationalities. This also includes the right to assemble and speech, freedom of movement, freedom to reside anywhere of choice, freedom to hold opinions and expression. We are committed to the unity of the working masses, respect the cultural, linguistic and religious rights of minorities but recognize the right of all peoples to self-determination.
  • The Party will fight corruption by running an open transparent administration and governance by bringing the mass of the people into governance to checkmate bureaucracy, nepotism and cronyism. Elected representatives of workers, community, social groups, alongside government representatives will transparently and democratically run administration at all levels.
  • SPN stands for a genuine politics that is not monetized. Therefore, there will not be special privileges, especially monetary, for officials of the party, either within the party or in public offices. Contrary to other political parties, the SPN does not require party members to pay fees in order to stand for SPN party positions or nominations. But we will require any SPN members elected to public positions to take the wage of a worker, along with necessary expenses, and donate the rest of their wages and allowances to SPN and workers' movement.
  • Immediately the SPN will be campaigning for payment of all salary and pension arrears; an increase in the minimum wage with no retrenchment; no electricity price hike and an increase in the education and health budgets.
Abiodun Bamigboye
Deputy National Chairperson

Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

VICTORY AT LAST: COURT ORDERS INEC TO REGISTER SPN


PRESS STATEMENT
                                                             
A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole in a judgment delivered today has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) within 30days.

We of the SPN welcome the judgment, which has reaffirmed our democratic right to a freedom of association as a political party that will participate in electoral processes with a socialist programme. We call on the INEC to immediately obey the judgment and issue us the certificate of registration.  

The SPN has been in court since September 10, 2014 challenging the INEC over its undemocratic decision not to register the party despite having fulfilled all constitutional and legal requirements including the payment of INEC-imposed One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00) administrative fee.

While we welcome the judgement, we hold that it is a sad commentary on the judicial system that a seemingly straight forward case lasted over three years. This is due to the systemic problem in the nation judiciary apart from the orchestrated delay tactics by the INEC. We call for adequate funding and democratic management of the judiciary.

The SPN extends its gratitude to Mr. Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika and the Citipoint Chambers for rendering the legal service at no cost to the party. We equally congratulate all party members, sympathizers and collaborators for their support and steadfastness thus far. This victory is for the long suffering working masses who have been yearning for a viable and genuine political alternative to all the anti-poor political parties. We call on workers, youths, artisans, traders, farmers and the poor masses in general to join the party so as to jointly struggle to wrest political power from the thieving capitalist ruling elite.

                                                                                                                                         
Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary

Sunday, 1 October 2017

NIGERIA AT 57: ONLY A MASS WORKING PEOPLE’S POLITICAL ALTERNATIVE CAN TAKE US OUT OF THE DOLDRUMS


PRESS STATEMENT

We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) call on mass of working people across the country to utilize this year’s occasion of the “flag” independence of Nigeria to renew efforts to build a genuine mass working people’s political alternative through which they can set themselves free from the current socio-economic bondage the successive ruling class regimes including the present one has thrown the working masses into. This year’s commemoration of independence is taking place against the background of cacophony of ethnic and divisive sloganeering in our body polity.

We would recall that few months ago, some self-confessing “Northern youths” in a press conference declared a “quit notice” to Igbos in the Northern parts of Nigeria with the notice set to expire on 1st October, 2017. While these elements claimed that they have withdrawn the “quit notice”, there is general apprehension as to possible break-out of ethno-religious killings in Northern parts of the country.

We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria are totally opposed to divisive ethno-religious sloganeering and sectarian language. We call for building of inter-ethnic working people’s committees’ of action to resist any sectarian attack on working class communities in the North and other parts of the country.

We are also opposed to the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led regime. We are opposed to the militarization of the South-eastern part of the country and the repression of the agitations for self-determination. We uphold the right to self-determination as a basic fundamental right. However, our opposition to the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra is not a support for the alienating speeches of the leader of the organisation, Nnamdi Kanu and sectarian approach and method   of the organisation.

We recognize the right to self-determination up to secession if it is the democratic decision of people of an ethnic group. However, we campaign for a united struggle of all working people, youth and the masses of Nigeria for improved conditions side by side with struggle for a united pan-Nigerian working people’s political overthrow of the entire ruling elite of all ethnic stripes and the enthronement of a genuine working people’s government that will guarantee basic needs of life for the vast majority as well as sustainable economic development. 

We in the Socialist Party of Nigeria are committed to this task and we are in a higher stage of actualization of our registration in order to act as a campaigning organisation within and outside the broader working class movement. We are glad to state that the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja hearing our matter for the registration of our political party has set the 2ND DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2017 as the DATE FOR JUDGMENT in the matter. We call on everyone –workers, unemployed people, artisans, youths and students- to join the Socialist Party of Nigeria and strive to achieve this urgent and important task.   
 


Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary