Wednesday, 29 August 2012

We Reject Aregbesola Government’s “Army of Occupation”

Press Statement:

Our attention has been drawn to various horrible conducts of Swift Anti-Robbery Squad (SAS) recently launched by the Rauf Aregbesola-led Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government of Osun state. This so-called special anti-robbery response force, comprising police and military men have been reported to be committing grievous crimes and assaults on citizens of the state, especially ladies under the guise of imposing virtue and moral conduct on youths and working people. These acts are totally absurd, crude as well as undemocratic.

In some instances, ladies who were perceived to be wearing what they term “provocative” dresses have been stripped naked and assaulted while young men having different hair-cuts were seriously assaulted. Young men who ride cars are also assaulted and put under terrible traumatic experience. In some cases, night parties are being disrupted by this “Army of Occupation”. These horrible acts have been reported in major cities like Osogbo, Ile-Ife, among others. All of these under the guise of effecting so-called moral virtues in people. 

We totally reject these crude and barbaric acts, and demand immediate end to them. We also demand immediate probe into these cases, and anyone found guilty among the members of the armed forces should be prosecuted. The Nigerian constitution guarantees freedom of expression and movement, including the right of citizens to express their fashion instinct. Therefore, all the actions of this so-called special force are totally illegal and infringement on the fundamental rights of Nigerians. If these acts are not immediately checked, they will soon become a serious cankerworm for the society.

These actions are reminiscent of the medieval ages where some rulers with questionable credentials took it upon themselves to determine and enforce so-called moral rules of the society. We are not in a medieval society, neither are we in a theocratic state. The police are expected to protect lives and properties and not to serve as army of occupation, implementing so-called illegal and unconstitutional moral codes. According to capitalist rule, the army is expected to defend the capitalist territory, and in peaceful periods help in civil activities like road construction, health missions, etc. This is what the Army Regiment is meant for. Therefore, the state government should stop putting the state under the siege of armed men. It reminds one of the militarization of the state by the Oyinlola government, when the impostor government was rejected by the people.

We ask: who determines the moral codes, and what are the yardsticks for measuring morality? While political class’ plundering of public wealth and their failure to provide basic needs of the people including functional education, healthcare and gainful employment, are not viewed as immoral, ordinary citizens expressing their democratic right are being victimized and brutalized under the guise of enforcing dressing codes. It is ridiculous that the Aregbesola government that has not being able to provide gainful employment for teeming unemployed youth is out to criminalize these youth in the name of enforcing an undemocratic moral code or fighting corruption. We see this as an attempt of the government to divert attention of the citizens away from the failure of the government. 

Furthermore, we are opposed to this idea of a “Squad” fighting crimes and corruption as this create a siege environment and confer undemocratic repressive power on police and army officers, who are notorious for trampling on the rights of the citizens at the slightest opportunity. We maintain that this so-called “anti-robbery squad” is unwarranted in the first instance. Already, there is plethora of security agencies in the country, whose effectiveness in crime control is enough to curtail any rise in security challenges, without creating a siege mentality in the society. Moreover, how will handful of gun-wielding police and army officers be able to move round the state to fight robbery? The reality is that when these men are idle and unable to fight any crime, they keep themselves busy by harassing the citizens, under any guise. This is what is happening in the state now. 

We believe that the most effective means of securing society is by giving power to communities to organize themselves democratically and form security committees that will link up at local, zonal and state levels. These committees if run on democratic basis can serve as the main means of securing communities, with support from security agencies. Indeed, these democratic security committees can serve as check against excesses and abuses by security personnel.
It is however important to emphasize that the source of insecurity stems ab initio from the failure of the capitalist political class to develop the economy and provide social infrastructures that are supposed to ensure better living conditions for the people. Despite the huge resources at the disposal of the state, majority of the people are still living in penury with social services like functional education, quality healthcare, potable water, cheap and affordable mass housing, etc unavailable to the majority of the citizens. 

Moreover, more youths are being thrown into the unemployment markets as a result of the backward neo-liberal policies of the governments at all levels. For instance in Osun State, despite the claim of being progressive, the Aregbesola government has failed to provide gainful employments for teeming youths. The so-called OYES scheme has become another source of sheer exploitation and casualization for most of the youths; meanwhile the state has placed embargo on direct, relative decent employment. This means that tens of thousands of youths will be roaming the streets without any sustainable means of livelihood. Also, the collapse of public education and its commercialization (e.g. hike in fees paid in state-owned tertiary institutions, schools of science and unity schools) have made live more miserable for majority of families while health sector has not made any fundamental improvement since the inglorious regimes of Oyinlola/PDP and its predecessor, Bisi Akande/AD. Morevover, the state government has refused to implement the national minimum wage law across the board for workers; using arm-twisting method to keep workers’ income down.

These are the real sources of insecurity for majority of the citizens of the state. Armed robbery is only one of the negative outcomes of these horrible conditions. The government should therefore focus on the provide basic needs of the people vis-à-vis mass employment drive through mass public work programmes; provision of free, properly funded and quality education at all levels; provision of free and functional healthcare at the point of use (and not one-off health-missions); provision of potable water across the state; immediate implementation of the minimum wage across the board; among others. The government should focus on these realities and stop using the state resources to criminalize and brutalize the citizens under the guise of fighting robbery or enforcing a phoney morality.   


  Adegoke Alfred                                                                   Kola Ibrahim
Protem State Chair                                                            Protem State Secretary

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Labour Must Fight for Implementation of Minimum Wage with General Strike and Mass Action

No to Abrogation of National Minimum Wage Law

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemns the move by the state governors and the National Assembly to remove the minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list. This will mean the abrogation of the national minimum wage law and the leverage for the state governors to pay their respective workers poverty wages. It is not accidental that all the political parties in government are united in this attack on the wellbeing of workers as they all subscribe to the same anti-poor capitalist policies. 

We consider it hypocritical and cruel for the governors to readily invoke "true federalism" whenever the issue and welfare of workers are at stake. But there is no talk of "true federalism" when the governors and other political office holders in the states received the same jumbo salaries and allowances as prescribed by a federal government agency, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

The Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for instance said, "As long as Nigeria is called a federation, states should be allowed to fix the wages of their workers bearing in mind their objective realities. …Ekiti, for instance, is second from the rear in revenue allocation of an average of N2bn monthly and yet it is put under the same yoke of minimum wage with Akwa Ibom State that earns an average of N10bn allocation monthly. This is not only unjust, but oppressive to Ekiti." (Punch August 4, 2012). 

Governor Kayode Fayemi wants to pay workers in Ekiti a lower wage than what the workers in Akwa Ibom earn, contrary to the national minimum wage act, but does not mind receiving the same jumbo salaries and allowances as his counterpart in Akwa Ibom as prescribed by RMAFC despite the difference in the revenue profile of the two states.

Presently in Ondo state, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is engaging in a bitter battle with the Labour Party for the political control of the state ahead of October 2012 governorship election. But on minimum wage issue, like other anti-poor policies, both parties are in firm agreement. This explains why Governor Segun Mimiko of Labour Party shares the position of Kayode Fayemi of ACN on the issue. Mimko through the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, was reported to have said, "The indices of revenue accruable to each state should be adopted in fixing workers' salaries and allowances. It should not be the responsibility of the FG." (Punch August 4, 2012).

The leadership of both Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have threatened to resist this attempt by the state governors to deny workers the right to national minimum wage. This is welcome but not enough. The reaction of Labour to the issue of minimum wage since it became a law has always been mere hot air or lamentation. Well over a year ago the national minimum wage has become operational, but virtually all the state governments have not fully implemented the new wage. 

The national leadership of Labour has left workers in each state to fight it out on their own with their respective state governors. In most cases, the state leaderships of Labour compromised with the governors and got rotten deals for workers. Yet, Labour has not called and mobilized for national action to compel the state governors to obey the law and thereby defend the interest of workers. The plan of the labour leadership, as credited to the TUC president Peter Esele, is to take the governors to court. Apparently after this they would go back to bed and await the technicality of the law to do battle. This plan of Labour is just to while away time and create impression that something is being done. There is no guarantee that the governors who do not obey a law which is unambiguous would readily respect a court order which could even be challenged up to the Supreme Court and thereby making the litigation to last many years. What is required to force the hand of the governments is struggle. The new minimum wage was won by struggle and it has to been enforced by struggle. The labour leaders do not lack the most appropriate of arguments as well as undisputable facts to puncture the fallacious claims of the state government on federalism and revenues. The problem is the lack of resolve to fight the governments, with whom they enjoin strategic partnership, with the might of workers.

We of the SPN call on the Labour leadership to take struggle of the minimum wage much more serious. For instance at the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the NLC held on August 8, 2012 in Benin there was no plan of action to fight for the full implementation of the new wage. It was all lamentation about the plan of the government to remove the minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list. We agree that this has to be fought but the implementation of the minimum wage which is already a law requires immediate action from the Labour. We call on the Labour leadership to immediate come up with a plan of actions that should include 48-hour warning general strike and mass mobilization of workers and other sections of the working people for national action. We call on Labour activists and ordinary workers to begin to agitate right from workplaces for serious action by Labour leadership on the minimum wage along the lines we have proposed. 

We strongly hold that the state governments have the means to pay the new wage, the problem is the anti-working people character of the all the big parties who are only in government for self-serving interest. The payment of the minimum wage means that there will be reduction in the resources set aside for looting which they are not ready to sacrifice. Besides, we hold that drastic reduction in jumbo salaries and allowances of top government functionaries as well as the elimination of wastages like outrageous foreign trips and bloated number of aids to top political office holders would free up more resources to pay minimum wage and finance social program. The capitalist parties in government cannot carry out these measures. This is one of the reasons the working people have to chase these anti-poor parties out of power. If the SPN is in power all political office holders will be placed on the salary structure of civil servants while their democratically audited incidental expenses are borne by the government. We will also enshrine the democratic control by the working people of all the facets of economy and governance. This for instance means that public works on road construction will be subjected to the democratic control of the workers and communities. We call on workers, youths and the poor to join the SPN today and contribute to the building of a party that is for millions and not a few multi-millionaires looters!

Segun Sango
Protem National Chairman

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

8.5% for socialist candidate in Washington state

The preliminary count shows success for Kshama Sawant, the Socialist candidate, running against Democratic incumbent Jamie Pedersen in 43rd District.

Socialist Alternative (CWI supporters in the US)

Kshama Sawant, the Socialist candidate running against Democratic incumbent Jamie Pedersen, has won 8.48% of the ballots in the preliminary count as of 8:15 P.M. on Tuesday, August 7 for the Washington State House in the 43rd District (position 1). Unprecedented write-in vote for position 2 could challenge House Speaker Chopp.
This is a remarkably successful primary election result for a grassroots, anti-corporate campaign running for the first time, given how stacked the election process is against progressive left-wing candidates and parties, and that the corporate media goes out of its way to ignore the left. On top of this is the massive advantage pro-corporate candidates have in terms of resources. The Pedersen campaign has raised over $85,000 from wealthy backers and corporations, while Sawant has raised $10,000 from ordinary people.
The Stranger endorsed Sawant as a write-in for Position 2 in the 43rd district, against Democratic Party incumbent and Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. As of last evening, overall write-ins for Position 2 (10.21%) exceeded the votes obtained by independent candidate Gregory Gadow (9.35%), who is on the primary ballot, but has officially pulled out of the race. It is likely that the vast majority of the write-in votes were for Kshama Sawant.
In the next few days as the write-in votes are fully counted, it is possible that Sawant will be declared the second place finisher against Frank Chopp in position 2, in addition to placing second in position 1. Such a development, unprecedented in recent memory, would represent a shock to the political establishment in Seattle and a rejection of the Democratic Party by the voters in the 43rd District.
It would also mean Sawant would have the right to choose which ballot line to appear on for the general election in November, position 1 (against Pedersen) or position 2 (against Chopp).
“We will wait for the final results of the write-ins for Position 2. But, the extraordinarily high proportion of write-in votes, along with the votes for Gadow, is a clear indication of the anger and discontent with Frank Chopp and his big business politics,” said Philip Locker, the Political Director of the Vote Sawant campaign.
These results show that the political mood is changing. People are outraged about big banks and corporations getting trillions in bailouts and tax breaks, while the rest of us are left with massive cuts to education and social programs, and ever-increasing poverty and unemployment.
The Sawant campaign has pointed out that years of Democratic Party holding the governorship and majorities in both the State House and Senate have resulted in an increasingly regressive tax system, decimation of public education, attacks on unions and state employees, and huge handouts to big corporations.
“Olympia is owned by Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are loyal servants of their corporate masters. Where is the voice to represent ordinary working people?” asked Kshama Sawant.
Sawant’s opponent, Democratic incumbent Pedersen is a corporate lawyer. Pedersen has done commendable work for marriage equality, which Sawant supports and has personally marched and organized for. However, Pedersen, like his colleagues in the Democratic Party, is a big-business candidate and has a consistent anti-education, anti-labor voting record. That is why neither he nor Frank Chopp was endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council in a sharp break from tradition.
Sawant, who is running as a Socialist Alternative candidate, is the only candidate calling for the creation of a statewide public works program to create green living-wage jobs, reversing the budget cuts, and providing full funding for education, health care, and public transit by taxing big business and millionaires. She is calling for an end to police brutality in Seattle, and her campaign platform includes the creation of a democratically elected-civilian oversight committee with full powers to hold the police accountable.
"I think the results very resoundingly confirm what our position has been, and what our perspectives have been as socialists and activists—the Occupy Movement, the Arab Spring—I think people are hungry for a change. In the State of Washington, people for decades, have been locked in the stranglehold of big business—both the Democrats and the Republicans represent big business, and not ordinary people. It’s time for a change," said Sawant to The Stranger newspaper.
“[We] are really looking forward to running a strong campaign in the general elections. I think that it would be fantastic for us to win, but our campaign—because we are running it as activists, and not as career politicians—we’re about the campaign itself, and getting the word out, and we want to get people politically involved," she added. She also called for a series of public debates with Jamie Pedersen this fall.
The campaign is planning to energetically step up their grassroots work of getting the word out and using the election period to help build towards larger social movements to challenge the two parties of the 1% and put the 99% on the political agenda.
Prominent endorsers of Kshama Sawant’s campaign include: The Stranger, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, Cindy Sheehan (Leading anti-war activist and 2012 Vice Presidential candidate), Rich Lang (pastor at University Temple United Methodist Church and Real Change Columnist*), Mike Lapointe (2012 Independent candidate for U.S. Congress from WA State District 2 and former Vice President of the United Electrical Workers Local 264), Eat the State!, Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity, Radical Women, Freedom Socialist Party.

Seattle Transit Union Endorses Socialist Kshama Sawant for State House, 21 July 2012
In mid-July, one of Seattle’s largest public employees union endorsed a Socialist Alternative activist, Kshama Sawant, who is running for the Washington State House of Representatives from the 43rd legislative district. The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local 587 is a union of approximately 4,000 bus drivers and transit workers, most of whom work for King County Metro Transit.
Shortly after ATU local 587 endorsed Sawant, the prominent weekly Seattle newspaper The Stranger also endorsed Sawant as a write-in candidate for the 43rd legislative district, position 2. These two endorsements are the latest signs of the growing support the Sawant campaign has been receiving.
Since the economic crisis struck in 2008, on top of 30 years of growing inequality, support for the Republicans and Democrats has been steadily declining as these corporate-controlled political parties have implemented policies that have widened the chasm between the richest 1% and working people. Despite cynicism on the left, there were hardly any objections raised among rank-and-file ATU members about endorsing an openly Socialist candidate. In fact, the votes at the union membership meetings were practically unanimous.
Sawant advocates reversing the $10.5 billion in budget cuts to public services that her opponent Democratic Representative Jamie Pedersen and the Democratic Party-majority state government have implemented during the economic crisis. In fact, Sawant calls for expanding funding to make public transit free, environmentally sound, and extremely convenient for commuters. Seattle has the 4th worst traffic in North America because its transit system is centered around private cars, which is also disastrous for the climate change crisis.
Sawant gained a lot of support from transit workers by demanding taxing the richest 1% and corporations in order to massively expand public transit, create jobs, and restore drivers’ break periods. She pointed out, “simply reversing the 500 tax exemptions given to big business by their bought-off political representatives would bring in $6.5 billion per year.”
The Washington State Labor Council took the unusual step this year of rejecting endorsing Jamie Pedersen, Sawant’s opponent, because of his anti-labor record, such as his vote to eliminate cost-of-living adjustments for teachers’ and public employees’ retirement benefits. Sawant herself is a fellow union sister. She is an active member of the American Federation of Teachers Local 1789 and an economics teacher at Seattle Central Community College. She is also an Occupy Wall Street activist and an outspoken advocate of equality for women, people of color, and LGBT people.
The Sawant campaign hopes more unions will follow ATU 587’s positive example of endorsing her and running activists for office as Independent working-class candidates. The unions traditionally spend hundreds of millions of dollars and valuable time and energy campaigning for Democratic politicians, who, once elected, turn around and attack workers. Rather than trying to compete with unlimited corporate cash for control over the Democratic Party, the labor, civil rights, Occupy, and environmental organizations should use their resources to run independent working-class candidates who refuse corporate campaign contributions.
As one bus driver John Gallup put it, "Simply put, I don’t want to get laid off. There aren’t many good union jobs left, particularly for young people. We’re not going to be effective defending what’s left – or fighting for more good jobs - if we keep supporting the same two corporate parties that keep balancing their budgets on the backs of public employees and social services."

How You Can Support our Campaign:

1) Like our Facebook page
2) Donate on-line at
Unlike our opponent and other Democratic and Republican candidates, we are not financed by big business and the 1%. Our campaign relies on funding from ordinary workers, young people, and activists. To mount a serious challenge to our corporate-backed opponent, we aim to raise $20,000. (Pedersen has already raised $80,000). If you support our campaign, please donate as much as you can, but even small contributions allow us to purchase signs, campaign materials, mailings and print ads, and to organize events.
3) Volunteer
We are running a 100% grassroots, working-class campaign. We rely on ordinary people contributing their time and energy to build our campaign. We need you to get involved! There are many things that we need help with, so you can definitely pick a task that works for you! Sign up at
4) Endorse our candidate
Invite the candidate and/or a campaign representative to talk with your organization about endorsing. Please also contact us if you can personally endorse as an individual. Please include exactly how you want to be listed, for example, as “John Gallup, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 member.”
5) Join our organization, Socialist Alternative!
We have weekly activist meetings, events, and education programs to help people understand the key lessons of past protest movements, revolutions, and how to change society, but we need your help.
For more information or to get involved in the Sawant campaign and/or Socialist Alternative:
+1 (206) 854-2501

Thursday, 9 August 2012


                                                     PRESS STATEMENT

·         Labour Must Issue a Two-Week Ultimatum
·         Labour leaders must commence immediate mass mobilization towards the immediate and unconditional implementation of N18000 minimum wage now!

The Oyo State chapters of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) jointly condemn the continued refusal of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Oyo state Governor, to comply with the resolution of the state House of Assembly that calls for the immediate re-absorption of 3000 workers sacked by the government.  The Assembly has since the 10th of July 2012 passed the resolution asking the government to suspend the implementation of the state staff audit report by one Captain Consulting Firm.

We therefore call on the state leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to challenge the State Governor over the resolution and issue an ultimatum, for instance two weeks, for compliance failing which there should be a 48-hour warning strike.

This step we are proposing that the labour leadership should take has indeed become necessary given the fact that, apart from the resolution of the House, the review panel constituted by the governor himself after the mass sack has discovered some error in the audit report. Yet the governor has continued to refuse to effect necessary correction by recalling the workers. This shows that the mass sack was a deliberate action aimed at reducing the workforce in the state.

This is more so given the fact that the report of Captain Consulting Firm in issue was inherited from the inglorious past Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government of Adebayo Alao-Akala which also approved full implementation of national minimum wage to the workers. But while the Abiola Ajimobi government of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the second biggest capitalist party after the PDP, enthusiastically implemented the staff audit report it has barefacedly dumped the approval of minimum wage into waste basket. This underlines the insincerity of Ajimobi government. The labour must therefore include in their demands the full implementation of the national minimum wage and begin the mass mobilization workers as well as effective sensitization of the public towards the steps and demands we have proposed.

Oyo workers in one of protests for the full implementation of national minimum wage

The affected workers have been ostensibly sacked for using fake credentials (forged certificate or falsification of age) to secure appointment with the state. But given the revelation of government review panel, the veracity of the staff audit report has been called to question. We therefore call for the recall of the sacked workers and the set up of independent panel that includes the elected representatives of the workers as well as the representatives of the Nigeria Bar Association and genuine civil society organizations to scrutinize the staff audit.

We would like to stress that we do not support falsification of certificate or age to secure jobs either with government or the private employers. It is however the artificial barriers created by the government and private employers while recruiting for jobs owing to limited places available that force many applicants to especially falsify their age. Many people graduate for years without a gainful job as a result of the failure of government at all levels to create jobs or providing enabling atmosphere for job creation. Most students waited from many years after obtaining the senior school certificate before securing admission as a result of limited facilities in the higher institutions. Yet, they spend more years than necessary in the institutions as result of strike by education workers which is usually provoked by the failure of the government to implement the agreement with workers.
In other words, it is the anti-poor, neo-liberal policies of successive governments at all levels which create conditions that condemn  many Nigerians into crimes or despicable acts like falsification of age, prostitution, robbery, internet fraud etc. This is one of the reasons we have called on workers and youths to join the DSM in building SPN which has a pro-masses program that will commit the resources of the society for provision of basic needs like decent jobs, education, health care, electricity, etc 

 We call on Governor Abiola Ajimobi to stop chasing shadow as the best way to substantially curb the act of age and certificate falsification is by creating gainful employment opportunities that will be decent and different from the slave-labour scheme of YES- O in which promising young people in the state are engaged on casual basis and denied right to national minimum wage and trade union.

Bamigboye Abiodun
  (Abbey Trotsky)
State Coordinator

Friday, 3 August 2012


The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) is a political party formed by socialists, trade unionists, workers, youths and student activists.

The party is open to all Nigerian citizens of 18 years of age and above who do not belong to any other political party. SPN hopes to replace the existing dispensation of poverty, hunger, homelessness, joblessness, illiteracy, underdevelopment and suffering amidst plenty with equitable and democratic use of Nigeria's abundant human and natural resources for the collective benefit of all citizens.

The SPN therefore aims to serve as a platform to defend peoples' interest through policies and programs that will reverse the growing inequality in the society. A democratically elected SPN government will focus on the needs of the people unlike the existing order where pursuit of profit and greed overrides the welfare of the people.

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) is founded on the ideals of Freedom, Equality and Social Justice. The vision of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) is partly summed up by Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution which clearly spells out among other things that "The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good;". We believe that faithful implementation of Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can be a starting point for the reversal of Nigeria's age-long underdevelopment and unrealisation of the potentials of its vast human and natural resources for the betterment of its citizens.

In essence, the SPN plans to build a new Nigeria where no one will be poor, hungry, illiterate, homeless or jobless. SPN believes that Nigeria's vast agricultural and mineral resources and human capital are sufficient to guarantee a decent life for all Nigerians. Under the present unjust system of capitalism, the profit of a few is prioritized over the needs of the mass majority, hence a situation where just 1% consumes over 80% of oil wealth while the majority of Nigerians scramble for the rest 20%. Even official statistics shows that the vast majority of Nigerians live below 2 dollars a day! The level of poverty amongst Nigerians is said to be one of the highest in the world despite being the world's sixth largest exporter of crude oil. Nothing in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria supports this condition of mass poverty amidst plenty which a majority of Nigerians are subjected to.

Therefore to reverse this unwelcome trend and provide the best possible living standards and a happy and harmonious life for all citizens of this country, an SPN government shall in compliance with the provisions of Chapter 2 particularly Section 16 (Subsections 1C and 2C) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria bring the key sectors of the economy and the Nigeria's enormous mineral and agricultural resources under public ownership and democratic management to serve the common good of the people

The SPN will be the political party of Nigerian people with the mission to partake in elections and all lawful  civil activities through which we hope to win political power so as to begin in earnest the building of a new Nigeria where the interest of the majority will form the basis of governance and economy.

If elected, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) shall democratically evolve policies and programs in compliance with the provisions of the 1999 constitution to ensure the rapid growth and development of the national wealth and their judicious distribution to ensure the common good of all. In particular we shall implement to the letter the provisions of Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution which in details spells out the fundamental directive principles of the state as the control of "the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity". This the SPN shall do along with other policies in different spheres of our national economy with the sole aim and intention of promoting the common good, barnishing poverty, illiteracy, joblessness and homelessness and, while defending the environment, ensuring the rapid industrialisation of Nigeria and the happiness of all citizens.

In addition, an SPN government shall take steps in consultation and deliberation with the people to implement the following policies which are partly derived from the directive principles of the State as provided for in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the democratic socialist philosophy of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN):

According to Chapter 2 section 18 (1) of the 1999 constitution, "Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels". In compliance with this and in order to speedily eradicate the shameful incidence of mass illiteracy which grips millions of our citizens like a cankerworm, an SPN government will make education free at all levels with due consideration of the fact that this is very practicable now.

In saying this, we are mindful of the terrible state in which previous and present governments both military and civilians have put the education system. In a deliberate attempt to run down public schools and promote private schools, governments at all levels have continually reduced funding for education. This has in turn led to a situation of continuous deterioration of infrastructures, overcrowding of classrooms, inadequate teaching personnel, poor welfare of workers in the sector etc., leaving those who do not have the means to accept the condition in the public schools or seek private alternatives, which are largely unaffordable for the masses. Even the meager funds budgeted are most times not properly accounted for by those in positions of authorities and so under bureaucratic management, improved funding does not guarantee quality education.

Socialists see education not only as a method of adding to the efficiency of production, but also as a method of producing fully developed human beings. SPN will strive to place education vis-à-vis the management of schools under the management and supervision of elected education workers, parents, students and the communities so that funds will be well managed and maximally utilized according to needs.

Through this democratic public education system, there will be expansion of schools and facilities while recruitment of teachers and non-teaching staff will be accorded priority. Education will be made a right and not the privilege of a few. SPN stands for an immediate and dramatic expansion of the number of teachers, so that no class size is greater than 35. Children of public officers under SPN government will attend the same schools with children of workers and the poor.

To achieve this we shall pursue the following as immediate steps:
(a)        Scrapping of all fees including tuition and other charges; Provision of free education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels
(b)        Adequate funding of public education to the level of guaranteeing quality and functional education at all levels.
(c)        A crash programme to implement a class size not more than 35 in every primary and secondary school.
(d)       A crash programme to build standard, modern and well-equipped primary and secondary schools across the country to increase enrolment.
(e)        A special focus to increase enrollment of the girl-child, improve education access for nomads, physically-challenged and other socially-disadvantaged groups in society
(f)        A democratically planned and equitable admission policy based on genuine education needs of all Nigerians and not the present arrangement, which encourages ethnic division and marginalization.
(g)        Improvement of teaching facilities in all schools across the country, including upgrading and provision of modern libraries, laboratories, lecture theatres and decent hostel facilities.
(h)        Running of Schools by a democratically elected committee of teachers, representatives of school management, representatives of parents and the community where these schools are located.
(I)        A review of the present national education policy and curriculum through a democratic process involving teachers, students and parents to produce a new policy and curriculum that makes education functional by linking the process of learning with the economy; also providing considerable local flexibility where pupil and teacher innovation are encouraged.
(j)         Payment of living wage to all teaching and non-teaching staff and provision of opportunities and facilities for research and re-training.
(k)        Retention of all staff and a crash program to employ more teachers, non-teaching staff and lecturers.
(l)         Full respect of the democratic rights of students and staff to form and organize unions without interference from the state.
(m)       Introduction of free and functional adult education to eradicate adult illiteracy.
(n)        SPN elected public officials to send their children to public schools.

According to Chapter 2 section 15 (b), "the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government". Today in Nigeria aside from ethno-religious crisis, accidents and crimes which daily claim lives, diseases and poor health condition are one of the greatest threat to the security and welfare of Nigerians. The public hospitals have been neglected by the successive governments in compliance with the IMF/World Bank Policies of cuts in social spending thereby leaving the poor and those incapable of paying for expensive private health care to their fate. This has led to a sad situation in which poor Nigerians with curable diseases die prematurely because they could not afford the cost of health care and oversea treatment. Nigeria despite its huge resources has one of the worst cases of maternal and infant mortalities in the world.

In compliance with the provision of the constitution under Chapter 2 Section 17 subsection 3 (c) "that the State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons", an SPN government shall implement the following:

a.         Making health care free for all and at the point of use.
b.         Striving to see that the ratio of health workers to patients is brought to the barest minimum through employment of adequate and well remunerated         health personnel.
c.         Reversing the infrastructural decay in public hospitals and construction of new hospitals, clinics and health centres in order to meet the needs of the        people whose population is growing and expanding are necessary and vital.
d.         Massive expansion of standard primary and secondary health care system, as a way of reversing the ugly trend of overcrowding of tertiary and specialist health care centres that should attend to special cases and research             works.
e.         Prioritizing preventive healthcare with provision and expansion of sanitary facilities and services
f.          Mandating SPN's political office holders and members of their families to patronize public hospitals as a means of ensuring sustainable quality.

There is a painful scourge ravaging Nigerians; that is the scourge of mass homelessness. This is a betrayal of the Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution and the social contract. At least ten million houses are needed to put decent shelter over the heads of millions of the poor and working people and stop them from living in substandard houses and even under bridges or open places. To effectively address this scourge requires faithful implementation of the directive principles of State Policy as enshrined in Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution as well as other policies and programs aimed to ensure the total well-being of Nigerian citizens.

SPN will embark on massive public works programme on housing which will be rented to Nigerians at affordable rates. One major problem in the construction industry is the growing cost of building/constructing materials like cement, iron rod etc due to the existing private ownership of industries in the sector.

In order to drastically reduce the cost of construction an SPN government will:

a.         Embark on massive public works programme on decent and affordable                   housing
b.         In line with Section 16 Subsection 1 (C), (D) and Section 2 (A) of Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution and after due consultation with the people, nationalize the private cement companies and big construction companies and place them under public democratic control and management in order         to ensure that  the unhealthy monopoly and speculations which exist in the construction, property and housing sector is dismantled such that cheap, affordable housing can be provided by government to reverse the shameful scourge of mass homelessness afflicting millions of our citizens. Adequate compensation shall be paid to deserving former owners of these companies and firms. This pro-people approach will be anchored on planning of resources and production to meet the needs of all.
c.         Massively invest in building materials like cement, iron, sand, wood etc., as a means to reduce construction costs.
d.         Provide low interest rate for private builders under public democratic scrutiny to adhere to set standards and prevent profiteering.

Electricity is very crucial to industrial development and job creation. Its importance for household is also enormous. No sector of the economy can survive without it.  The poor state of electricity means that artisans, business organizations, schools, hospitals, etc rely on generator run on expensive and sometimes scarce fuel in order to remain in operation.  But this means high cost of doing business, and high prices of goods and services as energy contributes more than 40 percent of the cost of doing business.  This high cost of energy has led to the collapse of many small and big companies with some relocating from the country to survive.  Many artisans have also closed shops and the cost of living for families have become high and unbearable.

The SPN strongly holds that the electricity sector which is one of the "major sectors of the economy" as defined under Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution can be efficient and guarantee cheap electricity if kept public. The SPN will achieve this by:

a.         Re-nationalisation of the electricity sector. Placing all electricity generation, transmission and distribution companies under the democratic control and management of elected committees of workers, consumers and representatives of the government in order to ensure that public resources spent to improve the power sector is not mismanaged or looted. What this means is that instead of a few bureaucrats appointed by the government to run public utilities and enterprises, decisions must be taken among rank-and-file workers and consumers elected into management committees at local government, state and national levels with the mandate to oversee the affairs of the power sector in compliance with the needs of the people and economy.
b. Investing public resources to embark on comprehensive program of electrification of rural and urban areas in the country and ensure the provision of adequate and affordable electricity for both domestic and industrial use
c.  Investing in research and technology on environment-friendly means of generating electricity such as wind, solar and wave power while phasing out fossil fuels (gas, coal, oil, etc.) which do not only damage the environment but are also non-renewable sources of energy.

In accordance with the provisions of Section 20 of Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution which says that 'The State shall protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wildlife of Nigeria", the SPN as an environment-friendly party will ensure that no project will be undertaken without conducting a comprehensive and genuine environmental impact assessment. Such assessment will be conducted by elected representatives of affected communities working with relevant professionals. This will ensure that the needs and safety of the people take precedent over profit or self-serving interest in the execution of projects. The SPN will ensure:

a.         The provision of adequate and efficient drainage system to prevent flooding.
b.         The development of well-planned housing policies that do not only guarantee affordable and decent housing but also prevent flooding.
c.         Investment in research and technology on the mitigation of effects of climate change as well as its adaptation
d.         That oil pollution is a rarity by ensuring the immediate and comprehensive clean-up as well as adequate compensation when there is pollution. This is bearing in mind that the major feature of oil producing communities is the       pollution of water and land which does not only make fishing and farming, the traditional occupation of the locals, extremely difficult but also make the environment unsafe and living unbearable
e.         Development of policies to confront the challenges of desertification and   deforestation.
f.          Maximum utilization of gas and stoppage of gas flaring.
g.         In line with the provisions of Section 17 subsection 1(d) of Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution which says "exploitation of human or natural resources in any form whatsoever for reasons, other than the good of the community, shall be prevented", an SPN government will strive to implement environmental policies that will not be at expense of safety and food security or driven by profit interests of corporate organizations. For instance, agrofuel is said to be more environment friendly than fossil fuel but its production at commercial quantity involves several tonnes of grains that could serve as food.

The transportation system in Nigeria is in terrible state. The roads are mostly bad; the railway is largely non-functional and archaic; water transportation is largely unexplored despite the potential while air transportation is in such bad conditions that air mishaps have become a frequent occurrence. Yet transportation contributes immensely to production and exchange. It links different parts of country and connects agriculture to industry and markets.  Hence, the transportation of human and goods is a top priority for the SPN.

Therefore in line with Section 15 subsection 3 (a) which provides that it shall be the duty of the State to "provide adequate facilities to encourage free mobility of people, goods and services throughout the Federation, the SPN shall pursue the following policy and program on Road Transportation:

a.         Construction of roads through publicly owned companies which are placed under the democratic control and management of working people. The companies will be adequately equipped and manned by qualified personnel.
b.         Investment in public road transportation companies under workers and communities democratic control as a means to end corrupt practices while engendering efficiency.
c.         Massive building and maintenance of communities, villages, towns and cities link roads.

Railway transportation is key to industrialization because of its capacity to move large goods and passengers from one place to another. Modern railway transportation is faster than road and more effective in densely populated cities. The SPN shall pursue the following policy and program on railway Transportation:

a.         Modernizing the present railway network and connecting strategic parts of the country.
b.         Investing massively in the Nigeria Railway Corporation under democratic management and control of workers, professionals and unions in the industry.

Nigerian airports lack functional and modern facilities for efficient and safe air travel. The aviation industry itself is dominated by private interests who readily compromise safety and standards because of profit considerations. The SPN shall pursue the following policy and program on Air Transportation:

a.         Resurrection of Nigeria Airways with massive investment in modern aircrafts on its fleet.
b.         The employment of the right set of experts and workers on living wage and introduction of democratic management and control by workers and passengers.
c.         Massive public investment and improvement in the facilities at the airports across the country.
d.         All necessary measures to guarantee safe air travel and a viable aviation sector which is not driven by blind pursuit of profit at the expense of safety.

Water transportation is necessary for transportation of goods and passengers in riverside communities.

The SPN shall pursue the following:

a.         Investment in big and small boats to enhance movement of passengers and aid fishing.
b.         Investment in publicly owned shipping lines to enhance cargo transportation.

Agriculture has suffered massive neglect despite the fact that it used to be the mainstay of the Nigerian economy until the 1970's. Farming is largely carried out with backward tools while most farmers lack basic training and knowledge required to move the sector forward. For the few farmers who farm for commercial purpose, about 30% of produce get spoilt because of lack of storage while most farmers farm for subsistence. The same is for livestock farmers.

Agriculture is one major avenue for raw materials that feed industry, hence, without a viable and highly mechanised agriculture, there cannot be a strong industry. And one major militating factor is the lack of basic infrastructure like power, good road network, etc. For instance, lack of power makes production and storage very expensive, and hence contributes to the continued collapse of factories.

To achieve a viable agriculture sector, SPN shall pursue the following policies:

a.         Rural and urban electrification to guarantee 24 hours energy supply.
b.         Investment in publicly owned plantations which are democratically run, and encouragement of cooperatives among farmers in different areas.
c.         Cheap loans for farmers and public funded training of farmers.
d.         Renting of mechanized farming tools to poor farmers at cheap rate; provision of seeds and fertilizers at affordable rate.
e.         Improvement in cash crop farming and export without endangering food    security.
f.          Linking of education with agriculture and industry in terms of training and research.
g.         Provision of good road networks between the rural and urban areas.

a.         In line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution which says states that the State shall "harness the resources of the nation and promote national prosperity and an efficient, a dynamic and self-reliant economy;" an SPN government shall diversify the economy away from the mono-economy of the past decades. This will entail massive investment in agriculture, industry mining,   tourism, etc.
b.         SPN shall strive to achieve local production of most products needed for self-sufficiency in our own country through research in science and technology.
c.         SPN will ensure massive investment in the steel industry especially Ajaokuta steel and other steel companies under public ownership with democratic management and control of workers
d.         SPN shall resurrect the textile industry as well as other areas of industry     where Nigeria has and could achieve viable growth and self-sufficiency.
e.         In order to achieve a planned and balanced economic development, SPN will strive to reverse the mono-economic status of Nigeria as an exporter of raw materials to exporter of both raw materials and industrial products to correct trade imbalance.

Unemployment is a rising phenomenon. As of 2011 about 40 million Nigerians are unemployed while millions are still under-employed. Unemployment among the youths is put at 42%.
To reverse this trend, an SPN government will impement all the provisions of Section 17, subsection 3 (a - g) under Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution. Additionally an SPN government will strive to achieve the following:

a.         Massive investment in the expansion of infrastructure, facilities and productive capacity to be able to mop up unemployment.
b.         To End casualization and the new casualised job schemes recently introduced by governments and private employers where youths are employed on poverty wages and work under slavish conditions.
c.         Creation of decent, well-paid jobs with good condition of service and trade union rights.
d.         Payment of adequate unemployment benefit to those without a job and welfare benefits for the unemployed, sick and elderly.
e.         Full employment for all able-bodied men and women who desire to work   and a work-study opportunity for young people.
f.          Public works programme under democratic control that will speedily and steadily reduce unemployment.
g.         Implement a national minimum wage in all sectors of N52,200, first demanded by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in December 2008; to be reviewed upward periodically to match the rate of inflation and cost of living.

Corruption thrives when resources are undemocratically and bureaucratically managed. Only open and democratic management of resources, production, services and exchange can guarantee accountability, transparency and probity. While it is reported that over $140 billion was looted between 1999 and 2009 in Nigeria by the political elite, it is noteworthy that this is aside the officially sanctioned pilfering, where 17, 474 political office holders have collected or allocated to themselves as 'salaries and emoluments' over N6 trillion since 2006. This is not to mention corruption perpetrated through the privatization and commercialization policies, pro-big business trade and economic policies (e.g. bail out of banks, fraudulent loan policies, etc).

An SPN government will immediately implement the provision of Section 15 subsection 5 Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution which expressly states that "The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power".  This will be achieved through the following policies:

a.         Democratically elected public tribunals comprising elected representatives of workers, peasants, farmers, students, professionals and the government to determine cases of corruption and prosecute indicted persons.
b.         Investment of public tribunals with the power to recover all stolen wealth   since 1960 by confiscating properties of past political office holders, which        were illegally acquired with stolen wealth, and convert them to the use of the public.
c.         Rejection of all jumbo allowances and salaries of political office holders.    Abolition of convoys and other means of unconscionable extravagance and wastage of the national wealth. All public office holders under an SPN government will earn the average wage of a skilled civil servant and have all expenses publicly listed.
d.         Subjection of public office holders to recall by a sinple majority of the voters/people they represent.
e.         Democratic management of all public departments, agencies, and companies through committees comprising elected representatives of workers and the government.

In order to truly build a better Nigeria, democracy must be fully practised without fear or favour. In this wise, an SPN government shall see to the immediate and full implementation of Section 14, Section 15 subsection 2 - 4, Section 16 subsection 2 (d), Section 17 subsection 2 (a - e) and Section 22 of Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In addition, an SPN government shall also pursue the following:

a.         Recognition of the right to a national minimum living wage, suitable and    adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, education, health, social security including old age care and pensions, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled
b.         Immediate and unconditional reinstatement of all politically motivated sack/expulsion of workers/students and end to the victimization of workers/trade unionists and student activists.
c.         Defense of the right to demonstrate and strike.
d.         Trial of those responsible for human rights abuse during military and civilian rule and adequate compensation for the victims.
e.    Immediate repeal of all undemocratic and anti-labour laws
f.    Abolition of discrimination against women. Equal political, civil, property and social rights for women. Equal pay for work of equal value without discrimination on account of sex, or any other ground whatsoever.
g.         Freedom of expression, association and assembly. Full freedom and independence for trade unions and student bodies without interference from state or management.
h.         A genuine multi-party democracy with the right of every individual and groups to organize political parties. The right to stand for election as independent candidates.
i.          Democratic control of the police and full democratic and trade union rights for police and military personnel. Decent accommodation and a living wage for all police and military personnel as part of the fight against             corruption.
j.          Right of all ethnic nationalities to self-determination.
k.         Support for the call for the convocation of a truly Sovereign National Conference (SNC) compromising elected representatives of social groups such as workers, peasant farmers,  traders rank and file of the armed forces and police, professionals and ethnic nationalities according to their numerical strength to deliberate and decide on the way forward for the country and to draw up a new constitution for Nigeria.
l.          International solidarity against oppression, exploitation and imperialist  wars

(12)      ECONOMY
Section 16 subsection 2 (c) of Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution states that the State shall direct its policy towards ensuring "that the economic system is not operated in such manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group". In order to provide the resources to build a more equitable society, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) shall faithfully implement this provision of the constitution by:

a.         Nationalizing the major sectors of the economy under public democratic control and management with compensation paid to former owners on the basis of proven need.  
b.         Democratic management and control of public companies and parastatals by committees comprising elected representatives of workers, consumers, trade unions and the government.
d.         End to policies of privatization, commercialization, deregulation, hike in     fuel price, retrenchment of workers, etc which go contrary to the spirit and letters of Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution. Workers will not be retrenched       but be constantly retrained to be able to function in a changing environment.
e.         Embarking on a public works programme to build roads, houses, railways, schools and hospitals in order to create jobs and develop public infrastructures
h.         Implementing a system of progressive taxation accompanied by effective   measures to prevent tax evasion. Collections of all taxes and payments owed to the Nigerian government by local and foreign companies doing business in Nigeria.
i.          Making the interests of Nigerian citizens the primary determinant of government economic policies.