BEING THE PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY OSUN STATE CHAPTER OF SPN ON THE OCCASION OF THE 52ND ANNIVERSARY OF NIGERIA
We condemn the spate of celebration and the deception of the entire ruling ruling class given the parlous state of the economy, excruciating poverty and infrastructural decay .We hold that the fifty-second anniversary of Nigeria’s independence has met the mass of the Nigerian working people in a grievous and appalling state wherein through the innumerous neo-liberal attacks, living conditions continue to degenerate to the barest minimum.
We hold that all the ruling parties of the capitalist elite ,including the PDP at the national level and the ACN, CPC,ANPP,APGA, LP etc, have made life unbearable for the Nigerian masses through their combined neo-liberal attacks such as fuel price hike, privatization, commercialization and liberalization which all they jointly foist on the already pauperized masses .
We contend that the working masses must not for once relent in their mass opposition against these neo-liberal attacks as exemplified by the magnificent January general strike and mass protests against the callous fuel price hike. We strongly reject fresh plans on the part of the Jonathan regime on total fuel subsidy removal and call on the mass of the working people to remain vigilant and be ready to resume mass actions and occupations against this anti-people policy.
We are equally opposed to the sale of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and the entire privatization of the power sector. We call on the generality of the working masses and the electricity workers to be prepared to stage mass protest actions against the handover of the power sector, under any guise including transfer of its assets to bourgeois sharks and fraudsters like Otedola, Tony Elumelu (who have corruption cases around their neck), IBB and Co. Already, the initial moves along this direction have resulted in obnoxious increase in electricity tariff and the privatization exercise would only result in job losses and the collapse of the economy.
We are equally appalled by the national flood disaster and holds the failure of the all the ruling capitalist parties, both at national and state levels to meet the challenge of basic and critical infrastructure as being responsible for the disaster. We call on working masses in the affected communities to take up the control of distribution of essential services and relief materials through democratically –elected committees, in order to arrest the worsening and neglected situation.
We also view with displeasure the current moves of the Aregbesola-led Action Congress of Nigeria to demolish existing structures in state public schools, both dilapidated and non-dilapidated ones and replace them with “fantastical” structures. We hold that construction of any new structure should go on simultaneously with the upgrading of the current non-dilapidated structures. More also, we hold that the organization and implementation programme of the reconstruction of the schools should be placed under the control of democratically-elected committees of representatives of teachers’ unions, principal associations and the community groups .
We are also opposed to the moves on the part of the Aregbesola regime to transfer medical students of the Osun State University to Ukraine for the completion of their academic programme on the basis of the non-accreditation of their Medical School in the state university. We count this as completely absurd action and great show of characteristic unwillingness on the part of the pro-rich and anti-poor Aregbesola regime and the Action Congress of Nigeria to tackle the fundamental crisis of society, which is in this case the proper upgrading of the Medical College of the state university.
We hold that these elitist and anti-poor policies of the Aregbesola regime alongside the failure to implement the N18, 000 minimum wage and the fresh plans to railroad Osun State workers into a fraudulent contributory pensions scheme shows clearly the pro-rich character of the Action Congress of Nigeria which is not fundamentally different from the ruling People’s Democratic Party at the national level.
This confirms the perspective of the socialists that the working masses need their own independent and genuine political platform that can meet their genuine aspirations. Hence, we call on workers, farmers, market women, youth, students and the poor to join the Socialist Party of Nigeria which is striving to put in power a revolutionary democratic socialist government in Osun State and nationally.
We call on the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress with pro-labour organizations including the Joint Action Front to mobilize the mass of the working people for fresh national mass rallies and two-day general strike against total fuel subsidy removal, sale of PHCN, non-implementation of N18,000 minimum wage, etc .
We call for the nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy under the control of democratically –elected representatives of workers, youth and the poor in order to galvanize the enormous wealth, currently being controlled by the few clique in power at all levels to meet the genuine aspirations of the working masses for free and functional education at all levels, standard and accessible healthcare, jobs for the millions, better living conditions and complete transformation of the economy . We hold that this is the only democratic socialist panacea to the current capitalist nightmare that the generality of the working masses are presently trapped.
Protem State Chairman
SPN, Osun State Chapter