"Building a Genuine Alternative Political Platform: The Role of Workers, Poor and the Youth"
By Kola Ibrahim
The Osun State Chapters of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) held a joint public symposium with the theme: "Building a Genuine Alternative Political Platform: The Role of Workers, Poor and the Youth", and a sub-theme: "Aregbesola Govt.'s Reforms: A Critical Review" on Saturday, 2nd March, 2013 at the Osogbo Grammar School Osogbo Osun State. The symposium had in attendance twenty-six (26) participants including comrades from DSM branches in Ilesa, Esa-Oke, OAU Ife, Osogbo and Comrade Abbey Trotsky from Oyo who was the lead speaker. In addition to members of DSM and SPN, there were also ten other working class people in attendance.
Speaking at the symposium were Abbey Trotsky, Secretary, DSM Oyo state; HT Soweto, National Coordinator, Education Rights Campaign; Kola Ibrahim, Secretary DSM Osun state and Alfred Adegoke, protem chairman, SPN Osun State Chapter. They all dwelt on the fact that none of the current ruling political parties can provide genuine alternative to the working and poor people. They also underlined the fact that the so-called opposition party being formed to dislodge the PDP, that is APC, cannot move the working and poor people forward fundamentally. They raise the need for a working people political alternative with the labour movement leading such effort. They maintained that the formation of SPN and its orientation towards working class people and youths is a step in this direction. They clearly highlighted what the SPN stands for.
Abbey Trotsky reiterated the fact that SPN will surely join force with any genuine effort at building a working people's political platform. He highlighted the clear similarities between the policies of the PDP and so-called APC.
Alfred Adegoke, Soweto and Kola Ibrahim spoke at length on the dubiousness of the so-called reforms of the Aregbesola government, especially the education reforms and the so-called youth empowerment scheme. They counter-posed the socialist alternative to the dubious reforms.
There were comments by the audience, most of whom showed skepticism about the ability of the labour movement leadership to build a genuine working people's party. They also ask whether the SPN will betray the working masses like the NCP and Labour Party. However, every contributor among the audience showed significant interest to join the SPN effort.
About 20 copies of the SPN forms were given out, while a sum of N460 was raised as fighting fund at the event.