The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemns the ban of a documentary film titled Fueling Poverty by the Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) at the behest of Goodluck Jonathan government. This reprehensible action of the government is another example of its egregious descent into inveterate civilian dictatorship.
Just recently, the State Security Service (SSS) arrested and detained four journalists with Leadership newspaper for publishing a story the government considered unpleasant while a lecturer was arrested at Ahmadu Bello University for a comment made at a lecture.
The film board says the contents of the documentary produced by Ishaya Bako "are highly provocative and likely to incite or encourage public disorder and undermine national security." Clearly threatening the filmmaker, the board told him that, "All relevant national security agencies are on the alert. A copy of this letter has been sent to the Director General, Department of State Services and the Inspector General of Police for their information".
The banned film highlights the monumental fraud that is associated with fuel subsidy and the failure of government to use the resources of the government for the benefit of the majority.
The SPN holds that though the action of the Jonathan is draconian and undemocratic, it is indeed a mere shadow kicking. The working people of Nigeria do not need to watch the film to know about the monumental corruption and failure of the governments at all levels, and thereby appreciate the imperative of a fight back. Indeed, the probe organized by National Assembly under the pressure of the January 2012 mass protest is reeking of more shocking revelations than what obtain in the film.
The Nigerian working people staged the biggest mass protest in January 2012 against the hike in fuel price under the guise of removal of fuel subsidy which has proved to be huge racket involving top government functionaries and private sector vampires.
The entrenched anti-poor policies and conducts of Jonathan government have made it to live daily in mortal fear of mass resistance and fight back by the working people. Hence, it is dreadfully apprehensive that a film talking about poverty could "incite or encourage public disorder".
The SPN calls on trade unions, socialists and human rights organizations to condemn this crude attack on democratic rights and freedom of expression, and organise mass activities against the growing spate of civilian dictatorship and anti-poor policies of the government.
Protem National Chairman