Friday, 28 June 2013

PHOTO NEWS: SPN Activists at Oshodi

On Saturday June 22, members of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Lagos state chapter were at the popular Oshodi market to interact with working people on the political and economic alternative the party offers to the ACN and other pro-establishment parties, and thereby ask them to join the SPN.  

A stall was set with the Party Manifesto and Constitution and a special leaflet which is critical of Lagos/ACN government and provides socialist alternative. SPN Members also moved to different motor parks and bus stops at the market with the manifesto and leaflet.  About 1,500 copies of the leaflet were circulated. Remarkably, two female traders bought the manifesto. Some people put down their name to join the party while some promised to contact us after reading the leaflet.  Some also visited the stall to enquire about the party. 

However, as we were about to round off the activities, the operatives of KAI, a paramilitary agency apparently set up to harass poor traders in Lagos, came to ask us to close the stall arguing that we did not get permission from them before setting the stall. We challenged their authority. But they did not wait to see us obeying their “order” as they left hurriedly to pounce on a poor bread hawker.  As we were leaving we saw them shamelessly hoarding loaves of bread under the table of a newspaper vendor.  

Making Enquiry about the materials and the party

He became a contact

Circulating leaflets to BRT bus passengers

She bought the Manifesto




Members of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) were on Saturday June 22 harassed at Oshodi while distributing leaflets that are critical to the anti-poor policies of the ACN government in Lagos as well as the misrule of other political parties, particularly PDP. 

As with the tradition of SPN, we go from one location to another to distribute leaflets and interact with people with our Manifesto and Constitution and Socialist Democracy, a bi-monthly newspaper of the Democratic Socialist Party known as Socialist Democracy. After an hour we had set the stall, officials of Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) became angry having discovered that the materials we were circulating were critical of ACN and Lagos state government. They claimed we were supposed to get permit from Lagos State Government before setting up a stall and sharing the leaflets; but we argued otherwise. They ordered us to leave and threatened to disrupt our stall. Good enough, we had already started rounding off the activities when they came. Otherwise, we would have called their bluff and waited for their worst. We however still challenged their authority to prevent circulation of leaflets in Oshodi or elsewhere in Lagos.

Interestingly, before we closed the stall, we just observed the KAI operatives dashing away from us. It was while leaving we discovered that the operatives had to leave us for a more lucrative prey. We saw the officials hurling loaves of bread under the table of a newspaper vendor. They had apparently pounced on a bread hawker or stall.  It was a sigh of pity for the poor victims, though not a shocking scene to the people around. The KAI operatives under the cover of enforcement of some obnoxious, anti-poor environmental law harass traders and loot goods on a daily basis.
KAI is an agency set up by the former Governor of Lagos State Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2003. The idea behind it is to have a platform that can accommodate ACN thugs used in election period. In between elections, KAI operatives harass poor traders and hawkers and confiscate their wares, which are shared amongst themselves. It is a case of the Lagos State Government recruiting the poorest in the society and setting them against other poor people.

No doubt the activities of KAI have become more vicious, authoritarian and criminal in the last 6 years. All kinds of crudity and absurdity are embedded in KAI activities. They embark on forceful arrest and sometimes subject their victims to crude and undemocratic trials. For instance, poor traders, hawkers and beggars are usually arraigned before a mobile court for trial without fair trial and they are instantaneously sentenced to prison or they are fined. In this charade that takes place every day on the streets of Lagos, those arrested and tried under this kangaroo court system are never given opportunity to defend themselves or prepare their defense before they are summarily sentenced. This shows how crude, undemocratic and anti-poor the Fashola-led ACN government is despite its pretenses, tokenism and grandstanding. 

These KAI operatives don’t restrict their activities to stealing and hooliganism, they also kill. As reported in PM newspaper of January 20, 2012, 2 KAI officials (Taiwo Fashola, 52 and Musiliu Ismaila 45) and others were alleged to have killed one 24-year old Okaja Ahamefula, a street trader on 28 August, 2011.

The SPN is demanding an end to the harassment and attacks of innocent poor people and their undemocratic and crude arraignment before a black market court. We are equally also demanding the scrapping of KAI operation in Lagos.

Chinedu Bosah
Lagos State Protem Chairman  



Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) is a new party formed by socialist and change seeking people aimed at rescuing Nigeria from socio-economic crisis. SPN is democratically run and does not accommodate impositions and anti-poor policies. 
In Lagos, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the ruling party is attacking different sections of the working people in the state such as PDP and other pro-establishment political parties do in the states they control.  
Lagos state is the only state in Nigeria where it is illegal to be a beggar or give arms to beggars. Many beggars are daily forcefully arrested, detained and deported to other states and countries. It shows the height of insensitivity and wickedness on the part of Fashola-led government who is pretending that Lagos is working despite the growing poverty, misery and hopelessness. Every sector in Lagos and Nigeria is comatose. The health sector is dying, electricity is much more epileptic despite PDP promises.

Public primary and secondary schools are not only over-crowded but also lack functional and adequate facilities for quality education like laboratories and libraries. A few standard private schools are unaffordable for most parents. Tertiary education in the state has been taken out of the reach of children of the poor. For instance, fees hike (N193,750 - N348,750) in LASU drastically reduced the number of students that gained admission in the 2011/2012 academic session from 4,903 to 1,951.
The implication of huge fall in student enrolment as a consequence of the failure of commercialisation in LASU  is the planned “rationalization” that will entail scrapping and merger of some departments and mass sack of workers, a policy aimed at cutting cost. Governor Fashola like other ruling class members do not have their children in LASU or any other public schools but in very expensive schools abroad. LASU is dying! The SPN will scrap these inhuman fees in LASU and in other tertiary institutions and we shall introduce free and quality education at all levels in Lagos by investing massively in education.

Lagos State Government has shown obvious lack of capacity to provide Lagosians with functional transportation system. Many roads are in terrible shape such that they are impassable and inaccessible. It explains why most Lagosians spend several hours in traffic for journey of few minutes. This is one of the reasons Okada has become a major means of transportation. Fashola's response is to ban Okada in 475 roads. However, the same Fashola and ACN gave okada riders helmets and used them to campaign during the 2011 general election.
The state of the roads, drainage and the unplanned communities are responsible for flooding in many places whenever it rains. The SPN is opposed to the ban and attacks on Okada riders by the police and now the ban on tricycles operators (Keke NAPEP) and demand an end to these attacks. These ban and attacks has thrown hundreds of thousands of people into joblessness. SPN is interested in phasing out Okada as a means of public transportation and that can only be achieved by modernizing the means of transportation, which includes reconstructing and maintaining all roads with adequate drainage, put in place a metro-line that connects different parts of Lagos, investing in safe water transportation and putting in place a public mass transit.
The transportation regulatory agencies set up in Lagos are operated as revenue generating agency for the government and not as corrective agency. This  explains why some penalties are as high as N50,000 and more. Many abandon their vehicles to government when they cannot afford the very high penalties and accumulated demurrage. SPN will reduce the penalties to affordable rates and scrap some obnoxious ones while concentrate on corrective measures. When adequate transportation infrastructure is put in place and road users move freely and faster, there will be no chaos and things will be orderly.
Lagos ACN since 1999 has only built houses for the rich while the poor have been abandoned. Despite that, the Tinubu and Fashola-led governments have continued to demolish houses and markets without alternative or adequate compensation. The most recent is the inhuman demolition of Makoko, Ijora Badia and some houses in Ikorodu rendered millions of Lagosians homeless. SPN is opposed to these demolitions without building alternative houses or without paying adequate compensation. SPN shall respond to the housing crisis by building different categories of decent housing estates whose rent will be affordable.

Lagosians are one of the most taxed people in the world, particularly when you consider the multiple taxation by different agencies and government at various levels. SPN will introduce progressive taxation wherein expensive properties and incomes of the rich shall be heavily taxed while affordable tax for workers.

Lagos Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) is about N23 billion monthly while about N15 billion is collected from federal allocation monthly, but there is very little to show for this. Yet, Lagos is the most heavily indebted state. The SPN government will be run transparently and democratically by elected representatives of workers, communities and government. This is the only way much needed resources will be effectively utilised.
The SPN is opposed to the lekki toll, the 1 kilometer Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge and other tolls planned by the Government. SPN shall scrap all tolls because it amounts to multiple taxation.

If elected, the SPN government shall ensure the payment of living wage, the provision of decent condition of service and working condition, and the implementation of all national agreements reached with all categories of workers. All this shall be without retrenchment of workers. We shall invoke all necessary powers to ensure that the private sector employers implement national minimum wage and obey labour laws including zero tolerance to casualisation of workers. We shall pay to retired workers decent pension. All political office holders on the platform of SPN shall be subjected to civil service salary structure and earn average wage of a skilled worker.

Don't be deceived, APC is an alliance of convenience by disgruntled politicians lacking any progressive ideology to save Nigerians, and whose main agenda is to preserve their inordinate ambition to grab power at the centre, the “soul of the party” is not really different from the much-derided PDP.
Ultimately, Nigerians need a credible alternative, not just to replace the PDP in power, but to replace other ruling parties like ACN in Lagos. The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) is the party Workers, Youths and the Poor should join and consciously build in order to save the country from further collapse.

SPN is inviting all those that are seeking change to a general meeting of the party. Date: Saturday July 6, 2013. Time: 12 noon prompt. Address: 162, Ipaja Road, Agbotikuyo, bus stop, Agege.  Contact us on: 08098284000, 07033775517, 08121378435, 08098737370. Email us: Visit our blog for full manifesto of SPN and other information:

Monday, 17 June 2013

SPN forging ahead with a “June 12” Symposium in Osun State

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) in conjunction with Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Osun State chapters held a public symposium on June 12, 2013 with the central theme, June 12 Struggle; 20 Years After: What Democratic Gain for the Working and Poor People? The Symposium had in attendance over 40 persons including civil servants, teachers, students, youths, retirees, lawyers, artisans, etc. At least four (4) women were in attendance. It was held at the NUJ Hall, along Ikirun Road in Osogbo.

Segun Sango, SPN Protem National Chairperson
 The programme started with Comrade Segun Sango, the Protem National Chairperson of SPN, as the guest speaker, giving the lead presentation on the state of the nation, and the failure of the capitalist ruling elite to bring any positive development to the country despite the huge resources at the country’s disposal. He clearly highlighted the fact that under the current neo-colonial capitalist arrangement, working and poor people of Nigeria should not expect any fundamental improvement in their living conditions. He averred that the so-called mega-opposition being built will only recycle the old layer of looters under different coloration. He made a comparison between the “progressives” of the second republic and the current set of bankrupt and highly corrupt progressives, who are only progressive in their organized nature of looting. He asked rhetorically how many politicians, including those in the so-called opposition and self-acclaimed “progressive” parties have their children in public schools. Yet, they always claim to have transformed education sector. He stridently canvassed for the working and poor people to join and build the SPN as a mass party of the working people. He highlighted the programmes and ideas of SPN, and urged the people to familiarize themselves with the party’s manifesto and constitution.

Comrade Alfred Adegoke, the Osun State protem Chairperson of SPN, went memory lane to underline the dubious nature of current politicians, especially the opposition, who are claiming to be fighters for the actualization of June 12 presidential mandate. He exposed their hideous character during the struggle. He linked this with their current anti-poor politics and policies. He also exposed the bankruptcy and sheer hypocrisy behind the so-called giant strides of the Aregbesola government in Osun State which at best have been mere window dressing, albeit at exorbitant cost to the state. He picked on the job creation policy of the government which he noted was nothing but mere degradation of humanity; a point reiterated by Comrade Sango during the question and answer session. He linked this with the contract system in the state, a situation in which huge contracts running to several billions of naira are awarded to crony contractor, while the state works ministry, which has capacity to gainfully employ several thousands of youth, is non-functional. Despite the so-called “giant strides”, potable water supply is simply non-existent in the state. He called on people to join the SPN train if we are to move forward.

Alfred Adegoke, Protem Chairperson, SPN Osun State
 Comrade Kola Ibrahim further expatiated on the characterization of the Aregbesola government by dwelling on the education reform of the government, which at best has been haphazard and tokenistic. He maintained that what the government is doing in the education sector is nothing more than patchwork rather than a reform. He maintained that the SPN will mobilise the huge resources of the state to undertake massive educational revolution at all levels and across the state by deploring modern technologies including ICT to give the best education to the youths, as against current arrangement of giving out computer tablets to some students without improvement in basic necessities – equipped classrooms, laboratories, libraries,  statf working conditions, etc. He called on people to not only join but mobilise their friends, families, co-workers and acquaintances to join the party.

After the general presentations, questions came on various aspects of the lectures. One of such questions has to do with what socialism really is. This was clearly explained by Comrade Sango. Sango emphasized the fact that a workers and poor peoples’ government will have to place the commanding height of the economy under public ownership. To avoid bureaucratic strangulation and corruption, he stressed that the entire economy and polity of the society must be run through democratic control and management by the working masses themselves. This, he said, is the surest way to avoid the kind of debacle that led to the collapse of the former Soviet Union and other countries that once overthrew capitalism. Other questions ranged on how to build the party in terms of publicity and awareness. There were also questions as to whether we are reaching out to other like minds. There were also words of commendation for the SPN and DSM for the work they are doing. These questions were well attended to by Comrade Sango.

Over N2, 600 was raised as fighting fund, while materials worth about N1, 000 were sold. The programme was a major success when viewed against the background of the fact that we seem to be the only actively genuine voice that is still raising issues in the state as virtually all the so-called civil society organizations and activists, and parties like NCP and LP in the state have dissolved into the government, obviously for pecuniary interests. In fact, a state government-funded June 12 programme was organized the same day by the so-called civil society practitioners, in conjunction with the state government. Obviously, this rent-a-crowd cum free-meal programme was nothing more than mobilization for the next political project of ACN/APC in 2014, as the programme was dominated by “big men” of the government and the ruling party in the state, with no debate about government policies and programmes. 

The quality of this symposium is best measured by the readiness of many of the participants to actively be part of our activities. We hope to consolidate on the gains of this symposium. For a party that is mobilizing against the established gangs of political and economic robbers, it is a feat organizing this kind of programme.
Also present were operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) who came to spy on us. This again underscores the growing militarization of the society, and attempt at gagging dissent views and resistance platforms by the government under the guise of maintaining security, when in reality it is the governments at all levels, through their bankrupt and anti-poor policies and corrupt politics are engendering insecurity and terrorism. This is why party like the SPN must survive.

Kola Ibrahim