Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Not a Benevolent decision but a maneuvering tactic forced by the fear of an electoral defeat!


The attention of the Oyo State chapter of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has been drawn to the recent inauguration of a panel tagged “Judicial Commission of Inquiry” by Senator Abiola Ajimobi on the 11th August 2014. To us the initiative of this commission and its inauguration whose mandate is to “look into the complaints and grievances of person(s), corporate bodies, institutions, agencies, associations and bodies directly and remotely affected by the elitist urban renewal policies of the state government can best be likened to a medicine after death.

Therefore, SPN urges the entire working people in the state particularly victims of this demolition not to see this as benevolent decision rather a typical example of how viciously anti-poor government like APC-led government in the state would want to maneuver and deceive the working mass in fear of electoral defeat especially in the face of mass discontent among the working masses.

It will be recalled that Senator Abiola Ajimobi in his first few months into his regime as Governor of Oyo State demolished thousands of building used for different purposes like churches, houses, mosques and shops mainly in areas like Dugbe, Eleyele, Sango, Challenge, Samonda and Iwo Road among others, all in Ibadan. This exercise which was carried out under a false pretence of urban renewal policy without a prior provision of alternative or compensation rendered thousands of working but suffering people in the state homeless and devoid of means of livelihood. As a matter of fact, hundreds died due to shock and depression emanated from this kind of draconian measure. 

As things stand today in Oyo State, the degree of mass anger against the present APC-led government in the state especially among civil servants is so intense that if election holds today it is capable of undermining the ruling political party in the state.

This is largely due to inflicted pains and pangs emanated from the so called urban renewal policy as well as many other attacks like mass sack of over 7,000 civil servants which comprises 3,000 secondary school teachers and 4000 local government workers; non-implementation of N18, 000 minimum wage, irregular payment of workers salaries etc., under which Oyo state workers groan since the inception of Senator Abiola Ajimobi-led administration in the state

SPN holds that a commission of inquiry hurriedly set up in the run-up to 2015 general elections to look into the complaints and grievances of victims of this elitist urban renewal policies many of whom are now in their grave is not only deceitful but reflects how desperate the APC-led government are willing to make all kinds of  possible concession to secure electoral victory over other contending pro-establishment political parties like People Democratic Party (PDP), Accord Party (AP), Labour Party (LP) among others in the state.

As a matter of fact, many draconian rules and laws like arbitrarily tolling of vehicles, illegal arrest and extortion of both commercial and private drivers among others introduced at the earliest period of Senator Abiola Ajimobi-led administration are currently relaxed. Indeed, street trading has returned in places like Challenge, Sango, Iwo-Road, Gate, Mokola among others where many traders were severally arrested, beaten, detained all in the name of proscription of street trading without prior provision of alternative means of livelihood.

This confirms the age-long position of SPN that, concentration on ephemeral and cosmetic approaches like “urban renewal” will not endure except if there is a well-planned massive investment in more fundamental challenges like lack of quality public education, unemployment, poor health facilities, poor basic amenities like potable water, good roads etc.

Unfortunately, all the major political parties in the country today given their pro-capitalist disposition and philosophy lack the capacity to form a government either at federal or state level that is capable of meeting the aspirations of the working masses by guaranteeing free access to quality education; free health services, massive creation of gainful employment; enduring urban renewal policy, rapid industrialization among others.

This is the main reason SPN is committed to the task of defending the economic, political and social interest of workers, artisans, employed and unemployed youths, traders, peasants and all other oppressed strata of the society in struggle for a socialist reconstruction of Nigeria economy where the economy will be nationalized and place under the democratic control and management of the working people such that elected officers will be placed on the salary and allowances of skilled civil servants and subjected to recall anytime.

Finally, while SPN still insists on the need for adequate compensation to all whose houses/buildings and shops were demolished and those whose means of livelihood were negatively altered it also holds that such could be done without inaugurating commission of inquiry which at the end of the day will be tantamount to a means of wasting and sharing public resources among political acolytes who largely constitute the so called commission.

 Bamigboye Abiodun (Abbey Trotsky)

 Oyo State Secretary, Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN)



We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) welcome the resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held on August 16 in Enugu to "take control of Labour Party, and reposition it as a party with the ideals of labour and its ideological preference in order to make desirable impact in future elections." (Daily Times – August 17, 2014). We do this because we are absolutely convinced that labour must independently intervene in the 2015 elections to rally the working masses, the poor and genuine change seeking elements against the ruling class leading this country to disaster. Ribadu's jump from the APC to the PDP is just the latest illustration that fundamentally the leaders of the main parties, despite their personal rivalries and cliques, are all fundamentally from the same ruling class. 

We are however worried there appears no sincerity of purpose in the NLC's proclamation. This is because at the same meeting the NEC passed a resolution to endorse "Comrade Simon Anchaver, the National President of Agriculture and Allied Employees Union of Nigeria, AAEUN and the Benue State chairman of NLC to contest for Benue State governorship in the 2015 general elections on the platform of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP)!" (National Mirror – August 18, 2014). Besides, while the NLC resolution expressly supports the ambitions of individual labour leaders to contest elections in various anti-poor political parties it does not state the steps or ways by which the Labour Party will be repositioned. 

We hold that if the NLC is truly interested in repositioning the party, its supposed best materials must join the party, strive to transform it into a platform for working people and ensure that genuine fighters, not careerists, have the party tickets to contest public elections. We observe that virtually all labour leaders that have contested public elections never did that on the platform of the Labour Party (LP). This is added with the characteristic attitude of the national labour leadership of supporting purported "pro-labour" candidates of other main anti-poor ruling parties such as Kayode Fayemi of the APC in the last held Ekiti election, even though formally the LP had a candidate in that election.

Even worse it appears that the current Labour Party leaders want to again support Jonathan in next year's general election. We must not forget that just before the 2011 election Jonathan cynically ensured the passing of the N18,000 minimum to show he was 'friendly to labour' but then, once back in office, did absolutely nothing to ensure that this law was implemented. Tragically, despite the NLC's role in founding the party, we are faced with the fact that the Labour Party as constituted and ideologically oriented since its inception is not fundamentally different in practice from anti-poor, pro-capitalist PDP and APC. This is why its internal elections are completely monetized, something that makes it easy for any anti-poor, money-bag politician from either PDP or APC to pay for the ticket of the LP in order to contest election. 

We note this is not the first time the NLC has expressed intention to purportedly reposition the Labour Party. We recall that in November 2012 one of the Vice-Presidents of the NLC and President of Amalgamated Union (AUCPTRE), Emmanuel Ajoku, was quoted in the media saying: "the congress [NLC] had resolved to take full control of the LP to provide an alternative platform for Nigerians so as to have good governance in the polity". We however totally condemn the way the NLC then proposed to achieve the repositioning of the LP. According to Ajoku, "the congress had commenced moves across the country to search for people of proven integrity and credentials that would be used for the exercise in the next general election." (ThisDay, 22 November, 2012) or "seasoned politicians that would be labour-friendly and willing to churn out the true benefits of democracy to Nigerians". (The Guardian, 22 November, 2012).

We hold that what is needed is firm action to build the Labour Party as a democratic, campaigning force of worker and radical activists that has clearly broken with all the rotten, looting traditions and anti-poor neo-liberal capitalist agenda of the ruling elite irrespective of political affiliations. However, going by the political template upon which the decision to reposition LP is based and being implemented, it is certain that the effort will not provide the urgently needed working class socio-economic and political alternative. 

We argue that for the leadership of the labour movement to show its seriousness in reclaiming the Labour Party from its present rotten state they must abandon all forms of class collaborationist politics within and outside the Labour Party .This would be by scrapping the obnoxious and exorbitant candidature fees in order to enable ordinary workers to contest elections to both party and public offices. It is also imperative to subject the decision making processes to the democratic control of the rank and file of the party in order to uproot the bankrupt party leaderships at different levels and replaced them with a genuine democratically-controlled leadership.

We of the SPN will support all genuine efforts to reclaim LP if the trade union leaders are seriously committed to building it as a true political platform of the working people that will be ready to utilise Nigerian's abundant human and natural resources for the benefit of all Nigerians and not just the capitalist looters as it is presently the case. This would mean the Labour Party no longer supporting Jonathan but next year presenting its own candidates in opposition to all other parties as part of a campaign to build a movement that can transform this country. But from the actions and inactions of the NLC leaders, we have to emphatically warn that, unfortunately, this is not what they presently seek to do.

This is while we of the SPN embarked on struggle for the actualisation of our registration and continue to mobilize workers, youth and masses to join our party. At the same time we call for a genuine and concrete discussion on building a genuine working people's political alternative beyond the 2015 general elections. It is on this basis we welcome the resolution of the National Executive Committee of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which recently called for a socialist Nigeria and the formation of a genuine workers' party to actualise it. We therefore further reiterate our call on ASUU to deploy its enormous goodwill and authority in the working people movement to successfully convene a conference of labour and socialist organizations as well as activists that subscribe to socialist transformation of Nigeria in order to begin discussion for a formation of a mass working people party to end capitalism in Nigeria and enthrone a democratic socialist government.
Segun Sango
National Chairperson



Press Statement

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) heartily applauds the declaration of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for the "adoption of a socialist welfare state as against the current capitalist system in Nigeria" (Leadership, Abuja – August 12, 2014).

Against the background of the predominant pro-capitalist philosophy reigning supreme within the trade union movement bureaucracy in Nigeria, this declaration is like a silver lining in a darkened sky.
Indeed, there can be no other solution to the scandalous condition of mass poverty in the midst of prodigious wealth that presently characterizes our dear country Nigeria than the socialist transformation of the country through the public ownership and democratic control and management by the working people of the mainstays of the economy for the benefit of the mass majority.

For this to happen, the working class leading the oppressed masses must come to power so as to be in a position to bring an end to capitalism and begin to reorganize society along socialist lines.
In addition, we completely agree with ASUU that "there is need for a genuine people's worker's party, organized with full lessons from past efforts. The party must be organized to meet the challenges of forging the building of a Nigeria where nations and individuals live in freedom and happiness" (ThisDay – August 12, 2014).

The historical responsibility for carrying out the above task is that of the trade union movement in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the labour movement is Nigeria is dominated by a leadership that is incapable of appreciating the urgent need for a political working class alternative to the capitalist rot. This is fundamental reason why the Labour Party (LP), formed by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), was not built by the labour movement but abandoned to political careerists and anti-poor politicians such that the party is now almost indistinguishable from other anti-poor political parties. Besides, the labour leadership has not only abandoned building LP as a fighting working people party but has also openly declared official support for various bourgeois anti-poor politicians contesting elections. 

In a certain way this development has politically contributed to the throwback in consciousness within the labour movement in particular and the working masses in general. And most unfortunately, as a result of this state of affairs, the working class, the youth and poor masses in the run-up to the 2015 general elections will have no political party to represent and defend their interest. What this most certainly means is that the present distasteful condition of mass poverty in an ocean of wealth which has characterized the rule of capitalism is bound to continue after the 2015 elections to the detriment of the working masses and youth.

Notwithstanding this however, socialists, trade unionists and activists who recognize the importance of a genuine mass workers party must not be discouraged but unite and mobilize their forces to begin the work of forming and building such a party before and after the 2015 general elections in order to arm the working class with the weapon for the economic and political liberation of the country. This is important as the first step to begin to rebuild consciousness and win the entirety of the labour movement and the working masses over to the idea of a socialist transformation of Nigeria.

It is in recognition of this crucial necessity that members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) alongside with trade unionists and activists formed the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) last year. Between then and now, the party has been able to surmount many of the undemocratic obstacles erected by the electoral act and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) including the election of a 27-member National Executive Committee (NEC) representing 24 States and the Federal Capital Territory as required by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (amended) and payment of N1million application fee. We have now submitted an application for registration as a political party and are hopefully awaiting INEC's response. 

We urge ASUU to begin concrete moves to practically actualize the Union's public declaration in support of "a socialist welfare state". This could be achieved by convening a conference of labour and socialist organizations as well as activists that subscribe to socialist transformation of Nigeria in order to begin discussion for a formation of a mass working people party to end capitalism in Nigeria and enthrone a democratic socialist government. We believe ASUU commands enormous goodwill and authority in the working people movement to successfully convene the much-needed conference.
Segun Sango
National Chairperson


Working masses across West Africa must fight for a socialist health solution.

Press Statement

We of the Socialist Party join millions of working people across West Africa to commiserate with the families of victims of the Ebola pandemic that is currently ravaging countries across the sub-region. 

We reject the false bourgeois claim that Ebola is incurable and we contend that the absence of a drug for Ebola at this stage is as a result of the profit-first philosophy of capitalist pharmaceutical companies, who count the level of casualties in West Africa as infinitesimal for the purpose of investing research and production to generate super profit. For instance, it is reported in the media that Americans who got infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia are currently responding to treatment with an experimental drug "Zmapp". What this shows is that, on the basis of a people driven research and production, health emergencies like the Ebola virus can be defeated.

We view the spread of the virus to Nigeria as a major threat to millions of working people in the country, given the absence of critical basic health infrastructure, based on the decades of capitalist failure by successive regimes of the destructive ruling elite. Based on media reports, a Nigerian nurse who treated the Liberian Ebola victim has died. The Nigerian medical doctor who equally treated the victim and nine other primary contacts have also been confirmed as Ebola virus victims. It is appalling that the Liberian victim entered Nigeria, despite the massive propaganda by the Federal Government of putting measures in place to avoid the spread of the virus into Nigeria. 

We condemn the sheer dereliction and lack of seriousness demonstrated by the government in tackling the epidemic by quarantining a nurse, who is one of the primary contacts with the Liberian, in her house. This woman who was able to flee Lagos to Enugu has now potentially spread the virus beyond Lagos. 

We call for proper health surveillance at all points of entrance via the borders, airports and seaports in order to safeguard against the spread of the virus. We call for mass community mobilisation with democratic involvement of the mass of working people in setting up Community Precaution, Awareness and Emergency Committees to place a red alert against the spread of the dreaded disease.

We place the blame of the spread of the disease to Nigeria and across West Africa at the foot of the ruling elites across the country with the underpinning profit first capitalist crisis. We call on working masses across West Africa, the entire African continent and the entire world to step up the struggle for a democratic socialist solution wherein the enormous resources of society will be deployed for investment into research and production into meeting health emergencies of the millions of working people as against the profit first philosophy of capitalist pharmaceutical multinationals.

We call on workers, students, youth and the oppressed masses to join the SPN and build it as mass political platform for the millions of working people that could win political power and run government on the basis of the needs of the society and not the greed and profit motive of a few.
Segun Sango
National Chairperson