Sunday, 21 September 2014



Press Statement 
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemns the death sentence on 12 soldiers by the Brig. Gen. CC Okonkwo led nine-man General Court Martial. It is the height of crudity and insensitivity for the affected soldiers to be sentenced to death for protesting against a command that sent them to the warfront in the face of huge numbers of avoidable deaths of soldiers, poor working condition and absence of effective logistics and weaponry. This is likened to Adolf Hitler’s army!

It will be recalled that these soldiers protested on 14 of May 2014 at Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri when the  General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Ahmed Mohammed ordered soldiers to embark on a journey to fight Boko Haram with inadequate fire power, inadequate logistical support, no broad fighting plan as well as poor working/fighting conditions. These soldiers were further infuriated on sighting the body bags of tens of soldiers killed by Boko Haram fighters with superior firearms in Chibok that were being brought back to the barracks almost at the same time they were ordered to embark on another suicide mission.

The SPN do not support indiscipline including harassment of civilians by the military or police. However, soldiers like every other professional have a mind of their own and have a right to protest against unpalatable working/fighting conditions. Soldiers are no robots/zombies and should be treated with decency! Hence, the Military High Command should stop using the rank and file military personnel as cannon fodder. We also demand trade union rights to all military and police personnel to enable them defend their common interest. 

We recall that a similar fate befell 27 soldiers out of hundreds of soldiers who protested the stealing of their money on July 4, 2008 in Akure, Ondo State and were handed life sentences by the nine-man General Court Martial led by Brigadier-General IshayaBauka. These soldiers participated in the United Nations Peace Keeping for 6 months and were to earn $1228 monthly and a total allowance of $7368 but were paid $3000 by the Nigeria Military. In a face-saving tactics, the military authority demoted the 4 senior military officers who allegedly stole the money by one rank! Under public pressure and criticism, the military commuted the life sentence to 7 years imprisonment. 

No doubt, the morale of the rank and file military officers is low due to a number of reasons such as inadequate weapons to fight with, little or no logistical support, poor knowledge of the terrain, poor living and fighting condition, unjustified increasing wealth and privileges of the top military officers etc. SPN expects that the Nigeria Military should have addressed the complaints of the soldiers and not condemning them to death. 

The smuggling of $9.3m into South Africa has shown clearly that the Nigeria top military officers and the ruling elite are busy chasing arms deal, siphoning and laundering money meant for development abroad while ill motivated soldiers are daily forced into suicide missions and the vast majority of the working masses are condemned to hopelessness and more poverty. 

The SPN strongly feels that fighting insecurity and insurgency in an atmosphere of hopelessness, growing poverty, poor infrastructure, demoralization without addressing the root cause amounts to fighting the symptoms. The crisis of insecurity is a product of the unjust capitalist system that breeds inequality, corruption, poverty and misery. Hence, it is not possible to sustainably fight crime and insecurity without resolving the socio-economic and political inequality.

SPN has canvassed for a well-organized, adequately funded and democratically controlled community policing/response to insurgency and crime as the most effective way of fighting crime. This community response should be under the control of elected representatives of workers and community residents and must unite the people of all religion, tribes and ethnicity in order to prevent sectarianism and divisions amongst these communities. 

We call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to spearhead a struggle to free the 12 soldiers. SPN hereby demands the immediate and unconditional freedom and reinstatement of the affected soldiers. 


National Secretary

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

SPN Challenges INEC's Rejection of its Application in Court

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) held a press conference yesterday, September 16, 2014, in Lagos at the International Press Centre (IPC) to make public the rejection of the party's application for registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) despite fulfilling all constitutional provisions on party registration as well as the requirements set by the electoral body. The conference was also used to announce the filling of a case at the Federal High Court Abuja by the party to challenge the unconstitutional action of the INEC. 

The Press Conference was addressed by Segun Sango (National Chairperson), Chinedu Bosah (National Secretary) and Basir Tanko (National Treasurer). The press conference was anchored by Hassan Taiwo Soweto (National Youth Leader) while in attendance were Dagga Tolar (NEC Member) as well as other party members.

Reporters from five major national newspapers and two electronic media (Radio and TV) covered the event.
The members of the SPN are prepared to support the legal process that has been commenced with a series of political actions to force the INEC to reverse its unconstitutional action and register the party. 

Below is the text read by Segun Sango at the press conference:


We have invited you here today to explain why the Socialist Party of Nigeria has begun legal action against INEC and to protest at its refusal to issue our certificate of registration in mid-July 2014 and its subsequent decision, communicated to us on August 12, that the SPN’s “registration is terminated”.

On 20 July, 1998, General Abdulsalam unfolded the political agenda that formed the basis of the current civilian dispensation which started on 29 May, 1999. The Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), the initiators of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), released a public statement carried in its organ “Socialist Democracy” published in 1998. Esteemed media practitioners, permit us to make a few quotations from the above cited statement. “Contrary to the false claims being made by most capitalist commentators, military apologists, men and women of fickle memories, General Abubakar’s political agenda unfolded in his nation-wide broadcast of 20 July, 1998 in which he shifted the handing-over date of the military from 1st October, 1998 to 29 May, 1999 does not in any positive sense represent a way towards genuine and lasting democracy, especially for the working people of Nigeria.

“The Abubakar junta’s transition programme, like those of its predecessors, can never give birth to genuine democracy, unity and stability.

“Socialists know very well that the prevailing mass misery in the land, in the presence of inexhaustible resources, is not due to the fact that Nigeria is made up of people with different tongues and cultures but primarily a by-product of the imperialist capitalist economic relations. Under this arrangement, the economy and people of Nigeria are held in bondage by multinational corporations just to satisfy the whims and caprices of the capitalist elements in USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, etc. All what the local capitalist elites (both civilian and military) are concerned about is how they can individually and collectively make the best for themselves from the capitalist induced misery. They are never and will never bother about the real development of the economy and genuine unity amongst the diverse tribes that make up Nigeria. Only a socialist government of the working people and the poor in general can put in place necessary economic and political policies which can fundamentally unite and cement the various ties of relationship amongst the various ethnic groups that make up Nigeria”.

Segun Sango National Chairperson reading the text of the press conference
Sixteen years after the return to civil rule all of the above prognosis has been frightfully confirmed. Yes, since the political and legal struggle inspired by late Chief Gani Fawehinmi and the NCP in the case of Balarabe Musa & Others Vs INEC which liberalized the political space many parties have been registered. Sadly to note however, the existence and proliferations of these parties in no any sense offer genuine socio economic and political opportunities for the vast majority of the working masses and the poor because severally and collectively, all of these parties are committed to pro-rich capitalist viewpoints.

Today, just as before the current civil rule dispensation, only a minority layers of the working people have access to decent living, education, healthcare, job opportunities, etc. The socio-economic and infrastructural conditions of the country still largely remain in pitiable conditions. For a country with stupendous natural and human resources, the vast bulk of Nigerian people, especially the working and poor sections, do not deserve the prevailing level of unmitigated mass misery and the prevailing political inequities and instability. This was the central political consideration that informed the decision of members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) in May 2012 to openly proclaim and call on socialist activists within the working class movement and the poor across the country to work towards the registration of a genuine pan-Nigerian socialist party for the defence and permanent actualization of the working peoples socio-economic needs and political aspirations.


The rejection by INEC of the SPN application for registration as a political party, (after the Association has fully met the conditions for such purpose in the 1999 Constitution as amended and 2010 Electoral Act as amended) represents a serious political throw back to 2002, i.e. before the Supreme Court made its pronouncement on the rules and protocol for the transformation of political associations to political parties.

Chinedu Bosah fielding questions from journalists
 Unfortunately, the INEC under Prof. Attahiru Jega’s leadership still appears trapped in the capitalist ruling elites’ quest to undemocratically shut out the working masses and the poor from genuine political participation.

On 9 January, 2014, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) as a political association wrote to INEC to demand the conditions that the association has to meet to transform into political under the 1999 constitutions as amended. The cited letter was sent by DHL courier. Two weeks after, when we did not get any response from INEC, we also wrote another letter delivered by hand by an SPN member based in Abuja. On January 27, INEC eventually responded to our letter dated January 9, 2014 with a terse response that only after the payment of a sum of N1m (One million naira) called processing fee can our association receive the requested conditions and information.

Consequently, members of the SPN raised a public fund raising campaigns from members and supporters across the country to meet the financial demand of INEC. Eventually, the SPN purchased a First Bank cheque in the name of INEC for the requested purpose. When our member went to submit the photocopies of the documents with which we effected payment of the said sum of N1million, INEC officials insisted that unless the original bank vouchers used for the said payment is produced, the requested forms by SPN cannot be supplied. In a letter dated 24 March, 2014, the SPN complied with the requirement of the INEC officials mentioned above. However, INEC only obliged us with the requested forms through a letter dated 14 April, 2014 and as usual by calling SPN officials on phone to send someone to come and collect the said forms. This was notwithstanding the fact that we had already paid one million naira as processing fees.

On 12 June, 2014, the SPN officially submitted an application for registration in response to INEC letter dated 14 April, 2014. The INEC official, one P.A Enuke, who received the application refused to issue a proper acknowledgment as specified in Section 78 (2) of the Electoral Act as amended under a very bogus and untenable excuse. The SPN wrote a protest letter through the INEC chairman dated 16 June, 2014 on the improper acknowledgement of the SPN application by an INEC official.

Subsequent to the above cited protest letter, on 2 July, 2014, INEC eventually acknowledged the receipt of the submission of the application for the registration of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN). Again instead of putting the date of submission to 12 June, 2014, the commission put the date of submission to 13 June, 2014. The SPN state boldly that it has no any correspondence dated 13 June, written to INEC.

In line with Section 78 (3 and 4) of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended, INEC must process an application of a political association seeking to transform to a political party within 30 days of the receipt of such application. According to this law, unless INEC within the said 30 days informs the association that submitted the application to transform to a political party with reasons why it could not do so, that association has been deemed to be registered as a political party.

Instead of obliging the SPN request, INEC in a letter dated 31 July 2014 now wrote a letter to the SPN with an information that it is sending a verification team to visit the proposed headquarters of our association on 4 August 2014 to confirm the existence of the national headquarters of the association as well as the national executive committee reflecting federal character as required by the constitution.

The cited letter was delivered on the evening of August 1 2014 which was a Friday, while the visitation was fixed for the next working day which was Monday 4 August, 2014. The SPN in a letter dated 4 August, 2014 replied INEC letter dated 31 July 2014 stating that the period for processing of SPN application has elapsed but that the National Chairperson and National Secretary can make themselves available if need be for any clarification on SPN application for registration. On the 4 August, 2014, five INEC officials led by P.A. Enuke visited the SPN secretariat in Abuja and during the visit took copious photographs of the entire premises within the office. However, on 12 August 2014, INEC wrote SPN informing that its “registration is terminated” on the basis of the purported refusal of our association to allow for the verification of the claims in form PA1. In a letter dated 22 August, 2014, the SPN wrote INEC to debunk the commission’s erroneous claims in its letter of 12 August, 2014.

Basir Tanko, National Treasurer also addressing the media
 When a member of the SPN in Abuja took the letter for submission to the INEC office, it was rejected on the ground that INEC had stopped entertaining any issue bordering on party registration until after the 2015 general elections. Eventually, we had to send the said letter through a DHL courier.

Under Section 79 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, a political association seeking to transform into a political party under the 1999 constitution must seek legal redress in court within 30 days if dissatisfied with the decision by the INEC to reject its application. Consequently, the SPN on the 10 September, 2014 filed an action against INEC rejection of its application to be registered as a political party. Attached to this press statement is a photocopy of the processes filed at the Federal High Court of Nigeria in the Abuja Judicial Division in suit no: FCH/ABJ/CS/630/2014.

Finally, members and officers of the SPN hereby pledge to doggedly continue to utilise all legal, democratic and political means to agitate for the registration of SPN and ultimately the socialist transformation of Nigeria that would enable Nigeria’s abundant natural economic and human resources to be of primary benefit to the vast bulk of Nigerians.

Thank you for listening.

Segun Sango
National Chairperson

Wednesday, 10 September 2014



Press Statement

We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Lagos State Chapter strongly decry the legacy of $1 billion debt burden that the outgoing Babatunde Fashola government is leaving behind for the mass of working people and the poor in the state. According to media reports, the state government owes 33.86 per cent of the country’s total sub-national external debts (debts owed by state governments). Statistics obtained from the website of the Debt Management Office in Abuja shows that out of the total external debt of $3.01bn, Lagos State owed $1.02bn, leaving the remaining 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory with $1.99bn as of June 30, 2014. Further analysis shows that out of the $1.02bn external loan commitments, $937.91m was from multilateral bodies, while $82.5m represented loans contracted from bilateral sources. (Punch Newspapers, 5th September, 2014).

We call for mass actions to demand the opening of the accounts of Fashola-led government for public scrutiny by elected representatives of the working people, trade unions etc., for the purpose of allowing the public see clearly where this huge funds were channeled to. We call for an end to debt enslavement of Lagos State.

The eight years of the Fashola regime have only meant attack on education, living condition and democratic rights for the mass of the working people. It took the monumental struggle of students, staff and parents of the Lagos State University with their civil society allies including the Education Rights’ Campaign (ERC) and the Joint Action Front (JAF) to force the Fashola regime to reverse the outrageous fee imposed on the university.

We in SPN Lagos State call on the mass of working people in the state not to hold illusions in the policy reversal being undertaken presently such as relax on attacks on okada riders. This is one of the tricks to woo the working people for votes in the 2015 general elections. The fact is that the brutal attacks on the masses and youth will resume full fledge should the APC wins the next elections.

We equally call on the mass of working people not to hold illusions in the People's Democratic Party, which is presently rooting to take political power from the APC. The victory of any the section of the ruling class during the coming elections will be a continuation of debt enslavement, attack on education and democratic rights among other neo-liberal and anti-working people policies.

We enjoin the mass of the working people to join us in the SPN in the struggle for the actualisation of the registration. The SPN canvasses the programme of cancellation of the debt, democratic and transparent management of all public resources by elected representatives of communities, workers and government as well as proper funding of key sectors of the economy and guaranteeing democratic rights for the mass of the working people.

Moshood Osunfurewa
State Secretary,
SPN Lagos State Chapter


For Adequate Funding of Health Care under Democratic Control 


The Oyo State Chapter of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) describes as disturbing and ridiculous the recent media reports of how a medical doctor at the General Hospital in Eruwa could not carry out a verification test on a female student who was allegedly raped by a solder in the town. This is a manifestation of the deplorable state of health sector in Oyo State. It puts to question the veracity of the so-called success stories of Abiola Ajimobi-led government in the health sector.

The randy solder is attached to Operation Burst, a repressive military outfit specially created by the Ajimobi government ostensibly to curb crimes in the state.

On the Friday, 29th August, 2014, the soldier in question reportedly raped an ND II female student of the Polytechnic of Ibarapa. The report also has that the lady was eventually taken to Eruwa General Hospital by the Police for appropriate test to verify her claim of being raped.

At the hospital, the medical doctor on duty, Dr Jesim Gambo, was reported to have lamented about the lack of facilities even as basic as glove and cotton wool to carry out the required test. Gambo, therefore, reportedly examined the private part of the victim with the aid of the light on his phone through which he came up with a report which he described as inconclusive.

 This kind of egregious decay and gloomy picture in one of the leading public hospitals in the state has exposed as fallacious the claim of outstanding achievement in health sector by Ajimobi government. It also reflects the gross underfunding and neglect which has seriously afflicted social services like health service delivery, education etc., in the state since the inception of civil rule.

It is so disheartening to note that despite the improvement in the Oyo state revenue allocation in the recent years, the budgetary allocation on health service delivery as well as other social services has been suffering a decline. 

Take for instance, in the 2014 appropriation bill presented by Senator Abiola Ajimobi to the state assembly for approval on the Thursday, 19th December, 2013 a paltry sum of N25.6 billion which represent just 13.5% of the total budget of N188.9billion was allocated to fund the entire social services which include health, education, and housing among others. While in the same budget, a huge sum of N96.041 billion representing 50.9% was earmarked for the recurrent expenditure which in comparison to workers’ salaries is largely constituted by the unjustified jumbo salaries and allowances of a handful of political office holders who are less than 1% of the Oyo State estimated population of 19 million people.

Going by this background, it is very apparent that the poor state of health care delivery in Oyo State as well as in other part of the country is not primarily due to the lack of financial capacity by Government either at the state or federal level to adequately fund public utilities but as a result of self-serving capitalist economic policies which  allows for a privileged few to get fabulously rich at the expense of the vast majority who wallow in hopeless misery and this remains the ideological hallmark of Nigerian governments at all levels regardless of political parties.

Therefore, towards reversing the deplorable state of the health sector as well as other sectors of the economy in Oyo state nay the entire country, SPN demands urgent need to cut down the salaries and allowance of all political office holders across the political parties to the wages of an average civil servant. This, together with the public ownership of commanding heights of the economy under a democratic control and management of the working people will help to liberate more resources to be invested in public utilities and social program.

The fact that this is only possible under a socialist government explains why we of the SPN are committed to the task of socialist transformation of the Nigeria.

The soldier in question has to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted if he has case to answer. We call on the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), media and human rights organisations to be interested in this matter so as to ensure the affected student undergoes appropriate verification test and receives treatment at the expense of the government. We also call for adequate compensation for the victim.

We also demand that soldiers should be withdrawn from the streets and all civilian populated areas and for a well-funded Community Policing to be put in place to fight crime. Community policing should be under the democratic control of communities, working class organisations etc., to allow for transparent and effective activities.   

Abiodun Bamgboye
State Secretary,
SPN Oyo State Chapter