By Mojeed Ibrahim
Members of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) with placards, banners and leaflets held protest actions in Lagos and Ibadan Wednesday, January 28, as parts of the activities in the campaign for the registration of the party. INEC, the national electoral commission, refused to register SPN despite it fulfilling all the legally stipulated requirements for the registration of a political party.
The protest was organized to coincide with the hearing, scheduled for Wednesday January 28, in the suit filed by the party at the Federal High Court, Abuja, against the refusal of the INEC to register the party. The court did not however sit apparently because things were not yet well in order as the judiciary workers had just resumed work on Monday after about one-month strike action. March 3, 2015 has now been picked as the new date for the hearing.
In Lagos ten (10) members of the party took the protest to two national television stations Galaxy and TV Continental. Chinedu Bosah, the National Secretary of SPN addressed the press on behalf of the party.
In Ibadan, about twenty (20) members of the party led by the Oyo state secretary of the party, Biodun Bamigboye (Abbey Trotsky) held protest march to the Oyo state office of the INEC. The protest was covered by journalists from both electronic and print media.
It should be recalled that there were similar protests by SPN members on November 19, 2014 at Federal High Court Abuja when the matter first came up in court. On the same date there was also solidarity protest at the Nigerian High Commission and Embassies in Britain, Germany, Sweden and Belgium by members of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI), the international socialist organization in which the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), the group which is one of the promoters of the SPN, belongs.
The undemocratic action of INEC is not unconnected to the resolve of the capitalist ruling elite to prevent the legal existence of a party like SPN that represents the interests and aspirations of working people and poses a socialist alternative to the anti-poor neo-liberal capitalist programme of the pro-establishment political parties. For instance, some of the requirements for the registration that we had to fulfill are not only undemocratic but also onerous for a party without moneybags. These include payment of non-refundable administrative fee of N1million (One Million Naira), National Headquarters in Abuja and a National Executive Committee (NEC) with members from at least 24 states plus Abuja.
Members of the SPN have resolved to continue with a series of political actions in addition to the ongoing legal process to force the INEC to register the party. We call on labour and pro-masses organizations as well as individual activists in Nigeria and globally to actively support the struggle for the registration of the SPN.
Below are some of the pictures of the protest actions
|Abbey Trotsky, Oyo State SPN Secretary speaking with journalists at INEC office Ibadan|
|Chinedu Bosah, SPN National Secretary speaking with journalists at the protest in Lagos|
|SPN members at the protest in Lagos|
|SPN members at the protest at INEC office Ibadan|