Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Lagos SPN General Meeting discusses tasks ahead of the working people

Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria held its General Meeting on 26th September, 2015 and deliberated extensively on the current political situation and the tasks ahead.  The meeting which was chaired by Emmanuel Adikwu, Deputy National Chairman(North-Central) of the Socialist Party of Nigeria took a report by Chinedu Bosah, the National Secretary of the Socialist Party of Nigeria of the ongoing court matter by the Socialist Party of Nigeria against the Independent National Electoral Commission. Chinedu reported that as at the last adjourned date of the court matter, the Independent National Electoral Commission applied for out-of-court settlement. However, INEC has not taken any practical steps to settle the matter since the last adjourned date. He further reported that October 12, 2015 has been fixed by the court for the hearing of the application by the Socialist Party of Nigeria, with the expectation that the court will adjourn for judgment, which presumably going by precedents would be in favour of the Socialist Party of Nigeria.

On the tasks ahead, Ayo Ademiluyi highlighted the fact that two major interventions are ahead of comrades.  He raised the fact that a Special Leaflet of the Lagos SPN is in production for mass leafleting and tabling on October 1, 2015 in Ajegunle and Agege branches. He also raised the possibility of having placards on the refugee crisis and working people’s political alternative for the tabling on October 1, 2015. The second intervention is on October 12, 2015 which is the next adjourned date of the   SPN court matter. He raised the possibility of marching to a broadcast television station.   Responding to the submission, Chinedu raised the possibility of also visiting a print medium on the same day.

The meeting dovetailed into Political Discussion. Chinedu Bosah took the Nigerian Perspective on Nigeria at 55: Where now for the Working People?.   Chinedu submitted that 55 years after Nigeria’s flag independence, nothing has fundamentally changed for the mass of the working people. He raised the fact that this is despite the prevailing mass illusion in the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress Federal Government of Nigeria with his mantra of “change”. He indicated that this is also reflected in the disposition of the trade union leaders who are not posing any serious alternative agenda to the policies and statements of the Buhari-led regime. He submitted further that the illusions in Buhari offer the trade union leaders temporary diversion of pressure from themselves in posing the agenda for the future of the working people.  He indicated that the Buhari regime has made it known that it would continue the neo-liberal attacks laid by the Jonathan regime. The most spectacular is the planned privatization of the health sector. He submitted that the absence of a genuine working people’s political alternative is yawning. This is despite the recent hand-over of the Certificate of Registration of the Labour Party by the former Chairman of the party to the labour leaders. He argued that the “Corbyn situation” of a major left or pro-working masses pole of attraction does not exist for now in the Nigerian Labour Party as it is happening in the British Labour Party. He called for the struggle for the registration of the SPN to be intensified.

Giving a lead-off on the international situation,Ayo Ademiluyi pin-pointed the recent events in Britain, which have seen the emergence of a left-leaning Member of Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour Leader. He argued that this opened up a “civil war” inside the Labour Party with a ferocious battle going on for the control of the party between the right-wing forces which are still dominantly in the Parliamentary Group and the hundreds of local councilors. He informed that the Socialist Party, the   British section of the Committee for a Workers’ International to which the Democratic Socialist Movement, the promoter of the Socialist Party  of Nigeria is affiliated to, has called on Jeremy Corbyn to call an open conference of trade unions within and outside the Labour Party, his growing layers of supporters and other left forces to build a mass defence against the right-wing in the Labour Party.

He raised the fact that the capitalists in Britain now dread the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonell, the  left-leaning Shadow Chancellor forming government after the next general elections. While Corbyn himself may not be prepared to ditch the Labour right-wing as he even appointed some of them into his Shadow Cabinet, the possibility of a socialist Prime Minister in Britain is a spectre haunting the ruling class. He informed that a top military shot has indicated that the army may intervene as a socialist Prime Minister would be a security threat.  In other words, the ruling class may travel the Bonapartist road to stop the mass radicalization in Britain.

Ayo submitted that it appears that the genie is out of the bottle of the capitalists. While Corbyn has added his voice to the call for refugees fleeing into Europe from the war and crisis in the Middle East, the refugee crisis remains unabated. Ayo indicated that the refugee crisis is a backlash of the imperialist intervention in Iraq, Libya and Iran. This is also what led to the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with its rampaging attacks on ordinary people. He informed that thousands of people have flooded the streets in Europe to support the refugees who are being battered at the borders of Crotia, Serbia, Greece and Macedonia and raised the need for socialists in Nigeria to join the international solidarity struggle.

He also highlighted the developments in the United States where in  the run-up to the 2016 elections, on the Democrats’ field, Bernie Sanders, arguably the only “socialist” in the United States’ Congress has become a pole of attraction for young people and workers like Jeremy Corbyn in the United Kingdom, especially after the e-mail controversy that beset the Hilary Clinton campaign. He argued that it is doubtful whether the Democrats would hand Bernie Sanders the Democrats’ ticket as they are preparing Joe Biden, Obama’s Vice-President    to step into the arena as Hilary’s campaign come under heavy blows. He raised the fact that the Socialist Alternative(CWI co-thinkers in US) have raised the call that Bernie Sanders should draw the correct conclusions if denied the Democrats’ ticket and run as an Independent just like Rafael Nader.

On the Republicans’ field, he submitted that the fact that  a war-mongering ultra-right figure, Donald Trump tops the favourites show the ultra-right build-up as a backlash of the frustration after the mass illusions sown into the Obama regime, which  has   been betrayed. He opined that it also indicates the mass political alienation of broad layers of the working people from the electoral process. He indicated that the fact the Democrats are being ridiculed by Republican aspirants as having a “socialist” as their top contender(in reference to Bernie Sanders)   as a left-ward shift of the issues in the debate with the huge support that the campaign of Bernie Sanders is receiving.

Coming to the Nigerian situation, Ayo indicated that just as mass illusions in Obama were betrayed, the prevailing current mass illusions in Buhari would be betrayed as long as the regime operates within the precincts of capitalism. He made reference to the events in Osun State, where almost regular mass protests taking place by workers, secondary school students and tertiary institutions’ students against the Aregbesola’s  APC-led  regime. He submitted that the Osun scenario is a mirror of the coming mass fightback that will implode in the face of the Buhari-led Federal Government when its fails to deliver on all the expectations of the working masses. He concluded that this raises the need for genuine socialists to prepare strategically for this coming mass radicalization by getting the Socialist Party of Nigeria both legally and politically ready for the battles ahead and deepening the campaign for a mass working peoples’ party

In response to both lead-offs, Odunayo Eniayekan, who attended the meeting from Ota, Ogun State submitted that there is a great prospect for the work of the Socialist Party of Nigeria in the coming period if it is deepened. The meeting ended on a renewed vigour to fight to conclusion the struggle for the registration of the Socialist Party of Nigeria.                             

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