Monday, 27 June 2016

ONE YEAR OF BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION: WHAT HAS CHANGED IN SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS?


Lagos SPN Public Meeting x-rays first anniversary of Buhari’s regime

Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria organized a Public Meeting on Saturday, 11th June, 2016 to discuss the theme, “One Year of Buhari’s Administration: What has Changed in Social and Economic Conditions?

On the Panel of Discussants Adeolu Oyekan, Assistant Secretary of the Lagos State University Branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Comrade Amaechi, Chairperson of the Prommaisador Branch of Nigerian Union of Food and Tobbaco Employees (NUFTBE) and Aj. Daggar Tolar, the Chairperson of the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Branch of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) who is also a National Executive Committee member of the Socialist Party of Nigeria from Lagos State.

Adeolu Oyekan argued that going by the first-year performance of Buhari’s regime, it has failed in all ramifications and if it is a student in the university, it would be currently on probation. He argued that food security which is not tied to foreign exchange, the regime failed to meet the expectations of the working masses, with virulent scarcity of staple items such as tomato. He noted that it is worrisome that part of solution proffered by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to the herdsmen crisis is the importation of grasses for cattle.  He raised that Fashola, the “Super Minister” of Works, Power and Housing and the “Prime Minister” of the regime has not tarred a single road, since assuming office. On housing, he questioned  how  Fashola  who as Lagos State Governor claimed that  since there is no “low cost cement”, there can be no “low cost housing” in Lagos” can guarantee mass housing at a national level. He submitted that a party like Socialist Party of Nigeria has to organize Nigerians into a mass movement to wrestle with thieving capitalist elite for political power.

Comrade Abadom Amaechi, in his submission argued that the question of “national restructuring” is quite imperative in engaging the socio-political crisis facing the mass of the working people. He argued that “Biafra” represents the expression of people’s distaste for injustice and that no part of the Nigerian state that have not suffered injustice. This means that there cannot be genuine restructuring without the capitalist structure of the society which creates material condition for the economic and social justice. He also noted that the socio-economic crisis has led to what is called “flexible policy”, with spate of downsizing, mass retrenchment and unpaid salaries. He noted that in the food industry, Guinness and Nigerian Breweries Limited have downsized and that the mass sack in the banking industry constitutes only a fraction of the mass retrenchment in the country.      

Daggar Tolar, a member of the National Executive Committee of the Socialist lampooned President Buhari for reducing the herdsmen crisis to fallout of the collapse of Libya and for his endorsement the repression of Shiites. He pointed the need for the mass of the working people not to buy the argument that it was the crash of crude oil prices alone that is responsible for the wave of unpaid salaries in about 26 states which have led to workers’ strikes in Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti states. He raised the need for the labour movement to rebuild its industrial and political arsenal at the face of looming capitalist attacks.

During the questions and comments session, participants ranging from industrial workers, university students and community activists condemned the state of affairs under the Buhari’s regime on the occasion of its first anniversary and raised the need to discuss the building the Socialist Party of Nigeria into a mass-based organization in the coming period. Lanre Arogundade, a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Socialist Movement in his comment  raised the need to deepen the interventions in the workers, students, youth and community movement to re-arm the mass organisations of the working people with the best ideas to transform society. Segun Sango, the National Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Nigeria, in its short intervention in the discussion raised the need to build a mass working people opposition against anti-poor capitalistprogram.
In his reply to the questions of commentators, Daggar Tolar responded that the genuine ideas of socialism remains the way forward for a society like Nigeria that is trapped in the crisis of the neo-colonial question. He urged the elements coming into the party to take time to absorb the  fundamentals of socialist ideas. In his final remarks, Comrade Amaechi submitted that if unempirical ideas like ancestral spirits can be marketed by some elements, how much more the genuine ideas of socialism? He raised the need to spread our ideas to transform society.

Pelad hinted that the next adjourned date for the SPN court matter is 13th July, 2016 for hearing and this would demand making expenses. A fighting fund for the SPN court matter was raised. Ayo Ademiluyi, in wrapping up the programme, hinted that the Public Meeting was organized by the Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria as part of the series of mass meetings to build the party in the state. He informed that in view of the recent replacement of the executives of the local councils with Sole Administrators, the Lagos State chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria would be opposing the action and begin a campaign for elections to be held.

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