Monday, 29 May 2017

Two Years of Buhari Government is a Failure


A call for a Mass Working Peoples’ Party

PRESS STATEMENT

This May 29 marks the second anniversary of Muhammadu Buhari-led government. For the working people, the last two years have been a monumental disaster wrought by the anti-poor capitalist policies of the government.  So what the masses have bitterly experienced in the last two years are rising prices of goods and services far above their purchasing power, increasingly high costs of living in a country where the masses have to largely provide for themselves the basic necessities (education, health, housing, water, electricity, etc.), job losses and worsening poverty.

While acknowledging the fact that the Buhari government came to power at a period of a serious crisis of global capitalism which is exemplified by the slump in the oil prices, we of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) strongly hold that it is the anti-poor neo-liberal capitalist policies implemented by Buhari/APC government that have seriously compounded the suffering of the working people. These include increase in electricity tariff despite widespread darkness, hike in fuel price and devaluation of Naira.  This shows that Buhari led APC government, despite its grandstanding and propaganda to the contrary, is not fundamentally different from the previous administrations of the PDP as both parties support capitalism. 

We also hold that the limited seemingly populist program of Buhari government like anti-corruption crusade and social welfare empowerment are fa├žade.  It should be noted that we fully support any genuine fight against corruption that will entail recovery of public loots and imprisonment of the culprits. But the Buhari’s anti-corruption fight has proved to be more of propaganda than a serious effort aimed at taming the menace of corruption. This is because as a capitalist government with agenda like privatization and contract system that inherently promote corruption, it cannot seriously fight corruption. This explains why on Buhari’s watch, his Secretary to Federal Government has allegedly enriched himself at the expense of the victims of Boko Haram’s terror through the infamous “grass cutting” scandal and the only response was to relieve the secretary of his job after public outcry that amounts to a slap on the wrist.

The so-called social program like the much vaunted NPower is not only extremely tokenistic but also much larger in propaganda than in the actual benefit for the poor masses and youths.  For instance, the NPower program has witnessed a series of protests from the purported beneficiaries who are owed allowances. 

It is sad that workers and the poor masses, who did not significantly benefit anything at the period of boom, are being made to bear the burden of the crisis of capitalism and failure of capitalist ruling elite. Unfortunately, the labour movement has not been able to resist these harrowing attacks. For instance, for more than two years, workers in at least 27 states have been owed salaries while political offices holders have earned jumbo allowances and salaries without any serious fight back initiated and sustained by the national leadership of labour despite spirited efforts by the affected workers. Also, all what labour could put up against the wicked fuel price hike in May 2016 was a feeble, half-hearted resistance. 

We therefore call on the leadership of labour movement to wake up to their responsibility of leading fight against all capitalist attacks unleashed on workers and the poor masses and for improved living conditions for the working people.  We call on them to show seriousness in their demand for N56, 000 minimum wage by preparing to fight for it as well as immediate settlement of all salaries and pensions arrears.  As the immediate step, we call on labour to declare a 24-hour warning general strike over minimum wage, unpaid salaries and pensions, job losses and mass poverty. 

By and large, we hold that the main reason Buhari government has failed the masses is its capitalist policies and philosophy which are also shared by all major political parties (APC, PDP, LP, APGA, etc.). Therefore, for the real change in economy and conditions of the working masses, a mass working people party on socialist program is needed. Therefore, ahead of 2019 election we call for special conference of trade union, artisan, trader, youth and socialist organisations to discuss how to build a political movement to wrest political power from the capitalist ruling elite and enthrone a workers and poor people's government armed with genuine socialist program.

Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary, SPN
    

Friday, 5 May 2017

SPN Fighting for Registration :Case against INEC finally came up for hearing


Adjourned till June 6 for INEC's response

On Thursday 4 May 2017, the matter (FCH/ABJ/CS/630/2014) between the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) finally came up for hearing at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division. 

The SPN filed the case on September 10 2014 to challenge the INEC's refusal to issue it a certificate of registration after fulfilling all lawful requirements for registration as a political party.

Thursday's hearing, which marks a new stage in the matter since it was filed about 3 years ago, came after INEC had wasted the time of the court for over one year while claiming it wanted to settle out of court with us.

After hearing the argument of the SPN's lawyer, the court adjourned the matter till 6 June 2017 for the respondent (INEC) argument. Hopefully judgment would not be long in coming.

This matter has lasted a total of two years and eight months without any real headway! Thursday's hearing makes it the 16th time the matter has been adjourned. During all these 16 adjournments, the matter only came up for mention 6 times! Aside from the machinations of INEC to frustrate us by wasting the time of the court for over one year through an out-of-court settlement process it was never committed to, the slow pace of the matter is equally attributable to the nature of the judiciary which is primed to make it harder for the poor to ever get justice. 

The significance of our grouse with INEC is that having met all lawful requirements for registration, there is no reason for the continuous withholding of our certificate of registration. As this matter continues to drag, it has become quite clear that INEC is serving the interest of the capitalist ruling elite who enormously fear the prospect of working and toiling people organizing in a political party to oust them from their corrupt rule. However no matter how long it takes, we are resolved not to relent.
 
Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary SPN

Thursday, 4 May 2017

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS IN LAGOS: INEC MUST REGISTER SOCIALIST PARTY NOW IN ORDER TO JOIN THE ELECTORAL FRAY!



PRESS STATEMENT

We of the Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) view the recent declaration by Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASSIEC) of 22nd July, 2017 as the date for elections into elected offices in Lagos State local governments as long overdue. The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission has been under obligation by virtue of a subsisting court judgment to conduct the elections but have delayed until now due to self-serving reasons.

Nonetheless, we hold that the forthcoming local council poll is another major reason why the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should immediately issue the SPN its Certificate of Registration in order to participate in the electoral contest. The SPN has met all requirements of the law as required by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended) while INEC has refused to issue the party its Certificate of Registration.

Without pro-working people’s parties such as the Socialist Party allowed to field candidates, the forthcoming elections will parade the host of anti-poor candidates that have made life intolerable for the mass of working people. Since inauguration in power, the Akinwunmi Ambode-led All Progressives’ Congress–controlled Lagos State Government has unleashed ceaseless attacks on the poor people in the state. These include demolition of waterfront communities which inflicted innocent and poor residents with losses of lives and properties. The regime’s major pursuit is to make Lagos the exclusive preserve for the super-rich as the lands grabbed from the poor have been sold to big pockets and the friends of government in big business.

We call on mass of workers, traders, artisans, community people to join the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and the campaign for its registration. SPN calls on the entire labour movement to build its own mass working people’s political alternative against all the pro-rich parties. All the looters have their own parties, the working people need a political voice of their own.

Moshood Osunfurewa
State Secretary