Thursday, 31 May 2018


For most Nigerians President Muhammadu Buhari’s May 29 speech was cheerless and uninspiring just like the previous ones. President Buhari has only succeeded in telling Nigerians what they spent money on without a coordinated plan to improve the living condition of Nigerians on a sustainable basis. Furthermore he ignored the underlying structural crisis of the country, a crisis which is getting worse, not better. This is the same kind of speech Nigerians get periodically. 

The President claimed that security, economy and corruption are the cardinal programs of the government and yet his government has failed woefully on all these areas. 

On security, the President claimed that his government has done so well on security but the fact of the matter is the insecurity of different shades is still very much prevalent. Boko Haram’s kidnapping of 110 Dapchi school girls in Yobe shows clearly that insurgency is still a major threat. Besides, kidnapping and armed robbery and other social vices are on the increase. The present administration has failed woefully in their response to herdsmen and farmers clashes across the country in terms of securing peoples’ lives and properties as well as modernising agriculture. The government responds to insecurity by buying more arms which is its only strategy. The absence of massive social-economic investment to create sustainable jobs and living standards means that the government is only scratching the surface of the country’s problems.

On the economy, President Buhari government has also failed woefully. Living conditions of most Nigerians are much worse now than three years ago as a result of the anti-poor policies of the regime and the inability of the capitalist economy to meet the needs of the majority. Like other public services education is still underfunded and Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world, currently around 10.5 million. The government is increasingly commercializing education by periodic hike in fees at the tertiary level and more students are forced out of school. The budgetary allocation to education is about 7% which is criminally inadequate. 

It is not an error that the President speech did not capture healthcare; it is simply that the government is giving very little attention to it. The 2018 proposed budget allocates a paltry N340 billion which is 4% to healthcare, one of the reasons there are repeated strikes by health sector workers. The budgetary allocation is less than 15% recommendable by African Union (AU) and 13% recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO). Like most members of the ruling class President Buhari care less of the deplorable state of healthcare since he and his family members embark on expensive treatment abroad. 

The President claimed that Niger Delta region has enjoyed relative peace through social inclusiveness and cooperation of the elders; and that the environmental clean-up of the region is progressing satisfactorily. We want to make quite clear that the relative peace in Niger Delta does not mean that the degradation, infrastructural decay and massive joblessness are being addressed. What the ruling elite has succeeded in bribing the militants to stand down while the old order remains. Aside the initial $10 million start-up funds to Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Projects (HYPREP) by the federal government for the cleanup of Ogoni, one year after, the $1billion that is to be contributed by Shell and the government is yet to be paid and cleanup is yet to begin. 

There is nothing to cheer about when foreign reserve stands at $47.5 billion because it serves the interest of the rich far more than the poor. Secondly, it is not due to ingenuity of the government but simply because price of oil has hit over $70 per barrel compared to about $35 per barrel three years ago. Nigeria’s economy is on auto-pilot and majorly dependent on crude oil price and quantity sold, if and when the oil export price falls the Nigerian economy will fall again into deeper crisis. 

Unfortunately, the President reduced food security to increased local production of rice. Most of the rice consumed in Nigeria is still being imported. The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development said that Nigeria spends about $22billion (N6.7 trillion) annually on food importation and yet the proposed budgetary allocation to Agriculture and Rural Development is a paltry N119 billion.

President Buhari said that fight against corruption is taken seriously but the fight so far is largely aimed at those in the opposition camp and long term enemies while his own men are shielded. The fight against corruption must be democratically controlled, openly conducted, all-inclusive and without discrimination to achieve its desirable impact. President Buhari in July 2015 banned 113 Crude Oil Vessels involved in stealing crude oil but were reinstated after two months without prosecution. Mainagate and Babachirgate are examples of how Buhari treats corrupt practices with his government with kid gloves. 

The Social Investment Programmes (SIP) is configured on a weak and unsustainable foundation. The program is not tied to industry, massive service delivery or integrated rural development and modern agriculture. Hence, it is best ascribed as a scheme to address temporary issues but the problem of jobs is a permanent one. SIP jobs only attract meager salary without the right to unionization and are on a temporary basis. Previous governments since Babangida’s Junta did similar programs and the economy is still in bad shape. Despite long years of scheme programs, unemployment and underemployment keep growing. 72 million (40% of the population) are unemployed and underemployed. As far as we are concerned, the SIP amounts to throwing money at a problem on a small scale. What is required is development of all sectors of the economy and it can only be achieved through a plan towards industrialization wherein the key sectors of the economy are linked together in one plan with massive investment. 

The President applauded his government for generating 7,500 MW of electricity but what he did not tell us is that over $20 billion public funds has been investment in the power sector in the last 15 years. Besides, due to the poor transmission and distribution infrastructure and facilities only less than two-third of the generated MW are eventually supplied to consumers. Fundamentally, 5,222 MW is very small for a population of 180 million people. The President did not address the very vexatious issue of widespread unwarranted and outrageous estimated bills issued to consumers by the Distribution Companies which is a rip-off. Besides, he has stuck with the electricity privatization has proved not to be monumental failure. 

It is obvious that the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led government just like its predecessors, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has no capacity to develop the economy on a sustainable basis. The socio-economic problems are being compounded by the continuous implementation of neo-liberal policies (privatization, deregulation etc.) that only serve the profit interest of a few at the expense of the interest of vast majority. This means that the vast majority of Nigerians, especially young ones, have no real hope so long as the country continues on its current course.

The SPN calls on labour and pro-masses organisations to organise campaign and mass resistance against all anti-poor capitalist policies and attacks of the government at all levels, and to demand improvement in living conditions including a higher minimum wage, settlement of all arrears of salaries and pensions, adequate funding of education and health care, etc. We call on workers and activists to join us to mount pressure on the leadership of labour movement to initiate effort in this direction and at the same time independently initiate and organize a series of mass actions against capitalist attacks before and after 2019 general elections.

Also importantly, the major lesson the masses must learn from the failure of Buhari government in whom a huge hope was invested is the need for a mass working peoples party on a socialist programme to wrest political power in order to democratically use of huge human and material resources of the country for the benefit of the vast majority. We of the SPN are striving to build, with others, such a working peoples’ alternative both for the coming elections but also a force that can campaign etc. after the elections. At the same, the SPN has a huge potential of becoming such a mass party. Therefore, we call on workers, artisans, traders, youth, and the masses in general to join us. 

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) will pursue industrialization for massive jobs creation; integrated rural development to modernize agriculture and develop rural communities; integrated transport system for an efficient transport network; affordable and uninterrupted power supply; affordable and decent housing and environment; free, quality education and healthcare; potable water; clean and renewable energy etc. SPN will achieve these pro-people and pro-development programs through socialist planning and nationalization of the commanding height of the economy under the management and control of workers and consumers. Through this, the quantum of resources (human and material) can be planned and managed to meet the needs of all.

Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary

Wednesday, 30 May 2018


On May 29,  Socialist Party of  Nigeria (SPN) organised public meetings in Abuja, Oyo and Ajegunle in Lagos. Also in Lagos, members of the party participated at  the Summit of the Working People organised by JAF in conjuction with pro-masses civil society groups. May 29  is marked as Democracy Day in Nigeria, but the working people have not gained the so-called dividends of democracy  promised by the capitalist ruling elite following the return to civil rule in 1999.  The SPN used the opportunity offered by the day to reach out to working people and youth with the explanation of why Nigeria is in crisis despite 19 years of civil rule and the need to join the party in order to jointly win political power for a better Nigeria.





Wednesday, 16 May 2018


The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Youth Wing supports all measures against rogue pharmaceutical companies, chemist shops and crooked drug merchants and gangs responsible for the prevalent drug epidemic in the country but we warn against turning the war on drugs to a war on young people.

 We make this warning conscious of the fact that previous onslaught on marijuana use have always been turned into an opportunity by corrupt police, NAFDAC, NDLEA and security officials to stigmatize young people, arrest people at will and slam them into detention only to gain their freedom after paying bribes.

Already illegal police raids in poor communities are causing almost daily deaths of young people across the country. Many of these young people are arrested or shot by corrupt police and security officials just for walking at a particular hour, for dressing in a certain way or for refusing to give a bribe. This happens while the real criminals walk free. The Offa robbery and how police reportedly took a bribe of N400, 000 from the armed-robbers days before they unleashed mayhem is a clear testimony to how these so-called raids are not meant to catch criminals but instead to make income for corrupt police officials. Therefore, making the war on drugs to follow similar pattern of illegal police/NDLEA raids, stigmatization and arrest at will without regard for human rights will only worsen the already tense situation in poor communities and might even provoke riots and violent reprisals.

To be clear, the President Buhari capitalist government as well as previous anti-poor government are all responsible for the growing menace of drug usage and addiction by young people. Their anti-poor capitalist policies which have deepened inequality and made public education and good jobs inaccessible for the majority as well as the profit-motive of pharmaceutical companies and rogues are the driving forces behind the drug menace and other social crises like prostitution, gangs and crimes.

 Today, young people are more anxious, hopeless and uncertain about their future. A lot of working class and poor families are breaking apart following sudden loss of income by parents arising either from retrenchment, irregular payment of salary, demolition of markets and shops. Even when parents die from accidents or sickness, there are no provisions by the state to provide for children left behind. Such neglected children tend to find succor in drugs. The social crises will continue to get worse unless the working class, the youth and the poor rally round the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) to begin to struggle against these anti-poor policies that drives hopelessness and ultimately for the overthrow of the capitalist system.

 In the war on drugs, the government must be clear about who the enemies are. The enemies are the rogue pharmaceuticals, chemist shops, complicit officials of NAFDAC, NDLEA, Police, customs and other security agencies and criminal merchant networks who cooperate in vast concentric ring of cartels to ensure these dangerous drugs get to our streets. Young people are the victims and ought not to be criminalized.

 Therefore, instead of treating drug users and addicts as criminals, they ought to be treated as people who need assistance to drop a bad and potentially dangerous habit. This means adequately-funded and equipped rehabilitation centres and well trained personnel ought to be established in communities alongside a campaign involving government agencies, civil society, trade unions especially the unions in the education sector, youth groups and students unions to counter this growing scourge. It also means proper funding of public education and expansion of school facilities to get all young people of school-age back into school, good well-paying jobs for graduates and an end to inequality and grinding poverty. If 10.5 million school-age children continue to be out of school and tens of millions university graduates continue to go without jobs, the war against drugs cannot be won.

 In addition, the SPN supports sanction including heavy fines against pharmaceutical companies, chemist shops and any outlets found after thorough investigation to be connected to the illicit drug. We also support immediate arrest and prosecution of the criminal merchants of deaths responsible for selling these drugs in schools and communities.

 The alleged involvement of Emzor pharmaceutical Industry Ltd, Bioraj Pharmaceutical Ltd and Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Ltd in this illicit trade shows how profit trumps concern for people’s health. This is not just a local reality, actually it is an international phenomenon that big pharmaceutical companies are complicit in the drug trade.

 This is one of the main reasons we of the SPN hold that health related services like pharmaceuticals ought not to be left in the hands of private merchants who are primarily driven by profits and not any ethical and safety concerns. We demand a publicly-funded and run health sector including hospitals and pharmaceutical companies under the control and management of workers and the public in order to ensure that profit is not prioritized over safety and health.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto
National Youth Leader

Saturday, 12 May 2018

OYO COUNCIL POLL: A Show of Shame and Stage-Managed Fraud!

SPN name and logo appeared on the ballot paper even when its candidate was denied a nomination form by OYSIEC

The Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, Oyo State chapter, has described the May 12 council poll in Oyo State as a huge show of shame and stage-managed fraud. We demand that this charade and monumental fraud should be challenged by the mass of the people. As we earlier pointed out, the May 12, 2018 Local Government election is a nullity owing to the fact that it was conducted on the basis of OYSIEC created electoral areas in violation of section 148 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In addition, the crude manner the SPN candidate for Ibadan South West chairmanship position was denied nomination form in a deliberate effort to prevent genuine political alternative to be presented in the election only for SPN name and logo to appear in the ballot papers further confirms the monumental fraud the May 12 Local Government election is.

In this regard, we of the SPN hereby demand new and democratic Local Government elections conducted in accordance with the requirements of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and with fair opportunities for all parties and candidates including the SPN and its candidate. We call on all people of Oyo state who are equally disaffected with the illegality and fraud that took place on May 12 2018 in the name of elections to join us in the SPN to challenge this charade.

The turnout of the electorate in the election was reportedly so poor in most polling units especially in Ibadan and its environs.

In ward 4 polling unit 10 in Ibadan South West LGA for instance, only 10 people out of the 720 registered electorates were accredited and voted as at of 2:45pm when it was less than 25mins for the voting exercise itself to come to an end. This is just a glimpse of the poor turn-out that characterised the election. The apathy was said to be so high that, the APC agents were compelled according to a live radio report of the election on splash FM, 105.5, to be moving from house to house canvassing the electorate to come out to vote even while the election was on-going. This act is against the election  guideline which stipulates among other things that there must not be any form of campaign on the day of the election. At the same time, it shows that the level of mass disaffection among the working people with the capitalist political establishment in the state is very high.

The report also has it that only the APC agents were seen in most polling units. This is an indication that all other political parties the OYSIEC claimed  are participating in the election were actually mobilised by the APC through a pseudo platform tagged CNPP and IPAC to give an impression that the election itself is participatory. Except SPN which embarked on street to street campaign in Ibadan south west local government where its members were sponsored as candidates for the chairmanship and vice-chairmanship position before it had to pull out of the exercise, none of the other 11 political parties OYSIEC claimed are part of the election ever carried out any campaign during the pre-election period.
Obviously, both the OYSIEC and Oyo State APC-led government were threatened by the active involvement of SPN and its critical attitude towards all of the undemocratic conduct of OYSIEC. This explains why SPN candidate was denied nomination form by OYSIEC after being subjected to the rigour of a screening exercise during which he was certified eligible to stand as candidate in the election.

However, despite the fact that SPN candidate was denied  nomination form, the OYSIEC still went ahead to include both the name and logo of the SPN in the election ballot paper. This show that the denial was deliberate to prevent the SPN from being officially part of the election while the name and logo was decided to be included in the ballot paper with a view to use the name of the party to give a credibility to the election.

This is an electoral fraud committed by OYSIEC against our great party SPN. This is condemnable and further underscore the fact that the state electoral body will continue to be incapable to conduct a credible local government election as long as it continues to be an appendage of the state government and the ruling party.

To bring an end to this unfortunate situation explains why we of the SPN will continue to canvass for the democratisation of state and national electoral bodies  whose membership will be derived from the elected representatives of trade unions, youth and professional organisations, trade and artisan associations including the community associations like residents association.  Only elections conducted by electoral bodies with the above outlined membership and character that is are capable of conducting election that will reflect the true aspiration and expectation of the people either at the state or national level.