Wednesday, 26 September 2018



Press Statement
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) throws its weight behind the decision of the three labour federations – the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) – to commence a nationwide warning strike by the midnight of Wednesday 26 September 2018 following the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum the labour centres issued to the federal government to demand the reconvening of the tripartite committee on the new national minimum wage to conclude its work on setting the new national minimum wage. 

 The Tripartite Committee, which comprises representatives of labour, federal and state governments and private employers of labour, is a body the government has created to work out the figures of a new national minimum wage. This committee has been asked by the Minister of Labour to adjourn indefinitely in a move which is suspected to be an attempt by the Buhari/Osinbajo fundamentally anti-worker government to frustrate the possibility of a new national minimum wage coming into being this year. In fact this committee has been used as a ploy to divert labour from actually struggling to win a higher minimum. At the same time the government has been lying to working people, back in February Labour Minister Ngige told the NLC’s 40th anniversary celebration that the new minimum wage would start sometime between July and September, but nothing happened.
Support the Strike!

To be clear, this is a strike that must be supported by the entirety of workers, youth and oppressed. Not only is a new national minimum wage legally due since two years ago, the increase in pump price of petroleum products, inflation, naira devaluation, increase in electricity tariff amongst others have increased the cost of living for Nigerian workers and their dependants. Today the N18, 000 minimum wage is not worth more than $50 – a poverty wage that is not adequate for any category of worker. 

But true to type, the Buhari/Osinbajo government like all previous capitalist governments has shown clear insincerity about the minimum wage. Rather it is only using the promise to pay minimum wage as a ploy to ingratiate itself with workers with a view to getting their votes in the coming 2019 general elections. The snail-pace of negotiations at the tripartite committee whose work has now been suspended by the Minister of Labour as well as the lack of any provision for a new national minimum wage in the 2018 budget strongly confirms this. 

We therefore commend the three labour centres for uniting to jointly prosecute this struggle. This form of unity in struggle has been a demand of the SPN for some time now in order to overcome the divisions that currently exist. It would be important for the labour movement to build on this and extend this spirit of solidarity into the rank and file of each of the federations.

On the Question of Tactics

The obvious question now is: how to make this strike successful and win a living minimum wage? We don’t want to see a repeat of the failure of the poor prepared strike called in May 2016.

Labour needs to be clear on what is the character of the nationwide warning strike. How many number of days would it last? Sadly nothing in labour’s statements to the media indicate concretely the character of the strike apart from the fact that it is a warning strike to be implemented nationwide. But a press statement signed by NLC General Secretary, Peter Ozo-Eson, the NLC declared that “The nationwide warning strike will remain in force until further directives are conveyed,” (Premium Times 25/9/2018). By this it seems apparent that, even though the words are not used, what has been declared in effect is an indefinite general strike. 

That labour’s declaration is shorn of all concreteness about the character, nature and tenure of the strike is itself alarming because in reality a warning strike and an indefinite general strike are not the same in terms of preparation, prosecution and aims. This is why even as the labour prepare to commence strike nationwide stating from tomorrow, discussion about tactics are also very crucial. 

On our part in the SPN, we fully support this strike. But, unfortunately, we have to also say that we consider the decision to launch a warning “indefinite” general strike as soon as the ultimatum expired as tactically-wrong and a possible preparation for another fiasco on the scale of the 2016 general strike. A better approach would have been to declare, as a first step, a 24-hr, 48-hr or 72-hr general strike for next week in order to allow for preparations and wider mobilization while using the October 1st independence day celebration as a launch-pad to hold mass rallies across the federation in order to build momentum for a total shutdown from the day after. 

Tragically, it seems the leadership of the labour movement has not learnt much lessons from the extremely limited success of the 2016 general strike whose failure was not simply a function of divisions amongst unions but, in our view, also due to inadequate preparations and failure of critical affiliates of the NLC and TUC to mobilize their members to implement the strike. In order words, it is impossible to successfully prosecute an indefinite general strike without adequate mobilization of the working masses and preparations and without a leadership prepared to seriously fight for a political alternative.

General Strike

Additionally, the leadership of the labour movement needs to understand that a general strike is not a scare-tactic or a weapon to threaten or intimidate government. Yes, a capitalist government can, in order to avoid a general strike, grant some concessions but always with the intention to take back all it has granted as soon as it feels safe enough. But consciously, a general strike is historically a weapon of the working class to galvanize all the oppressed and impoverished sections of the population to begin to fight against anti-poor policies and ultimately aim for political power. By virtue of how it sweeps the entirety of the working class and oppressed together in a torrent of mass activities and by virtue of how every nerve centre of the operation of the capitalist system ceases to function, a general strike always implicitly raises the question of political power i.e. who really is the master of society – the capitalist vampires or the workers. 

Therefore intrinsically linked with the question of a general strike is also the question of a mass workers’ political alternative that can place itself at the head of the mass struggle to end capitalism and enthrone a government of workers and oppressed people armed with socialist programmes. Without ending capitalism, there is no way workers can permanently receive a living wage. Only the reorganization of labour and production in a socialist direction can ensure that workers receive a fair share of their contribution to production as well as an economy that meets the needs of the mass majority instead of the greed of a few.

What to do now

Notwithstanding the above, the SPN supports every effort to make the strike succeed. We suggest the immediate setting up of joint strike committees at national, state and community levels comprising labour leaders, rank and file activists in the trade unions and pro-labour organisations to begin immediate implementation of the strike once the ultimatum lapses. This means from 5am on Thursday and in every city across the country, this committee must deplore to all government secretariats, factories, banks, airports, sea ports and motor parks to begin implementation of the strike. 

Immediate mobilizational materials like leaflets which really explain the issues and seeks to appeal for the support of other members of the oppressed class must be produced in hundreds of thousands. Labour must understand that the mass majority of Nigerians are fed up with the status quo but would not necessarily join a strike if they are not mobilized and their issues articulated. Today the anger is far deeper than at the time of the January 2012 general strike, the largest in the country’s history, which really began as a revolt from below. Therefore beyond minimum wage, such materials must equally demand payment of all owed arrears of salaries and pensions across the federation, decent jobs for the unemployed, reduction in the outrageous salaries and allowances of political office holders, an end to education commercialization, reversal of all anti-poor policies, end to crazy billing and for the renationalization of the electricity sector etc. 

The SPN equally suggests that the general strike should not be a sit-at-home action. Rather public rallies and mass protests should be planned for Friday and particularly on Independence Day on Monday October 1st 2018. This would go a long way in drawing into the strike the army of the unorganized workers and the mass of the oppressed who are angry but lack leadership for their burning anger. For the success of the strike, it is important that real initiative is not left in the hands of the present labour leadership, many of whom have been involved in rotten compromises in the past. The strike committees which must be democratic and mass-based ought to be the real leaders of the strike in terms of deciding what to do on a day to day basis, how to implement the strike and ultimately when to suspend the action. Regular mass meetings to consider every tactical steps must be held from time to time during the course of the strike. We must avoid past errors wherein labour leaders abruptly suspend strike actions from the comfort of boardrooms without adequate discussions with the rank and file at the barricade. Such errors have severely damaged labour’s reputation in the past. Repeating such now would only further convince many that labour cannot be trusted. 

In the final analysis, only a socialist revolution can guarantee a living wage for workers. That despite Nigeria’s immense wealth, workers and retirees in many states across the federation are being owed backlog of salaries and pensions is a clear indication that the capitalist system cannot guarantee a better life for workers and the oppressed. Now the economy is once again faltering which means more job losses and non-payment of salaries and pensions are in the offing. While fighting for the day to day interest of workers, the labour movement must also chart a way out for the working class out of the contradictions and crisis of capitalism. 

This is why we once again call on the NLC, TUC and ULC to form a new mass workers political party or support building of the SPN as a mass party which can be utilized to take political power and run Nigeria in the interest of the mass majority. Unfortunately the Labour Party (LP) is not playing this role, rather the party is in alliance with the very capitalist parties that are responsible for workers’ misery. No doubt, a new mass workers party is urgently needed. Already the opportunity to begin to build one in time for the coming general elections has been lost. But such a force is still needed, not just for elections but for the struggles which will develop after the elections. As a step towards this, we suggest a national conference of trade unions, Socialists, SPN and other change-seeking political parties and civil society organizations to begin discussion about how such a political alternative can come into being.

Abiodun Bamigboye                                                  Chinedu Bosah
Acting National Chairperson                                            National Secretary

Monday, 24 September 2018

Osun Election: Nothing Has Changed – No Difference between APC and PDP

SPN Thank All Our Supporters

Preliminary Statement on Osun Governorship Election
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Osun State wishes to appreciate all our members, supporters and those who voted for the party and its candidate, Barrister Alfred Adegoke, in the now inconclusive Governorship Election in Osun State that held on 22nd September, 2018. We saw this election as part of our continuing campaign to win the support of the Osun people to end the rule of anti-poor capitalist parties in the state and embrace the socialist banner. We are however proud of our brave intervention in this election and our modest vote of 391, given the enormous odds against us. As we had pointed out much before now, the elections had been rigged against small parties especially those like the SPN which has a pro-working people programme and does not have a war-chest of stolen funds to buy votes.

As a party, registered in about eight months to the election, we are happy that we were able to provide genuine socialist alternative to the capitalist rot disguised as governance in the state. The other parties just repeated fine sounding words which mean nothing. We were the only party that had clear programme of ending entrenched corruption in government, developing infrastructure and social services and improving the living and working conditions of the working people. No other political party promised to end jumbo emoluments of senior government officials; only SPN promised to place government officials on worker’s salary. No other political party promised to end fraudulent contract system that has become the conduit pipe for direct and indirect looting. No political party aside SPN promised to end fraudulent allocations such as security votes. It was only SPN that openly came in support of free and quality education and healthcare, and mass job provision starting with massive investment in social services.

The SPN contested against heavily-monetized politics, bias by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and an almost media blackout by pro-capitalist media organizations with exception of a few like Premium Times. The election witnessed unprecedented monetization and monetary inducement of voters by major bourgeois political parties, which have ill-gotten wealth to throw around. These parties “invest” in elections simply in order to open the door to further looting. Additionally, the INEC tried all means to sideline political parties like SPN. In fact, INEC looked the other way while major political parties continue to induce voters with money. No effort was made by INEC to check excessive monetization of the election as prescribed by the Election Act. Furthermore, most of the media organizations deliberately blacked out SPN, while providing the major bourgeois parties, whose contestants have been part and parcel of the rot that has defined governance in Nigeria, their platform, even against the prescribed rules by relevant agencies.

Despite all this, the SPN, with its lean resources, took the socialist campaign to many streets and towns across the state. That this did not translate to enough votes to dislodge the anti-poor, anti-worker government of Aregbesola/APC is a function of the aforementioned facts. We are however, convinced that our people, in the coming period, will liberate themselves from the shackles of poverty, misery and underdevelopment they are subjected to by capitalist ruling class. As a result, we shall not relent but continue to use every opportunity including the 2019 general elections to canvass for a socialist alternative and programme that will ensure that the resources of Osun state are utilized to turn around the lives of workers and ordinary people instead of corruption and profligacy of privileged few.

The tentative result of this election has shown the huge angst against the ruling but anti-poor APC and the Aregbesola government. However, the votes of the PDP, which had a slight margin over the APC, does not reflect the genuine wish of the people, who are tired of all corrupt politicians and their politics. Rather it shows that many voters could not see any clear difference between the APC and the PDP. This again confirms the need for a party like the SPN to continue to build and spread its ideas as far and as wide as possible because in the final analysis, only our programme can resolve the crisis facing the working and toiling people of Osun state.

We call on those who voted for us and supported our campaign, to take the bold decision to join the SPN as members and let us build a genuine political platform of the working people, youths and the masses. SPN will not join the corrupt moneybag and monetized politics. Rather, we will use the coming period to mobilize the working people and youth to fight against all anti-poor policies that will be launched by any of the two bourgeois parties, APC and PDP that emerge as winner from this election.


Kola Ibrahim

State Secretary

Friday, 21 September 2018




We of the Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) call on the mass of the working people in Lagos State not to give sympathy to Akinwumi Ambode, the current Governor of Lagos State in his clash with his "godfather", Bola Ahmed Tinubu nor give support to the latter himself in the quest to install in power another stooge. Since 1999, after being elected and sworn in as the first elected Governor of Lagos State under the current Fourth Republic dispensation, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged Lagos State into prolonged years of MISRULE through fraudulent self-succession in power and installation of his cronies as Governors of the state. Under these successive regimes, huge public assets including landed and building properties, government acquisitions and holdings were expropriated as personal properties by Bola Ahmed Tinubu. For us in the SPN, the situation has not been different under the current Akinwumi Ambode-led regime. 

The struggle between the Mandate Group loyal to Tinubu and Governor Ambode is so much about business/profit interests of the contending forces of the ruling elites in Lagos. This can be further confirmed by sources who spoke with the Daily independent which goes thus: “A leader in the Mandate Group said the Governor’s fate had been sealed a long time ago after he failed to address the complaints and grievances of party leaders whose economic lifelines have been gravely affected by his policies”. 

The situation further stresses the grave autocracy in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party in Lagos State which is also being continually demonstrated by their representatives in government, including the Ambode government itself, especially with the example of demolitions of communities/markets without compensations and the repression of the genuine protests of the ordinary people of Lagos state over the outrageously illegal Land Use Charge he imposed earlier in his administration. The godfatherism within the Lagos state political elite does not vindicate any of the bourgeois establishment political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This clearly shows the monstrous dictatorship that exists in Lagos and it is typical of bourgeois politics wherein a tiny organized mafias dictating the affairs and looting of collective resources in the process.  

The SPN states clearly that neither Sanwo-Olu nor Ambode represents a future that will make Lagos work for the mass of its poor working people given the fact that they both represent the wishes and aspiration of big business and the money bag. 

The SPN will stand in the Lagos State elections in 2019 and we urge the people of Lagos state to vote for our pro-working class party with the programme to liberate the workers, youths and artisans in Lagos State. The SPN will be contesting with a candidate who would only take the salary of the average professional worker, so as to be able to live in and relate to the realities of the people of Lagos. We are raising a programme that will see to massive investment in basic amenities and the transparent usage of public works to carry out the construction of more schools, more hospitals, and more good roads, amongst others, instead of the corrupt inflated and outrageous contract system that the privileged wealthy few share amongst themselves.


Rufus Olusesan                                                                        Shoyombo M.K
Chairman                                                                                           Publicity Secretary