Friday 24 January 2020


SPN Calls for democratic controlled armed multi-ethnic and multi-religious defence committees in communities
NLC, TUC and ULC must launch a national campaign on high spate of insecurity and social issues like education, health and jobs

Press Statement
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) acknowledges the failure of Buhari government through the police, military and other security agencies to tackle the high spate of insecurity like banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, social conflicts like that between farmers and herders etc. across the country in addition to Boko Haram insurgency in the North East. We therefore support any genuine independent democratic mass effort or measure to protect lives and property in the face of the failure of the government.
We hold that the Western Nigerian Security Network popularly called Amotekun operation, recently launched by the six governors of Southwest Nigeria, as presently conceptualized and constituted will do more harm than good. While there is no yet any official framework and policy document in the public domain, the popular narrative on Amotekun, both in the main media and social media, frames it as a Yoruba ethnic militia. This suggests that the activities of Amotekun could be divisive in the region. Even though the south-western region is predominated by Yoruba people, the fact remains that there is a considerable number of residents who are of other ethnic extractions. . Furthermore the perception of Amotekun as a Yoruba militia risks provoking further ethnic tension.
The masses, who share common oppression and exploitation by the capitalist ruling elite irrespective of ethnic origin, should not support any activity or policy that will divide them along ethnic or religious line, something which could weaken their capacity for needed united struggles for better conditions.
Besides, the outfit is not subject to democratic control of the working people and communities. Rather it is under the control of anti-poor capitalist governors of the APC and PDP. The record of these leaders leaves no one in doubt that they are as much guilty of the crime of implementing pro-capitalist policies as the Buhari-led Federal government that worsen the desperate conditions of the working masses and youth which is largely responsible for the alarming problem of insecurity across the country. At the moment, all the governors of the six states of the Southwest are guilty of undemocratically violating the autonomy of the local governments despite extant Supreme Court judgment and other legal instruments. So when these gentlemen mount the rostrum to shout to high heavens the need for the so-called true federalism, we of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) cannot but ask them to dare come to equity only if they are sure they have got clean hands in their own states.
While we of the SPN do not rule out the possibility that Amatekun may fight some crimes, we strongly believe that in the absence of mass democratic control, its operation and activities will sooner or later constitute a threat to democratic rights and human dignity of the ordinary people including extortion, extra-judicial killing, election rigging, attacking opposition figures, etc as obtains with the police, DSS and other security agencies. The history of the Odua People's Congress (OPC, which despite vaunted objectives to combat insecurity, eventually became a terror gang against ordinary people in general and people from other ethnic groups residing in the South West and also became an apparatus of violence for politicians clearly justifies this point.
By and large, the masses must not have an illusion in the capacity and sincerity of any section of the capitalist ruling elite whose anti-poor program and policies largely create and maintain material conditions for insecurity in the first place to adequately protect them. The major reasons the police and other official security bodies cannot adequately fight crime is firstly because they are in reality fundamentally an instrument of class oppression and secondly because they are not adequately equipped while the rank and file members are poorly paid and ill-motivated. So, it is misplaced to expect that the governors who pay poverty wages or have failed to fulfill their social obligation on the provision of health, education and infrastructure to run and finance an effective and efficient security outfit to defend the length and breadth of the southwest.
It is against the background of the foregoing that we of the SPN call on the masses to support the call for the formation of multi-ethnic and multi-religious defence committees in communities which could be armed if necessary but whose operation must be under the democratic control of the community people.
The masses must reject any argument or position of the government that declares any independent mass initiative of the people to protect themselves illegal. The government which has failed in its constitutional responsibility to protect lives and property does not have authority to hamstring the masses with provisions of the same constitution, which was imposed on the people without any referendum. This is why, despite our opposition to Amotekun for reasons articulated above, we hold that it is shameful for Attorney General Abubakar Malami of Buhari government, under whose watch the state of insecurity in the country has significantly worsened, to hide under constitutionalism to reject Amotokun initiative which is a response to the failure of Buhari-led government, albeit not a genuine alternative.
We also reject the use of the fact that some northern states have set up Hisbah to justify the formation of Amotokun. Hisbah, a reactionary religious security outfit that is bureaucratically and autocratically run, largely targets the poor and has failed woefully to fight crime. Just the way we are opposed to Amotekun, we are opposed to Hisbah and other security outfit under the bourgeois self-serving control.
We note that the debate on Amotekun has brought again to the front burner the question of farmer-herder conflict. We understand that the activities of herders, who drive cattle into farmlands, usually provoke conflicts between farmers and herders. These conflicts sometimes lead to deaths. There are also allegations of rustling of cattle by farmers or locals. While we support that the culprit herders or farmers should be arrested and prosecuted, we hold that law and order approach is not enough to resolve the crisis. We therefore reiterate our support for the call for ranching of cattle with government intervention as part of a democratic controlled massive public investment in the modernization of agriculture (both crop and livestock) including setting up of democratically managed public large-scale farms and development of the rural areas in terms of providing basic infrastructures and social amenities. This will not only prevent conflicts between herders and farmers but also create jobs and guarantee food security.
Furthermore, we of the SPN reject any narrative that profiles Fulani herdsmen as the only criminals in the southwest especially on highways. While there are criminals who are of Fulani extraction, we believe some of these criminals are also from other ethnic groups. Therefore we caution against stereotyping of Fulani herdsmen especially by the southern media and commentators as this is capable of endangering lives of peaceful innocent herders who are not criminals.
We also note that Amotekun saga has helped accentuate the national question which cannot be resolved by the primitive capitalist elite in Nigeria. Rather the capitalist elite use ethnic and religious divisions as a vehicle to access the collective wealth of the country at the expense of the masses. We therefore call on labour movement which is the strongest unifying force of the working masses as demonstrated in struggles on fuel prices and minimum wage to intervene with a national campaign and mobilization of the working masses and the poor against insecurity which must be linked to demands on social issues such as education, health care, food security and jobs. It is only such a popular movement, independent of pro-capitalist, corrupt and opportunist politicians that can fight for the real interests of working people and the poor. Such a campaign linked with the imperative of a mass working people political alternative with a socialist program can wrest power from the thieving ruling elite and defeat their system of exploitation and oppression which creates social inequality and mass poverty together with attendant insecurity.
Abbey T Trotsky
Acting National Chairperson
Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary

Tuesday 17 December 2019



We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Ogun State express solidarity with the organized labour in Ogun State on the decision to embark on a two-day warning strike from 19th to 20th December, 2019 if its demand for a negotiation committee on the minimum wage was not met by the state government.
We call on the Ogun State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) to stand firm and go ahead with the planned warning strike without compromise. To ensure a successful strike, we challenge the labour leadership to immediately commence mobilization of workers across the state through congress and meetings at workplaces. The warning strike action itself should not be seen as a sit-at-home strike. Public activities like mass rallies, processions and protests should be organized on the two days of the warning strike in order ensure sensitization of the public about the demands of workers. We also demand an urgent meeting of trade unions, Socialists and civil society groups to review the success of the 2-day warning strike and begin immediate preparation for an indefinite action starting January 2nd as declared by the labour centres.
We commend the leadership of the Ogun State Chapter of organized labour for their steadfastness and urge them not to waver on the strike mandate by the emergency Joint Congress of organized labour in the state. We also urge the labour leaders to include in their demands outstanding issues including unremitted deductions from union dues and pension; backlog of unpaid workers’ salaries at TASCE as well as the reinstatement of the immediate past chairman of the NLC comrade Ambali who was unjustly sacked by the immediate past APC government for leading legitimate struggles of workers 
We condemn the neglect and refusal of the Ogun State government to set up a negotiation committee that would determine the consequential adjustments of the newly signed wage law. We also condemn the Ogun state government for deliberately ignoring the letters and various calls of the organized labour in Ogun State for the constitution of the negotiation committee.
We support the call of the unions in Ogun State that if the Ogun State government fails to accede to the workers’ demands, it would embark an indefinite strike on Jan. 2, 2020. We are of the view that it is only through determined struggle that minimum wage implementation without retrenchment can be won.
We call on the labour movement in Ogun State and Nigeria at large to build a genuine working class political alternative to all the anti-poor ruling elite parties that can lead a successful struggle for socialist transformation of Nigeria under a workers and poor people’s government which would galvanize the resources of society to provide free and functional public education, healthcare and living wage among others. The SPN is a step along this line and we call on workers, students and youth to join us.

Abiodun Bamigboye                                     Chinedu Bosah
Acting National Chairperson                       National Secretary

Monday 16 December 2019


* Privatisation has failed! Nationalisation of the electricity sector under workers and consumers’ democratic control and management is the only way out!

Press Statement
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) calls on the Federal Government to avoid another strike in the power sector by ensuring all grievances of electricity workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employee (NUEE) are addressed. 

The electricity workers suspended their strike after shutting down the national grid for 24 hours on Wednesday 11 December 2019. The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) strongly believes that the only way to prevent a reoccurrence of the shutdown and the agonising implications for millions of businesses and homes is for the Federal Government to ensure the workers’ demands are met fully and unconditionally. 

The indefinite strike was called by NUEE following the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum. The strike main objective is to address grievances over non-payment of salary arrears, remittance of pension deductions and payment of gratuity to former PHCN workers etc. 

While the issues the workers have put forward as the raison d’etre of the strike are crucial issues of pay and conditions, the reality also is that the privatisation of the sector has failed and without addressing this failure, the power sector faces imminent collapse which would wipe out jobs and devastate lives. The private owners of the distribution lines have demonstrated their incapacity to deliver and so far, the privatisation has cost the government enormous amount of money as intervention funds and bailouts. 

On the basis of this, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) demands revocation of the licenses of Discos, seizure of their assets in order to avert asset stripping, and prosecution of their owners and management for tax evasion and corrupt practices that make it impossible to deliver power and repay debts. Most importantly, the privatisation of the electricity sector should be reversed and the sector should be nationalised and placed under workers and consumers control and management. Only this can ensure the power sector provides jobs and ensures job security while also guaranteeing regular power supply and end to exploitation and other unwholesome practices.

Abiodun Bamigboye                                               Chinedu Bosah
Acting National Chairperson                                National Secretary