Monday, November 28, 2022

RSM demand immediate release of Aminu

Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM)
28th November, 2022 

PRESS STATEMENT

WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF AMINU ADAMU MUHAMMED

NO TO ARRESTS FOR DISSENTING VIEWS

The Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM) condemns the arrest of Aminu Adamu Muhammed, a student at the Dutse Federal University, Jigawa State, by the State Security Service (SSS) over a Twitter post.

According to media outlets, Aminu Adamu Muhammed posted on Twitter that Mrs Buhari had suddenly added massive weight after taking part in plundering the nation’s resources, as the masses endured hardship under her husband’s extremely cruel regime.

On June 8, 2022, Aminu tweeted in Hausa: “Su mama anchi kudin talkawa ankoshi”, which could be translated as “the mother has gotten fatter by eating the masses’ money”. This is actually not far from the truth, as an ever-larger percent of the Nigerian people are dying from hunger, while the elite is living a provocative wealthy lifestyle. Aminu’s comment must be also seen in the context that he was supposed to be in University but he was forced to stay inside his home. This was due to the negligence of the federal government on the ASUU strike, which started in early February of 2022, and ended last month.

Media outlets report that Aminu was picked up by officers on November 8, on the campus ground of Federal University Dutse, Jigawa. The student was reportedly subjected to severe beating and humiliation by the officers following his arrest. This is another example of the State using its repressive apparatus to turn against ordinary citizens, but seems powerless when it is time to fight against insecurity and everyday terror that the masses face.  

The secret police in Nigeria (SSS) are prominent in their role repressing and attacking ordinary people, unlawful behaviour and notorious treatment of those who get in its way.  

There have been several reports in the past that the secret police detained people and made them incommunicable. Operatives of Nigeria’s Department of State Services arrested and detained Mr Anthony Okolie for purchasing a sim card that was previously used by Hannan, a daughter of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari. Okolie bought the MTN mobile phone sim card in 2018, two years before his arrest.

He was arrested on Monday, July 22, at Nnedisi Road, Asaba, Delta State. Okolie was taken to Abuja by the DSS operatives and was kept in custody until his release in December 2019. There are many cases like this one. 

Nigerians will also not forget that on June 4 last year, the Buhari regime “indefinitely suspended” Twitter, despite mass protests. The regime refused to unban it until January 13, 2022, seven months after clamping down on the social networking site. Nigeria’s government suspended Twitter after the company deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari about punishing regional secessionists.

In other related cases, Solomon Akuma was also detained for a tweet. He was later discharged by the Federal High Court in Abuja. Akuma's tweet were in response to a Twitter post asking respondents what their next move would be if they got $1 million. Akuma wrote he would "pay a Russian sniper to eliminate (President Muhammadu) Buhari and (Abba) Kyari (Buhari’s former Chief of Staff)", obviously not being serious. Akuma was abducted and had been detained at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Abuja, for over 11 months before taken to Kuje prison where he is still kept.

We in the RSM call on the general public to condemn the act of detaining Aminu and join forces with us to seek the immediate and unconditional release of this innocent student whose future is at stake.
We demand that the State Security Service should  release the innocent student and allow true freedom of expression. They few privileged of the ruling clique should be stopped from ruling Nigeria like it’s their back yard. 
We call on the trade union centres to condemn this neo colonial attitudes of the State Security Services and demand immediate release of Mr Aminu.

Salako Kayode 
RSM 
Publicity Secretary 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

If Obi Wins: Looking Beyond the Hope Bubble and The Challenges Ahead for The Working People

If Obi Wins: Looking Beyond the Hope Bubble and The Challenges Ahead for The Working People

By RSM Secretariat 
Nigerians will face some tough electoral decisions on February 25th and March 11th, 2023, when the Nigerian presidential election is to be held, as well as Senate, House of Representatives and State elections. Evidently, Peter Obi’s candidature and campaign for the presidential seat has become a national and global focal point.

It is not only because of his ethnic and religious background (he is a Catholic of Igbo descent) that Obi appeals to millions across the Nigeria. It is mainly because his claim to give hope resonates in the minds of Nigerians who are seeking a change from the 8 year-long economic deprivation wrought by the neo-liberal policies of the Buhari All Progressive Congress (APC) government. Insecurity and hyperinflation are the order of the day under the current regime. 

In the whole of Nigeria, millions hope an Obi victory would signify a change in Nigeria’s economic policy but also an end to the attacks in the ethnic rights of people in the South East. The South East has been the den of separatist agitators and this also affected the economy of the region with significantly less investment from the federal government. For years now, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have been in forefront of the struggle for self-determination. Their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is in detention since June 2021, after an arrest by Interpol and an extradition to Nigeria, from which he fled in 2017. The South East continues to face constant political and economic crises. Obi is the first candidate coming out of the South East tradition to receive wider support amongst Nigerians home and abroad. 

Obi left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) just some months ago, not because of political differences, but because he couldn’t contest in the primaries with his running mates there and he was not ready to spend millions of dollars to buy delegate votes like the other candidates did. During the same week that he left the PDP, he joined the Labour Party and became its presidential candidate! 


Obi-dient
Peter Obi supporters are called Obi-dient. This is supposed to mean that they’re completely in agreement with Obi. His campaign support grew in millions within a few weeks of getting the Labour Party ticket, especially among young people. They organised marches with hundreds of young people participating. It is not at all accidental that angry young people took the streets. Most Nigerians are tired with the failure of the present and previous governments that have created so many divisions among the people. Many of them want to put an end to the Buhari /APC government and think that the only solution now is to install a more lesser evil candidate like Peter Obi. 

Obi-dient are growing in numbers both on social media and in the streets, although they don’t have any clear cut ideology or proposals on how to resolve the political and economic crises in the country. 

Obi-dient have spread to such an extent that tricycles, cars, motorcycles, barbers’ salons and pepper soup joints are now adorned with Labour Party flags and stickers. This is a testimony to the phenomenal support which Obi enjoys around the country.

But the twist is that though millions of working and middle class people have so much hope in Obi, big corporations are also looking towards him for a way out of the current economic crisis in Nigeria. The ruling class in Nigeria at every election year always regrouped in the two dominant parties, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It seems now that for the first time since a veneer of democracy was installed in 1999, a space for a third party has opened up, and sections of the ruling class are ready to jump on the bandwagon.

The fact that the Obi-dient movement has no clear ideology or even political trajectory, helps facilitate this double character: working people support Obi with the expectation to provoke change, while sectors of the ruling class support him with the expectation to stop change from happening.

The Obi-dient movement has no official debates, there is no political discussion in the rank-and-file and actually anyone that questions it’s policies and tactics is either bullied or insulted. Today, it’s basically a mere campaign slogan. Just like the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) used “Change” in 2015 and “Next Level” in 2019 to campaign for their continuity in power, a slogan does not mean anything by itself. Obi supporters are using the “Take Naija Back” slogan. This is just to express that they are taking Nigeria back from those who have hijacked it in the past. But the crucial questions, who will do this, when and how are still unanswered. 


Obi and the challenges ahead
With the present deep political financial crises in Nigeria, the consequences of a president coming to power and being unable to resolve the burning issues will be deep, drawn-out and devastating. Thus, Peter Obi can be said to be in the eye of the storm. If we are allowed a comparison, he is like the Biblical Jesus whom average Nigerians look to for salvation from increasing debts, foreclosures, job losses, unemployment and poverty. But whom the greedy capitalist fat cats also look to, to save the capitalist system. Presently Obi is receiving some donations from average workers and youths, but data shows that lots of businessmen and big corporations, some in the Nigerian diaspora, donated the most in his campaign, thus making it reliant on these donors.

 
In the countdown to the February/March polls, some local media outlets and journalists, celebrities and trade union leaders have all endorsed Peter Obi’s candidature, presenting the elections as a mere ritual, as if his victory is already assured.

So, can the conflicting hopes of rich and poor vested in Obi be genuinely fulfilled? A careful look at the policies of Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed is therefore necessary in order to answer this question. 

Peter Obi is presenting a “new” and “progressive” face. What’s his track record though?
-Unlike most Nigerians who live in poverty, Obi is a billionaire. According to Forbes, his net worth is 20 million dollars.
-Unlike most Nigerians, he lives in a luxury house and owns luxurious cars.
-He was involved in the Pandora Papers, as having offshore operations in order to avoid taxation.
-He implemented neoliberal policies while governing Anambra state.

With the anti-worker record of APC and PDP, it’s not very difficult for a third candidate to present himself as someone “better”. But are Obi’s policies truly different from Bola Hammed Tinubu’s of the All Progressive Congress and Mr Abubakar Atiku’s of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)? 
Obis has openly said that he isn’t going to probe past administrations who looted public money. His tax policy will pamper the rich because these are elements that are funding his campaign, while offering peanuts to small businesses. Of course, millions of Nigerians facing hardship, homelessness and job losses would welcome all betterments promised by Obi. But is he going to deliver them? A lot of left-wing parties around the globe have promised similar things, but have failed go through with them. The reason is because they face fierce opposition by “the markets” and vested capitalist interests. Will Obi be willing to bite the hand that feeds him? He hasn’t given any sign he will be willing to do this.


Therefore, in essence, Obi, Tinubu and Atiku are advocating the same policies. The difference is that Obi plays to the gallery by inflating a bubble of hope. But since he is not willing to clash with capitalism, this bubble will soon burst in a flurry of disillusionment. Obi is in quest to win support from old politicians who have destroyed Nigeria when in power. He has visited self-appointed kingmakers from different palaces that should have never existed, from Minna in Niger state to Ota in Ogun state and others in many parts of Nigeria. 

On the other side, the Peoples Democratic Party is divided on the outcome of the primary that brought Atiku in as their candidate, while the APC swims in an ocean of cash because they’re in power. This is a ‘subprime’ bubble which is bound to burst soon. Unfortunately, it is on the heads of the Nigerian working and middle classes that this bubble will burst, especially when an Obi presidency defends the greed of the capitalists against working people.

In this election, youth, students, farmers, artisans, average working class and middle-class people in Nigeria lack a real choice, precisely because there is as yet no genuine political alternative party which could offer a credible alternative to the establishment. Thus, the task facing poor and working people in Nigeria and in fact all over the world is to build a mass working class party with socialist policies of public ownership of the commanding heights of the economy under democratic management and control of the working people. The trade unions and mass organisations of the working class have to be in the forefront of this struggle. If such a working class party were to be present in the upcoming Nigerian elections, the current hope which millions of average people have misplaced on Obi would have been correctly placed to a party democratically controlled by the rank-and-file.

Poor Nigerians need a party that will truly guarantee a decent and improved standard of living. They need a government that will boldly announce immediate withdrawal of troops from South East, in order to allow the South East people to democratically determine their destiny. They need a sovereign national popular conference to determine a new way forward for Nigeria. They need a government that can guarantee employment with decent pay, free and quality education and healthcare, quality and affordable housing, care for the environment, gay and lesbian rights, the right to abortion and genuine peace by ending banditry and kidnapping.  

But how can they possibly get these under an Obi presidency which merely wants to turn Nigeria to a “producing country”? The current political and economic crises can only be addressed if we have a class conscious government and elected political representatives ready to clash with the rich. Without a revolutionary movement of working people to take over the reins of society, the greed of the capitalists will, for as long as capitalism lasts, continue to drag humanity through a giddy cycle of boom and burst.


Socialism is the only alternative
Who is afraid of socialism, we ask? Surely not the poor working class people seeking a way out of the economic crisis wrought by neo-liberalism and capitalism. Only the capitalists are afraid, because socialism means that the wealth they have accumulated in the backs of society will be taken back by those who created it in the first place. A socialist society will be one in which everyone will work according to his ability, and will be compensated according to his needs. A socialist society will take care of the young, the old, the sick or disabled through a system of collective social security comprising of free, functional and quality education at all levels, free and functional health services, an extensive transportation system, social housing etc. Socialism to us in the Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM) also means the guaranteeing of democratic rights of all, including the right of people to self-determination, rights to practice the religion of your choice, right to free speech and assembly, no discrimination against women etc. The land and natural resources will be collectively owned and used for benefits of all, as against how it's been used by the rich 1% today. 

Since the emergence of the Obi candidature, despite contesting in a party that supposedly belongs to workers and gets support from trade union leaders with sizeable numbers of workers behind them, he hasn’t mentioned anything close to social-democratic, let alone socialist, demands.  

It’s important to stress that the majority of the capitalist class in Nigeria are divided over how to handle Obi. Some sections of the ruling elites understand that the fact that Obi is getting support from the rank-and-file can be used in their favor. They see him as the only man who can direct the anger of millions of poor Nigerians at the economic situation into a huge bubble of illusion and ensure that this anger does not lead to social convulsions. Capitalists have throughout history distinguished themselves as capable of jumping on any life boat in order to preserve their rule and they have no shame now in abandoning their old friends. This feature of the capitalists is prominent in Nigeria, where politicians move from one party to another within the space of an election circle. Obi is no different in this respect also, as he was in the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), then he left to the join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and now he is in the Labour Party. 
If Obi does not win, in a few years from now, the myth will have it that he had the best policy to preside over Nigeria at a most trying time but was not given a chance because he was an Igbo man from the South East and because his party didn’t have structures. If Obi wins, eventually events and experience will show that the “high expectations” he has sown will not be met. This will create disillusionment in wide layers of society. But a section of the people that voted for him will be more open about the need to build an alternative party that stands for the real interests of working people. That’s what we in the Revolutionary Socialist Movement stand for. We believe that a true Labour Party should be a party of ordinary people. Unfortunately, today the Labor Party is not such a party, but is a vehicle for capitalist politicians like Obi in their quest for power.



Wednesday, November 9, 2022

WYSN Stands with ASUU ,condemns the withholding backlog of salaries and half payments by FG

WORKERS AND YOUTHS SOLIDAIRTY NETWORK 

PRESS STATEMENT 

The Workers and Youths Solidarity Network: 
• Stands with ASUU 
• Condemns the withholding backlog of salaries and half payments by FG
• Calls on ASUU NEC to declare nationwide mass protest 
• For immediate payments of backlog salaries and meeting of all ASUU demands now!!!

The Workers and Youths Solidarity Network (WYSN) stands in solidarity with the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). We condemn the Federal Government refusing to pay ASUU backlog salaries. The news reported that members of ASUU received half salary for October. 

Due to this, ASUU branch of University of Jos (UNIJOS) chapter has ordered is members to stay at home. The partial salary payments made by the Federal Government are enraging. 


While ASUU-UNIJOS has taken this bold step, we call on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ASUU to immediately commence a nationwide mass action that will cut across all its branches and chapters in order to compel the full payments of October salary and the 8 months arrears. Likewise, we demand that the Federal Government rises up to their responsibility of providing quality education by immediately meeting the ASUU demands and setting up strategies to prevent further and future obstructions to the smooth running of Nigerian tertiary schools.


Its not long ago that the members of ASUU suspended their 8-month old strike in accordance with the court order which ruled that they should resume work. We condemn the chameleon-like attitude of the FG who only used the court as a tool to impose anti-worker policies. 
Instead of immediately commencing their responsibilities to pay ASUU salaries, the FG hired the services of a scientific calculator in order to further impose hardship on the academic workers who were already suffering from non-payment of their salary since February. 



We demand that the FG starts to meet the demands of ASUU by first making full payments of October salaries, paying the 8-months salary arrears, adopting the UTAS payment system, increasing the net salary payment of academic workers, providing adequate funding of tertiary institutions ect. 
If the government really cared and was committed towards advancing the education sector, it would instantly meet the demands of workers. They are the ones who receive direct feedback from the field, understand the weaknesses and strengths of the sector, and are able to implement the changes we need and bring about the advancement and improvements working people desire. 


The two trade unions centres must rise to defend ASUU’s right to payment of salaries while on strike. We should force the federal government to stop victimizing ASUU members. Through Mr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, two new unions have been registered in order to divide ASUU- but this is not going to happen. 


At the National Assembly, during the presentation of the 2023 budget, the president was quoted to said that the government alone cannot finance tertiary education. He stated that in other countries, tertiary education is financed by the government and the people.
The federal government always gives excuses on why they cannot fund education. But the same administration is going to pay 62 billion naira as severance allowance for many politicians after they leave office next year. Much more are piled in the capitalists’ pockets as super-profits. We completely disagreed with the president on funding of tertiary education. The attempt to commercialise education is one of the reasons why the government is fighting ASUU tooth and nail. If we allow a complete commercialisation of education, it will affect the children of ordinary people as many working class children will drop out of school. 


The WYSN calls on ASUU and the trade unions to join forces and declare mass mobilisations and strike actions. We need to create a common front for all those who suffer under the current system. We need to build a mass workers political alternative because as things stand the ruling class will continue to exploit and repress any resistance. If the government is allowed to get away with this attack on ASUU, this will affect all other workers in every sector of the economy. What we need now more than ever is unity of working class against the anti-poor policies and attacks. 




Damilola Owot
Secretary 
Workers and Youths Solidarity Network (WYSN)

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

RSM CALL FOR COMPENSATION AND RELIEF MATERIALS TO ALL THOSE AFFECTED BY THE RAVAGING FLOODS

REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST MOVEMENT (RSM) 
25th October 2023
PRESS RELEASE

WE CALL FOR  COMPENSATION AND  RELIEF MATERIALS TO ALL THOSE AFFECTED BY THE RAVAGING FLOODS

TIME TO ORGANISE AND PLAN FOR ACTION TO DEMAND PROPER INFRASTRUCTURE

CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE CLIMATE CRISIS NOW 


Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM), condemns the lukewarm attitude of the Federal Government to the floods in Nigeria. The recent floods have been a shocking experience for big parts of the country. 
We call on the state to intervene with immediate effect and restore normality in the affected areas. We demand shelter and food to be given to everyone in need. We call for the government to grand the necessary relief funds in order to allow working class people to stand back on their feet. Measures to stop such catastrophes happening all over again must be taken. 


Ravaging floods have become an annual tragedy and this year they have been the worst in a decade. According to the information currently available, over 600 people have been killed and more than a million have been displaced. Many working-class people have been stranded following several days of downpours in Kogi State and across others states in Nigeria. A lot of families have been affected, many have become homeless and those displaced have been living in bad conditions. Agriculture has been badly hit because many hectares of farmland have been submerged and this will radically reduce production and pose the danger of hunger and famine for mass layers of the population. Moreover, the waters have been contaminated and there are fears of cholera outbreaks.   

According to reports, 31 out of 36 states were affected by the heavy downpour. 
In Lokoja, Kogi State, hundreds of motorists were stranded for days as a result of the floods. The major roads that link Abuja to the southern part of the country were also affected. In fact, this caused a fuel scarcity crisis in Abuja and its environs. 
Presently, this crisis has spilled over to the people of Azikoro town and residents of Aeroplane Road in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The flood affected the major cemetery leading to the gory sight of corpses floating in the streets. 
There are other reports that the floods were made worse by the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon. The FG denies this. We demand that this issue should be addressed with immediate effect by the Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities. 


The RSM extends condolences to those who lost their loved ones at this incident and the thousands affected by the flood. 
RSM believes that the collective resources of Nigeria, if democratically managed and controlled by the working people, can be put to use in order to prevent future catastrophes.
We should organize the struggle to address the climate crisis, that fuels extreme weather events. We should force governments to take decisive action to stop emissions and make a turn to real renewable energy sources.
We should demand proper infrastructure projects to address recurring floods: 
-we need more rain gauges to be able to make accurate predictions (Nigeria currently has 87 existing rain gauges. It needs an additional 970 for proper coverage)
-we need adequate and well-sustained drainage systems and dams where necessary
-we need worked-out plans and infrastructures for people to be informed and ready to act in the event of mass flooding
-we need spatial planning to avoid settlements being built in flooding-prone areas

But no capitalist government will take such measures. The Nigerian ruling class is busy trying to top-up its profits and doesn’t really care for the people. Workers and youths need to get organised and build their own political movement that can serve as an alternative to the present rotten regime, which makes living miserable for us. 

Salako Kayode
RSM
Pulicity Secretary 


Friday, October 21, 2022

WYSN Calls for support and solidarity of students with ASUU

ASUU STRIKE; WYSN WELCOMES STUDENTS BACK TO SCHOOL

- Salutes the doggedness and tenacity of the ASUU
- Calls for support and solidarity of students with ASUU
- Calls on Federal Government to meet all ASUU demands now!

The Workers and Youths Solidarity Network (WYSN) welcomes students back to their various campuses across the country after 8 months of decisive yet avoidable strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). We salute the doggedness of the ASUU members who, despite the threats and harsh policies, stood their ground till this moment. 

We also sympathize with the students who have been on the receiving end of the struggle and salute their support and solidarity so far knowing fully that the demands are for the benefit of the students and the future of education at large. While we acknowledge that the strike was called off conditionally in obedience to the court ruling, we call on the Federal Government to immediately meet the demands of the ASUU to prevent another closure of universities and further disruption of the academic calendar.

Of course, we could not expect a different outcome from the courts, as the justice system has been and is being used as an instrument of the government to further suppress the mass of the working people. Without reaching any concrete agreement, it enraging for the government to tool the court in order to compel ASUU to call off their strike. It further strengthens our argument that the government isn’t willing and ready to invest massively in education but rather prefers to enrich their own pockets, and those of their patrons, send their own children to school overseas, and leave the Nigerian education sector in absolute peril!

This is another sad example that underlines the need for the judiciary sector to be completely overhauled and placed under the democratic control and management of the people. As far as we are concerned, the choosing and making of a judge shouldn’t be a partisan affair! The people should be the one to vote, nominate and decide who becomes the judge. But in a situation like we have in Nigeria and other capitalist countries whereby the office of judges and attorney generals are conferred by the political elites, these officers can only but do the biddings of the capitalist rulers.

The fight for better education must continue! The Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress must start to prepare, organize and mobilize for massive protests and strikes that will cut across every strata of the country. While we continue to prepare for the challenges ahead, we want to call on the students to show their support and extend their solidarity to the members of the ASUU and participate actively in the activities to compel the government to meet the demands of ASUU. It is until these demands are met and more concessions are won to the benefit of public education that we can have hitch-free academic calendars across board.

Damilola Owot
Secretary, Workers and Youths Solidarity Network

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

WYSN felicitates with the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) on the occasion of World Teachers Day

WORKERS AND YOUTHS SOLIDARITY NETWORK (WYSN)
 
PRESS STATEMENT
5th, October, 2022
 
WYSN felicitates with the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) on the occasion of World Teachers Day
 
~ We acknowledge the role of teachers in educating the people
~ We demand an improved welfare and emolument package for the Nigerian Teachers
~ For an end to ASUU strike and an immediate reopening of universities
~ NUT must prioritize the fight against all forms of anti-poor capitalist policies and give solidarity to the ongoing ASUU strike. We must work towards building a movement for a socialist transformation of Nigeria



The workers and youths solidarity network (WYSN) celebrates with the Nigerian Union of Teachers and, by extension, all teachers worldwide, on the occasion of the World Teachers’ Day today, October 5, 2022. We acknowledge the role of teachers in the building of the country, especially in raising, training, and tutoring competent youths into becoming those who will bear the responsibility to drag Nigeria out of poverty and misery. Indeed, teachers are builders of the future! Similarly, we reject the current woeful welfare packages provided for the teachers and we call on the government to immediately raise the payment structure of teachers, introduce improved welfare packages and establish policies in favour of the families of teachers. We also call on the Federal Government to immediately meet the demands of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) – who are also teachers – and ensure that universities are reopened immediately!


World Teachers’ Day was established to appreciate teachers and to honour them in respect to their enormous work and tremendous impact in the community and the nation at large. We cannot imagine a Nigeria without teachers! For us in WYSN, the role of teachers is grossly underestimated, under-recognized, and under-appreciated. Without teachers, many skills, abilities, expertise and attitudes would be wasting and rotting in the streets! Right from a child’s tender age, teachers have been the one tutoring, mentoring, encouraging, advising, tailoring, and guiding every Nigerian child towards discovering his/her self, developing relevant skills and becoming useful individual who can advance the scientific and humanitarian discoveries that has brought us this far! Teachers give their time, skills, expertise, wisdom and talents to raise and develop other children into useful persons. Because of teachers, workers, doctors, professors, engineers, accountants etc. are not roaming about the street but contributing their own quota towards improving and advancing nature.

Sadly, despite all of the vital roles teachers play in developing the economy, these professionals are grossly underpaid. We believe that teachers play a pivotal role and deserve better pay. Therefore, we call on the Federal, State and Local governments to begin the process of reviewing the remuneration scheme of teachers in order to grant them a decent income. We also demand better welfare packages, including but not limited to scholarships for children of teachers, full health care insurance, free access to basic infrastructures (land and homes), grants and interest-free loans, among others.


While we celebrate our teachers, we cannot but call on the government to immediately meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who are currently on strike demanding an improved payment structure, improved funding and adoption of UTAS, among many others. We believe that all of these demands are vital towards achieving that quality education we need. More than before, Nigeria needs to completely revamp the educational sector and put in place policies that will advance the rights of the most downtrodden layers of society. Immediate reopening of our universities is one key and primary step to achieving this goal.


In order to achieve the above demands, determined and well organised struggles must be prepared. The rank and file teachers must coordinate to push for such struggles.
NUT must prioritize the need to fight all forms of neo-liberal capitalist attacks as part of the stand it has to take for teachers. Such fight must be seen as a basis towards building a movement for the socialist transformation of Nigeria.
Only a socialist Nigeria where the commanding heights of the economy are placed under the democratic ownership, control and management of the workers can guarantee adequate funding of education as well as other social services while helping to reverse the ugly trend of poor conditions and destruction of the environment under which teachers work.
 
 
Damilola Owot
 
Secretary, Workers and Youths Solidarity Network (WYSN)
 
234(0) 706 9411 796

Friday, September 30, 2022

Nigeria at 62; Nothing to Celebrate, Time for Mass actions and General Strikes

NIGERIA AT 62; NOTHING TO CELEBRATE
TIME FOR MASS ACTIONS AND GENERAL STRIKES 
END INSECURITY AND HIGH COST OF LIVING



On October 1, 1960, Nigeria became independent from British rule. Since then, Nigeria has been battling with so many internal crises; a civil war between 1967 and 1970 and more than 30 years of military rule, before it turned to a corrupt civil rule with massive wealth as the largest oil producing country in Africa. But the nation is in shambles. 
October 1st, 2022, will mark 62 years of independence from Britain. Lavish festivities, church thanksgiving, Jumat servicein mosque,  parades and banquets are organised. But it will be a bittersweet celebration and a series of mass protests will be carried out across the country by civil society and opposition groups. 
After 62 years of independence, many Nigerians are questioning whether there is really a tangible thing to celebrate. Because today Nigeria is on the brink of collapse and at the cliff’s edge, despite huge oil wealth, gold and other natural resources. 
Nigeria, the most populous black country in the world, today is battling with so many internal crises, resulting from decades of rule by elected and appointed ruling class politicians. Bandits and Boko Haram organise killings across the country, with destruction of properties at the Northern part of the country. Separatists and paramilitary groups ravage the Southern part. From North to South unemployment and insecurity is prevalent. 

POWER FAILURE
Nigeria at 62 still has no constant supply of electricity. We can’t celebrate a nation where the economy is dying, and where people are suffering. There is nothing truly to celebrate. We believe that Nigerian resources have been squandered and completely mismanaged. We currently have an unresolved power outage crisis. For the seventh time in 2022, Nigeria's power grid collapsed leaving millions of people without access to electricity.
Nigerians protest against the continued failure of the state and the private sector to secure electricity as a basic human right. It’s the Nigerian ruling class, which is thirsty for more and more profits, to blame for this collapse of the power sector. This is despite the huge amounts of money that have been spent by different administrations to support the private sector in energy production and distribution.  
In fact, billions of Naira of public funds were used to bail out the different companies in the power sector. N6 billion released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) were mismanaged and the same happened with other electricity distribution and generation companies. 
The Nigerian power sector has suffered from massive corruption and manipulation by many appointees and profiteers in the last 62 years. This was possible because of the lack of accountability and transparency in the system. 
The privatization of the power sector made it impossible for Nigerians to have 24-hour electricity supply. That is the main reason why 43% of Nigerians don’t have access to electricity, so they are forced to rely on solar power, power banks and generators. The country ranks 171 out of 190 nations in terms of access to electricity, according to the World Bank.
As we speak, Nigeria power plants stations can’t generate up to 5,000 megawatts, when its grid has an installed capacity of 12,522 megawatts! The organization of this system has obviously failed, it only continues to work for the sake of the profits of those involved!
Planning experts estimate that for the Nigerian economy to grow at 10 per cent yearly, electricity requirement must reach 78,000MW by 2030. Heavy state investment is needed to address the insufficient gas supply due to poor gas infrastructure, obsolete transmission and distribution facilities. But the ruling class only makes mouth on media on resolving the power crisis. As things stand, there is no power supply in many states as a result of power failure. 


THINGS FALL APART
In paraphrasing Late Chinue Achibe, a prominent writer0a, who titled a book "Things Fall Apart" to explain the crisis of Nigeria, today things have fallen apart beyond repair in the country. The Nigerian people should be united in building a movement that will chart a different direction. 
We have endless corruption scandals under different regimes in the past. Prominent among them was late General Sani Abacha, who ruled with dictatorial powers. Many journalists, activists and students were killed and jailed by the military tribunal. The regime looted millions of dollars and kept it in overseas banks. 
Recently, the US government signed an agreement with the Nigerian Federal Government to repatriate $23 million from Abacha’s loot. The $23 million add to the $311.7 million from Abacha’s loot already repatriated from the U.S. to Nigeria in 2020. But even those are just parts of Abacha’s loot.  If we pay attention to lootings from other regimes, up to the present Major General Buhari regime, the story won't be any different. 
As we write, there are still sit at home  on Mondays at the South Eastern part of Nigeria. The sit at home, initiated by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), following the arrest and detention of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, by the federal government, commenced on August 9, 2021, as a way of pressing home their demand for his freedom.
According to reports, many had thought it would be a flash-in-the-wind exercise that would peter out and normalcy would return in no time, considering the choice of Monday, which is a day the mainly business-minded Easterners would not joke with. But thirteen months later, the lockdowns remain, with palpable fear hanging in the air. This, of course, has been gingered by the violence inflicted on those who dared to come out on the ‘forbidden’ day.
Even when IPOB announced the cancellation of the lockdowns two weeks after August last year, following complaints by residents, some overzealous elements in and outside the group continued the enforcement by inflicting untold violence on those who dared to step out of their homes on Monday.
As a result, government officials, security operatives, hospital officials, traders, courts, even schools, have mostly complied for fear about their safety. The above report also explained why the crisis of separatists’ groups has become emboldened. As socialists we support the right to self-determination and demand immediate and unconditional release of Nnmadi Kanu and all those.  
No doubt the major reasons for many separatists’ groups is that they claimed they’ve been marginalized by the ruling government. But each of the past and present governments in Nigeria were always united in mismanaging our collective resources. What we need is unity of the oppressed. It's a class war that knows no boundaries when it comes to looting. Workers and youth must unite to build a fight back. Ordinary people across all ethnic groups in Nigeria are been marginalized by the rich. 

INSECURITY 
Insecurity in the Northern and Southern part of Nigeria has reach a point where no one is safe.
On June 5, gunmen stormed St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, in Ondo State, killing no fewer than 40 worshippers and injuring at least 80 other persons. These killings across Nigeria continue unabated. 
According to a report in the media, at least 13 worshippers were killed when bandits attacked a mosque in Ruwan Jema community, at the Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State, during Juma’at service on Friday.
This comes three weeks after bandits attacked a mosque in Zugu community, at the Gummi Local Government Area of the state and abducted some worshippers. So far there has been kidnapping for ransom in all states in Nigeria but it's more prevalent in the North.
On March 28th, 2022, armed bandits bombed the Abuja to Kaduna railway, where over 100 people were kidnapped and scores of people were killed. Among those that were killed was the Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and the Chairman of Kwara State Chapter of Trade Union Congress. 
A recent report by UNICEF indicates that 1,436 children were abducted in Nigeria between 2020 and 2022. Criminals sometimes contact their parents for ransom. In some instances, the children are abducted for ritual purposes or illicit adoption.
About N653.7 million was paid as ransom in Nigeria between July 2021 and June 2022, a period of one of year, for the release of kidnap victims, a new report by a Lagos-based security and political risk research firm has shown.
The report, ‘The Economics of Nigeria’s Kidnap Industry’, conducted by SBM Intelligence and published in August, detailed the country’s security issues, including incidents of banditry and the costs associated with kidnapping for ransom. Vanguard reports
“Based on what we could verify, between July 2021 and June 2022, no fewer than 3,420 people were abducted across Nigeria, with 564 others killed in violence associated with abductions. In the ensuing period, N6.531 billion was demanded in exchange for the release of captives while a fraction of that sum (N653.7 million) was paid as ransom.”
In a message sent through the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the president said, however, that all Nigerians must be part of the war to end insecurity. He noted that the war against insecurity could not be left to only the security agencies to handle. 
“All of us must be concerned about security. The government will play its part; we must work together with security agencies to overcome the challenges of insecurity,” 
he said. It's important to stress that the president was elected in 2015 with a ticket to fight insecurities, especially to stop the terrorists in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. But since the election of Buhari in 2015, the situation across Nigeria has become worst. 



ECONOMY 
Nigeria economy remains in a very bad shape, as ordinary people have been strangulated. Nigeria, while it is a big oil producing country, has suffered two recessions in the last seven years. With the rise in oil prices at international markets, one could imagine, Nigerians would be better off. But the corrupt ruling class makes life even more difficult for ordinary people. Nigeria doesn't have its own functional refineries. The refineries we have aren't working, so we export crude oil to refineries abroad and import petrol, then pay huge amounts on subsidies. Many of the subsidies are payed to oil giants whose only aim is to make profits. 
It is only recently that queues disappeared at our filling stations. Nigeria suffered about six months of fuel scarcity. The economy is majorly dependent on oil and agriculture. But these sectors are controlled by few rich, making them work only for their profit. 
According to Vanguard, as the economy continues to bite harder, over 30 per cent of Nigerians, translating to nearly 62 million people, are now facing serious housing challenges. Eighty per cent of the country’s 206 million people live in informal housing, plagued by problems related to poor quality and inadequate infrastructure. 
Nigeria has vacant houses and at the same time homeless tenants, because available houses aren't affordable by ordinary people with low income.  Despite the National Housing Policy, many available houses are given out at high prices. 
The Nigerian economy has collapsed and ordinary people are paying for it. Just few days ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised interest rates to 15.5% to tame rising inflation. This is an attempt to make borrowing difficult for ordinary people. 
Nigeria's external debt stood at $39.69 billion as of March 2022, with debt servicing costs growing to N6.16tn in 16 months, according to the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework & Fiscal Strategy Paper. In 2021, the Federal Government spent N4.22tn on debt service, and further N1.94tn between January and April 2022.
The resources of Nigeria are enough to fund functional and free education at all levels but the ruling class is more concerned about commercialization of education, while mismanaging our collective resources.
The Nigerian education sector is in imbroglio. The Buhari regime refused to meet the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) demands and the strike is going on for seven months now. Despite protests and threat of general strikes, the government went to secure a court injunction to force ASUU members back to class rooms. The crisis in education today is a result of long-time cuts in social policies that the Nigerian governments signed to. We call for improved funding of education. 

2023 GENERAL ELECTION
The 2023 Nigerian general election will be held, in large part, on February 25 and March 11, 2023. There is no real alternative for ordinary people in these elections. Millions of Nigerian will go to the ballot box to cast thier votes for the same corrupt politicians who have destroyed Nigeria. The present situation has again threw the Left and social movements in limbo. The trade union centers have openly endorsed Mr Obi of Labour Party. Mr Obi is a capitalist politician and represents a section of the rich. Some ordinary people that suffered enormously under the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the present ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), have placed their hopes in Obi. But Obi isn't a friend of ordinary people. As a former governor of Anambra State he ruled with draconian anti-worker policies. Some have advocated that we should reclaim the Labour Party as true party of the working class. If this was possible, it would be a progressive step forward and we would support it. But as things stand there seems to be no prospect of this happening. Obi is a capitalist politician with a record of corruption allegations and anti-worker policies, and he will put off, not attract, the more progressive elements of the working class. 
We in the Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM) will continue to campaign for mass worker’s political alternative with a socialist programme. Today, at the 62nd independence celebrations, it is clear that there are no short cuts to the struggle to end precarious conditions. Unless a mass movement of the people from below is built, the ruling class will continue its dirty work. We strive to unite the oppressed people and strive to join forces with every group and person that wants to engage in the struggle to build a fighting political force. We do not agree that the natural resources of Nigeria are not enough to solve both economic and political problems. It is the rotten capitalist system that the Nigerian ruling class implements that is to blame for years and decades of exploitation and corruption. We reiterate our call for a socialist revolution in Nigeria. Only a socialist revolution, won on popular demands, can guarantee a better life for us. A society where water, food, education, health facilities, housing, electricity, cultural goods, transportation, are equally available to all. That's what we stand for.

BY Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM)

RSM demand immediate release of Aminu

Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM) 28th November, 2022  PRESS STATEMENT WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF AMINU ADAMU...