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1 November 2018
A large section of Nigerians went into 2015 elections with huge illusions in Buhari and APC's ability to resolve the woe of the 16 years of the PDP government. But the last 3 years have seen a mass disillusionment in the Buhari government as the conditions of the masses have become worse. The question the masses have not been able to answer is why the country is in this mess at all levels despite being blessed with huge human and material resources? The crisis of Nigeria is the crisis of capitalism in a neo-colonial country. Capitalism has to be defeated before Nigeria can realize its full potentials and the human and material resources are used for the benefit all, and not for the insatiable greed of a few. This explanation has to be popularized amongst the masses.
However, this does not mean that the masses can only throw hands up helplessly just hoping for a better time or messiah or falling into despair. The working class people and the masses have to struggle to force the inherently anti-poor pro-capitalist ruling elite/politicians grant some concessions that may improve their conditions even it is temporarily. This has been demonstrated by the working people and youth in various struggles for improvement such as electricity campaign, anti-fuel price hike, anti-school fee hike, minimum wage, etc. But concessions can be taken away or undermined, a fundamental solution is necessary. So, what is missing is a mass party that will actively identify with these struggles and help the working people to link them with overall need to take over political power with a view to ultimately defeat capitalism.
It is against this background that the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) is intervening in the forthcoming general elections in February 2019. The party was formed in 2012 by socialist, trade union and youth activists including members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM). But the party only became officially recognized, following a court order, in January 2018, after over three years of both legal and political struggles. The INEC had originally refused to register the party despite having fulfilled all constitutional, legal and financial requirements.
Electoral period predisposes the masses to a reflection over how they are being governed and how the economy is run. We want to use the election to open dialogue with wider layers of the oppressed people on how government and economy should be run. In other words, we are reaching out to the masses with socialist alternative program including immediate demands for improvement in both working and living condition.
SOME OF THE SPN PROGRAMME POINTS:
Campaign to place all political office holders on the salaries and allowances earned by civil servants without jumbo and questionable allowances like security votes. This would mean that top government functionaries are placed on the same socio-economic bracket as the working masses. This alone can save at least N1trillion that can be used to support social service like education, health care, etc.
Campaign for the replacement of contract system with a public work programme under a democratically run and well equipped Ministry of Works with adequate equipment, machineries, expertise and manpower to undertake mass public works like mass building of schools, hospitals, roads, mass housing, water-works, mass electrification. This will ensure that projects are far cheaper and more infrastructures are put in place. This is in addition to creating opportunities for mass decent and secured jobs.
Campaign for adequate funding of education and health care under a democratic control of workers, parents, students and community people. This is to ensure judicious use of allocations and guarantee quality service delivery.
Campaigning in communities around issues of poor electricity and fraudulent billing system, deplorable roads and lack of potable water, sanitation as well as facilities like public schools and hospitals. On electricity, we call for renationalization as privatisation has proved to be a monumental failure. But to avert the debacle of corruption-ridden old public electricity company, we argue for democratic management of the renationalized company to include the elected representatives of workers, community people and relevant professional bodies. We argue and articulate programmes for mass housing that is decent and affordable for the working masses.
Campaign for rent control and affordable public housing is one of the SPN cardinal program, especially in a place like Federal Capital Territory Abuja where rent and affordable public housing is usually beyond the reach of the working people.
Campaign for nationalization of the commanding heights of economy such as oil and gas, banking industry, Aviation, Maritime etc., under a democratic management of the working people in order to mobilise adequate resources to finance social program, build the wider economy and meet the basic needs of the vast majority. We argue for a socialist plan of economy as against the chaotic, iniquitous and inequitable capitalist system that can only create mass poverty.
Unfortunately, there is no mass party with these programs while at the same time the SPN, having just been registered in January, is currently too small to reach every nook and cranny of Nigeria with the program. This explains why we are not standing candidate for Presidential election. However, there is need for a striking example of a party with program to rescue the working people and the poor of Nigeria. Therefore, we are standing candidates in a few areas to popularize the program and campaign vigorously to win positions. If elected, our public representatives will not just represent the areas where they are elected but also assume the roles of the mouthpiece and champions of the working class and oppressed peoples' struggles everywhere in the country. Even if we don't win any position, our candidates and party will be in the frontline of struggles against different neo-liberal capitalist attacks that will inevitably break out after the 2019 general election with a view of linking the intervention and the struggles to building of a mass party of the working people ahead of future elections.
We are standing candidates for some elective seats and positions in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Cross River and FCT.
Abiodun Bamigboye, the Governorship Candidate for Oyo State.
Adigun Ayodeji, the candidate for Ibadan South-West constituency, Oyo State House of Assembly, Oyo State.
Omokunle Oladele, the candidate for Ibadan North Constituency 2, Oyo State House of Assembly, Oyo State.
Richard Ojikeyonma Matthew, the candidate for Ona-Ara Constituency 1, Oyo State House of Assembly, Oyo State.
Olaifa Sola, the candidate for the Oluyole constituency 1, Oyo State House of Assembly, Oyo State.
Benjamin Felix Iserom, the candidate for Akamkpa 1 State Constituency, Cross River State House of Assembly, Cross River.
Hassan Taiwo Hussein, the candidate for Ifo 2 State Constituency, Ogun State House of Assembly, Ogun State.
Ajayi Oluwatimileyin Joshua, candidate for Odogbolu State Constituency, Ogun State House of Assembly, Ogun State.
Chinedu Bosah, the candidate for Alimosho Constituency 1, Lagos State House of Assembly, Lagos State.
Paul Oladipupo Appah, the candidate for Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency 2, Lagos State House of Assembly, Lagos State.
Moshood Oshunfurewa, the candidate for Ajeromi Ifelodun Constituency 2, Lagos State House of Assembly, Lagos State.
Gafar Ayinde Lameed, the candidate for Olorunda State Constituency, Osun State House of Assembly, Osun State.
Mr. Bamisile Hassan, Candidate for the Chairmanship, Bwari of Area Council.
Ms Daniel Victor, Candidate for the Vice Chairmanship of Bwari Area Council
Mr. Bem Ternongo, Candidate for the Councillorship of Kuduru Ward.
Mr. Sunday Kawen Orshi, Candidate for the Councillorship for Byazhin Ward
Sadare Oladimeji, Candidate for the Chairmanship of AMAC
Sa'aondo Kenneth Aondongu Candidate for the Vice Chairmanship of AMAC
Victor Iliya Bajju, Candidate for the Councillorship of Nyanyan
Salako Kayode, Candidate for the Councillorship of Karu Ward.
Kabiru Salihu, Candidate for the Councillorship of GUI Ward.
Olumide Adedeji, Candidate for the Councillorship of Kabusa Ward
Altogether, we are contesting one governorship position, eleven House of Assembly seats, two Chairmanship positions and 6 Councillorship seats across the federation.
To run these campaigns, we have a budget of about N10 million on posters, fliers, street and neighborhood campaign, rallies and public meetings, logistics, etc. Therefore, we call on socialists, workers, artisans, traders, trade union activists, youth activists, community activists, trade union and pro-masses organization to donate to campaign fund or offer material support.
We also welcome other forms of political support like an open endorsement of the candidates of SPN and participation at our rallies and public meetings etc.
By and large, we call on working class people, youth, the masses, trade unions, other mass organizations and all individuals that are desirous of seeing the use of huge human and material resources of Nigeria for the benefit of all and not the greed of a few to join the SPN. This is in order to jointly build the SPN as a mass working people political party on a socialist program that is formidable enough to develop into a mass movement that could wrest power from the thieving pro-capitalist ruling elite and finally end the capitalist rule in Nigeria.