Workers & Youths! UNITE & FIGHT!!
REVOLUTION IN THE AIR!
We are living through historic times. In the course of the past year, massquakes of working people and youths have erupted with vengeance in virtually all continents on the planet, leading to victorious revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. These have been in the wake of the most severe economic crisis of world capitalism in almost a century.
Crisis has breed stiff resistance, from the bowels of turmoil; the masses have emerged triumphant in countries thought to be “conservative” by many, and a long drawn recession stokes the embers of revolution across the world.
As the waves of revolutionary upsurge inch closer home, SYLers and all youths who are keen to fight for a better society need to closely have a clear perspective on the dynamics of these earth-shaking spirit of revolution possessing the world. Why now and why at this time? What is the significance of this awakening of “the 99%” across the face of the earth?
The capitalist system, like earlier class societies is based on the exploitation of the immense majority by an infinitesimal minority. Oppression tends to go with exploitation. The elite class have to wield state power to keep the majority who actually work to create society’s wealth, subdued. They use such apparatus as the police, army, prisons and courts to coerce the poor. Even in Western “democratic” states as we have seen in recent times, youths are tear gassed and the democratic freedoms of assembly, expression, etc, curtailed, using truncheons, water cannons, police dogs and guns.
It is however impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their dominant place in society with only the means of coercion. From the cradle to the grave, the status quo of particular societies is presented as divine and eternal. Under capitalism this is even more systematic and intense. The school system, mass media, religion and even family ties are used to make us believe that there is no choice for humankind beyond capitalism.
Thus, most people just try to live their lives, even if it is not much of a life, during periods of seeming stability of the system. Many cling to hope that tomorrow will be better somehow, under the system that keeps them down. They merely try to get some incremental benefits. But periods of economic and political crises shatter illusions of the system’s omnipotence and omniscience.
These objective conditions could lead to a revolutionary situation. With rising unemployment rates, austerity measures, cuts in public spending, etc, mass anger boils over, especially as working people and youths see the capitalist state bail out the banks and businesses that led society to the brink of abyss.
Within the ruling class, confusion also sets in. Sections of the elite realise that they cannot continue to rule as they used to. Some of them align with demands of the masses as we saw in North Africa and even to some extent in the US with “patriotic millionaires” begging for higher taxation of their wealth. Of course, their main reason is to limit how far the revolution would go, seeking to curtail it from within.
The middle classes feel the brunt of crises as well. During periods of capitalism’s relative stability, they have hope of joining the 1% by dint of their expertise and relatively secure income. As their proprietary hopes are damned they turn from the big bosses to the mass of working people, including the unemployed, for their salvation, swelling the ranks of the people.
Revolution as we see before our very eyes is primarily the indignant intrusion of the masses into the political arena, which under normal times are dominated by “statesmen” and politicians. The wretched of the earth in revolutionary situations alone, see themselves as the force that can determine their own fate and not some elected or appointed “representative”.
The subjective factor of organisation is however crucial for the success and defence of revolutions. While spontaneous events like Said Bouzazi’s self-immolation in Tunisia could spark off upheavals, for uprising to be sustained mobilisation, organising, agitation and sensitization are of the utmost importance. These require cadres of activists and networks of organisation.
Such vanguard organisations do not and cannot supplant the people. To give leadership to revolutions, they have to be immersed in the masses, often through years of tireless political work over the years, when this seems dull, boring, and often with little result to show for it. But in this process, their cadres get steeled, learning from the masses, guided by some theory and goal or the other, which inform their strategy, tactics and slogans.
The determinant force within “the people”, in revolutionary moments, as socialists are quite clear about, is the working class. The turning points in the revolutions that swept through North Africa, for example, where when workers entered the insurrections as a class. This is because of the central role of the working class to capitalist production. It is thus pertinent for vanguard organisations to forge strong ties with the working class.
In Nigeria, the looming hike in fuel prices might very well be the cinder of political harmmattan fires to come, and the working class would have a central role to play in this. The spread of revolutionary fervour across the world reflects the close interconnectedness of the capitalist order. International working class and socialist solidarity is needed to overthrow capitalism and build socialist society.
There is revolution in the air. But there would equally be reverses. We should not be dismayed if this would not be the final conflict. The working people would learn, as we remake the world, we would transform ourselves. The foundations of tomorrow are being laid now and blocks of struggle in Nigeria as well would be there moulded.
Socialist paper for youths!
Nigerian students have played key roles in the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed from the colonial period. It was the National Union of Students that summoned the meeting in August 1944 which gave birth to the NCNC as a united front for the anti-colonial nationalist movement. Since independence, we have as well been at the fore of the barricades of the people.
Ideological depth was critical for the development of student activists. In the past two decades though, the traditions of revolutionary organisation and ideological discourse have reached a point of collapse. While a few socialist organisations still remain in a few campuses, the culture of theoretical discourse is not what it used to be. Yet, there can be no revolutionary movement without revolutionary theory.
Socialist Youth League intends to contribute towards revamping this situation with the Socialist Youth!, a monthly socialist bulletin with which we intend to foster revolutionary theory, mobilisation, agitation and organising. SWLers and supporters across the country are enjoined to write for, buy, read and sell Socialist Youth! We salute you as you read this maiden edition of SY!
Viva la Revolucion!
We must fight deregulation now!
(being text of a press statement by SYL)
“All talk and no action, for us is ranting! This has been the lot of those who are saddled with the responsibilities of protecting the rights of the working people i.e. NLC and TUC since the Federal Government decided to “remove oil subsidy”.
One has to start by exposing some set of press galivantists who go by the name- Campaign against waste (CAW). They have been trying to mobilize Nigerians to support their already exposed robbery policy of deregulation. CAW believes that Nigerians are foolish and can be lured into believing that the oil subsidy removal is in favour of some politicians who gain from it. That argument exposes the real corruption behind the subsidy itself. How can you subsidize oil for Nigerians when it actually belongs to them? And even when you subsidize and it is looted, a sensible government would ARREST THE LOOTERS.
So, once Jonathan and his allies are not ready to arrest those looters, the onus lies on organized labour to force them to. In other words, part of the actions NLC/TUC should immediately take is to demand the names of the looters from the senate and take full political and legal actions. Also we are not taken aback by the positions of different political parties who go against JONATHAN/PDP on deregulation because they only paid lip service to the welfare of the people. The truth is; most parties go against deregulation due to electoral politricks. This is why various alternative proffered by the parties are hypocritical and indifferent. For instance a party believes that allocation should be review before deregulation policy is effected. The position is hypocritical, greedy and grossly anti-people i.e. Jonathan should first increase state allocation before dealing a harsh economic blow to the people.
Standing against deregulation on the basis of prosecuting those who stole the “oil subsidy” and building refineries is like speaking the half truth by not hitting the nail on the head. We al know that anti-graft agencies in the country are foot-soldiers of the chief-looters, but corruption can only be fought through system change. So, the only pro-people solution is for the oil to be nationalized only for the full benefit of the people under the democratic control of the working people.
In all, we want to implore students, youths, artisans and working people that the recurring anti-people policies like SAP, NEEDS, PPP and deregulation are products of imperialism that is fostered on Nigeria by global capitalism. We urge all people who are change agents to mobilize and organize against the genocidal economic policy called deregulation. We call on NLC/TUC to stop their mouth and paper resistances and organize real mass action and must not wait for Jonathan/PDP/IMF to implement. NANS leadership, civil societies and real pro-masses organization are called upon to mobilize and join the campaign against “oil subsidy” removal now. Nigerians are angry with this rotten system. Their fury must be channeled properly by organizing, mobilizing and acting now.
Goodluck privatizing Nigeria
By Ola Rasheed, OSSCOED Ilesha
“Transformation” was the slogan of Goodluck and his PDP entourage during the presidential campaign all around the nation but many conscious Nigerians look beyond the presidential campaign to where the transformation plane of Goodluck will land, as every as the country is indeed in need of transformation.
However the question is, what type of transformation is Jonathan taking about? And what kind of transformation do Nigerians truly need? Is it transformation from dependency to genuine independence through liberation from neo-colonialism under the imperialist powers of the world, or dependency to still more dependency? Since the incep
tion of Nigeria as the most populous black nation, our dear country has not had any serious transformation touching the lives of working people and youths for the better.
From the exploitative colonial masters, to a politically and morally corrupt civilian, regime to highly dictatorial military officers’ rule, to civil-military “democrats” (who see politics as “do or die” affairs)to corrupt weakling civilians who only parrot “luck”. Truly “transformation” indeed! Or is it the “transformation” of political flags from defunct N.N.D.P, A.G, N.C.N.C, NPC e.t.c. to UPN, NPN, GNPP, PRP, SDP, NRC to the present day ideologically shallow PDP, ACN, ANPP, CPC, among others, and the “transformation” policy of SAP, OPERATION FEED THE NATION and deregulation policy? All these are few examples of supposed transformations that our nation has experienced in her 51years of existence as a supposedly independent country. So what type of transformation are Goodluck and his capitalist “compatriots” taking about?
Our throat looks dry for an answer but Mr. President quickly thrills our mind with the transformation policy of deregulation of most crucial aspects of Nigerians livelihoods. Since the origin of the so called democracy, every aspect of the nation has experienced deregulation through BPE(Bureau of Public Enterprises) an agent of the federal government that transforms federal property to privately owned property without any record of efficiency and proper accountability.
Now it is time to
transform the poor living Nigerian to the poorest living in the world. After the deregulation of the education sector, it becomes unbearable for common Nigerians, even the churches, many of which now have tertiary schools charge high fees for their institutions that are highly outrageous and impossible for the majority of their members who are poor (but whom pay tithes) to pay. Government is not interested in funding education; the private schools costs are unbearable, so how can the country develop when many youths cannot afford decent education?
Education, commerce, agriculture, communication, power, transport, technology, and industries, are all in the hands of private owners, in the name of deregulation, “public-partnership partnership” or outright privatisation. Since the government can no longer manage any aspect of the national economy its existence is becoming questionable.
The embattled former speaker of the house of reps once accused the NNPC of not having proper records of buying and selling of petroleum products from 1967 till date. Obansanjo in his own capacity increased the price of petroleum products seven times all in the name of providing social infrastructure for
Nigerians. Four years after his regime expired we are yet to witness any sensible development. Now it is time for Mr president to blow the final whistle on Nigerians and complete his master plan to privatize Nigeria and fulfil the ambition of the world capitalist agent masters in Washington, London, Paris, Tokyo and Beijing. But a question which bothers our minds is “who are the private owners and what was there source of income?” The likes of Otedola, Jimor Ibrahim, Mike Adenuga, Dangote and Dantata among-others should be quizzed to provide answers to the above question, which we all know: they made their monies from inflated contracts by governments!
Deregulation of petroleum products prices would be nothing but suicidal for the economy and an attack on Nigerians that would amount to genocide. Therefore every able Nigerian must rise to fight the agents of capitalism and imperialism in our midst such as Mr. Goodluck and his Prime Minister Mrs Okojo-Iweala. But unluckily for them and probably beyond their comprehension, they are being tools in the hands of those who want to kill us, but we have had enough and will not take it any more.
It is time for the youths and workers to kick against this deadly policy because in our history it has never yield anything good for us. We must
all learn from the policy of S.A.P and Naira devaluation in 80’s. Among the O.P.E.C. countries Nigeria is the only nation that imports finished petroleum product and as no functional refinery. South Africa a non-oil producing state, but has seven refineries. Libya has 9, United States of North America 155, and Venezuela has 11. Nigeria also sells at a high price to its citizens. A litre of petrol in South Africa for example is $35.3, in Libya it is $36.7, and Kuwaitis buy for just $27. Therefore it is time for every Nigerian youth and workers to come together and fight against deregulation. We must also realise that this is a policy that is natural with capitalism. To bring such nonsense to a final end we must overthrow capitalism in a social revolution engulfing Nigeria and countries across the world. Before our very eyes, we see international revolution spreading and spreading with it the future of a world socialist order on our horizons!
CORRUPTION & CAPITALISM
by Ismail Oloyede, OAU Ife
According to Confucius, “In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. And in a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of”. Inspite of abundant human and natural resources with which we are blessed, Nigeria ranks among the poorest countries in the world. It is estimated that about 70 Percent of Nigerians live in squalor and abject poverty (living on less than a dollar per day).
However, a very meagre percentage (the 1%!) of the population live in opulence, affluence and abundance. The Big question which remains a puzzle for us in Nigeria is “how can a few have so much while so many have not? ‘’Is it the making of an Almighty God or the greediness of man towards fellow men?
Like Thomas Fuller said, “Let him who expects one class of the society to prosper in highest degree while the other is in distress try whether one side of his face can smile while the other is pinched”. How come the sons and daughters of the meat seller take their meals without meat! How come the gap between the rich and the poor is so wide that when a poor man enters the mansion of a rich man either in Lagos or Abuja, he can only wonder whether he is on earth or in Paradise.
I remember reading a story about the Sahelian Famine in the 70s, of a fat man and a thin man. The fat man said to the thin man, “You should be ashamed of yourself, if someone visiting the country saw you before anyone else, he would think there was famine here. Replied the thin man, “And if the visitor saw you next, he would know the reason for the famine.
There is no doubt about the fact that the cankerworm called CORRUPTION which has eaten very deeply into virtually all the various fabrics of our society is a reflection and also a major factor responsible for the inequality and injustice in our country today.
The regime of President Shehu Shagari was reputed for being the era when the menace of Corruption became institutionalised in Nigeria. Consequently, subsequent military regimes of the duo of Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Sanni Abacha further compounded the woes of our dear country by embezzling money running into Hundreds of Billions of Dollars.
According to Herbert Spencer, “every unpunished delinquency has a family of delinquencies”. And according to Seneca, “there is no Crime without precedence”. Considering the way and manner in which previous rulers especially the military regimes have stolen and embezzled monies with impunity without any arrest nor prosecution, the post-1999 politicians also vowed to carry on with the “status quo ante” by further rendering the nation and its people impoverished.
Virtually all the facets of our lives have been infected with this cancer called CORRUPTION. All over the country, one is confronted with gory sites of uncompleted structures for which monies have been appropriated and disbursed 100%. Some are still at take-off stage while others remain uncompleted after many decades. And there seems to be no hope in the horizon, because the upcoming YOUTHS who are considered the future leaders have had their psyches disorientated and derailed as they now believe one must be rich at all cost no matter what, “or die trying”.
Why is our situation like this? Is corruption mainly a Nigerian issue as it would seem, especially as it has eaten up the minds of we youths? To understand corruption, we have to understand capitalism. Capitalism is impossible without corruption. But what of in advanced capitalist countries like USA and UK? The fact is that the elite there are also very corrupt! They have only mastered how to do it better behind the scenes. But sometimes like what we saw when Enron collapsed or what became clear recently about briberies and phone hacking by “News of the World”, we can see behind the well polished masquerade.
The youths in these countries have also been swamped over the last decades by the stinking air of corrupt practices. Capitalism thrives both materially and ideologically. Crime rates and corruption have risen amongst youths across the world as the possession of gadgets and material acquisitions have been promoted through advertisements as “success” and which they want.
But the ideological blinkers of capitalism and corruption is being shattered by youths rising and fighting all over the world as they mobilise resistance and set the fires of revolution ablaze. We, the youths and working people of Nigeria can stop both the corrupt elite amongst us and the spread of the cancer of corruption within us only through revolutionary struggle that will bring capitalism (and with it such rabid corruption as we now see), to an end.
The 1%ers are cheats!
By Johnson Albert, UniAbuja
A lot of Nigerians seem ignorant of the fact that the natural resources of our nation belong to all of us as far as you are a citizen of Nigeria and the wealth in society is our creation as working people, because it is our labour that creates wealth.
Those that serve in government are only meant to distribute from the abundant wealth of society such that every existing citizen will have according to his or her need. But this is never so under capitalism as a tiny infinitesimal minority seat on the wealth created by workers, while we groan and continue to suffer. In Nigeria the matter is of the most degenerate reality.
The stupendously huge amount of money our supposed “leaders” embezzle is simply mind boggling. But they have no concern whatsoever with even building the productive capacities of industry in the country, being content with just money, direct, from our national purse!
What belongs to you and I is regularly stolen and pillaged by a microscopic few unscrupulous and diabolical Nigerians who claim to be good leaders. They live in expansive estates and mansions, drive luxurious cars and enjoy the best things of life while most working people who create the wealth they are appropriating can’t even provide two square meals for themselves. It is really a lugubrious situation that despite all our money which they accumulate they still want to remove what they feel we are enjoying i.e. fuel subsidy.
If they try this they will be asking for total destruction and pandemonium in their state. They have cheated us by taking all the money for themselves and children therefore SWL calls on all Nigerians to rise up and say NO to fuel subsidy removal and all bad policies of the government don’t be deceived, emancipation and a better life are our rights!
On the FGN & oil “subsidy”
by Ishola Taiwo, The Poly Ibadan
The most contentious issue in Nigeria today is the removal of subsidy on petroleum products which has generated wide debate by citizens from all walks of life, particularly within the working class, owing to its implications on the nation’s socio-economic landscape.
Over the years, the FG, as it claims, has operated a fuel subsidy with the purpose of making petroleum products available at prices below the seemingly divine “market prices” of the products for the populace.
According to reports by the petroleum pricing regulatory agency (PPRA), the country consumes an average of 35 million litres of fuel daily. The genuineness of this figure in a country of 167million people, the majority of whom live in the rural areas, is rather suspect.
As of August 15, 2011, the pricing template of the PPRA showed that the landing cost of a litre of petrol is N129.21. It further reflected the margin for transporters and the marketers as N15.49, bringing the expected pump price of petrol at market rates to N144.70. Thus at N65 per litre, which Nigerians are fortunate to get the product, the government is deemed to subsidise the difference of N79.70, per litre.
The Federal Government has declared that it spent over N2 trillion on fuel subsidies in the past five years, on the basis of this arithmetic. It also claims to have heavily subsidised kerosene which is imported into the country through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), but alas, the actual amount for this is not known, even to the government.
This disclosure was made by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, coordinating minister for the economy and minister for finance, when she made it clear to Nigerians that the FG had concluded plans to completely withdraw petroleum product subsidies. This announcement has been greeted with various reactions.
Some analysts, particularly “big” men and women with lots of wealth believe that, the government could have spent the money budgeted for fuel subsidy on addressing the country’s huge infrastructural deficit, thereby saving the nation from huge financial waste. Working people and their allies have however opposed the planned removal of the subsidy pointing out that the people, many of whom live below the poverty line of $1 a day, will be at the painful receiving end of the petroleum subsidy.
Proponents of subsidy removal include Lamido Sanusi, Governor of central bank of Nigeria who disclosed that the Apex bank had been in the fore front of advocating that government removes the subsidy, from behind the scene, even before now. According to him, ‘we at CBN have always insisted that government should do away with the oil subsidy, because it is not good for the economy. It may be harsh at the beginning but in the long run, it would be beneficial for the country and it will help the economy’.
The CBN governor, who provided subsidies running into N1.4trillion for banks as bailouts between 2010 and now, opined that it was unwise for the government to be subsidising petrol products to keep refineries in other countries going while not refining at full capacity in the country, as if it is not the same elite of which he his a part that ran the local refineries down.
The national chairman, Coalition for Accountability and transparency in Extractive Industries, Forestry and Fisheries in Nigeria (CATEIFFN), George-Hill Anthony expressed the view that a committee of credible citizens must first be set up to monitor the funds that would be free from fuel subsidy. While asserting that the federal government currently pays about N2.6 billion daily as subsidies on the estimated 3.2 million litres consumed nationwide, Anthony noted that members of the committee should be drawn from the media, civil society groups as well as labour unions for effective monitoring of the use of the funds which he insisted should be channelled to interventions for the common Nigerians.
On the face of it, this seems a reasonable compromise between pro- and anti-deregulationists. But it only masquerades the simple fact that deregulation is simply one of the strategies of capitalist growth paths which ensure that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. If there is the need to save funds from somewhere to ensure the infrastructural development that has not been done with the huge receipts we have had so far from exporting crude oil, there are other places, which only a few persons benefit from to look at.
The subsidies granted to the banks as bailouts should be collected back, the numbers and amounts (including estacode and other allowances) paid to ministers, legislators, special advisers and assistants at all levels of government should be drastically cut. Trillions of naira would be saved through these every year. More importantly, we the people, who create the national wealth, should run the state, at local and national levels.
But of course, the elite would never allow this, because they are the beneficiaries of the present system. The secret of their wealth is in our poverty. To throw away the yoke of suffering and subjugation which we bear for them to feed fat, we must fight against fuel price hike, quite alright. But we must take our demands beyond that as well. Our resistance must be one which moves to igniting revolution from below, linking the immediate demands with that which is now ringing across the world: another world will be built on the ashes of capitalism!
Osun NANS JCC stands by workers
by Ay Struggle, OAU Ife
Bitter rage is the only phrase that aptly describes the outcome of the Osun NANS JCC senate meeting which held at the Alumni Auditorium, Osun state college of Education(OSCOED), Ilesa, in November. Students’ leaders from all campuses in the state were ably represented at the session. The items on the agenda were: State Of Education; and state of the JCC.
The state of education centred on the tertiary academic workers’ strike in Osun. The campuses of the state’s tertiary institutions have been under closure due to this strike which arose as a result of the failure of the Aregbesola-led state government to pay the workers’ agreed salaries and arrears. Many of the students’ leaders alleged that the striking workers have not been as receptive to students solidarity as much as workers under the banner of NLC, whom NANS JCC and the SYL had held demonstrations with in demanding the new minimum wage.
SYLers are always of the opinion that the bureaucracies of labour aristocrats in trade unions that frustrate united actions might be important structures within the working class, but ultimately rank and file leadership from below through action based on struggle and solidarity, extending to the heart of the workplaces alone, can inject the adequate spirit of struggle into workers struggles. We must define where we are at all times. And where we are is with rank and file workers, ready to fight for their self-emancipation.
Students in the state and the striking workers are fellow soldiers in this war against the capitalist system. There is thus the serious need to align our struggles for the utmost effect. To fail to unite and fight together is to divide and loose together.
Socialist Youth League urges the JCC to have more of these meetings, make their resolutions popular through communiqués and deepen action in solidarity with the striking lecturers and all workers fighting against capitalism in some way or the other. In doing these, we must also raise our demands as students and students’ unions are also under severe attacks by the institutions’ managements and the state. We thus demand: REINSTATE THE ILESA 5 NOW. REINSTATE ALL BANNED UNIONS!
Anti-subsidy removal syposium at Akungba
by Wizman Ajayi, Ife
A symposium was held on November 10 at the Adekuinle Ajasin University,Akungba Akoko(AAUA) with the theme: “The removal of Oil subsidy;its effects on Nigeria Economy.” It was organised by the school’s Democratic Socialist Movement branch. The symposium was well attended, with Kunle Wizeman of Socialist Youth League as Guest Speaker.
The speaker spoke extensively on the effects of the anti-people policies on education. He contested the government’s claim of subsidy itself and posited that all the government wants to do is to add to the sufferings of the people, in defence of capital accumulation for the greed of the few. He urged the students to take their destinies into their hands by uniting and organizing against the impending doom of the capitalist anti-poor policy of deregulation, just like their forbears during the anti-SAP struggles in 1989.
Other speakers like the outgoing Deputy Speaker of the Students’ Union Parliament-Adeyanju Olugbenga, and the CDHR coordinator in the school, both of whom registered similar anger against deregulation, privatisation, and other capitalist policies.
The DSM branch coordinator in the school called for all hands to be on deck to reject anti-students policies, and as well called for workers to be fully involved in the traditional struggle to resist capitalism.
Socialist Youth League agrees with this call for unity. The struggle against the impending hike in pump prices of fuel and against capitalism as a whole require the greatest unity of all socialist, revolutionary, radical and critical forces of working people and youths, who are oppressed by the present inhumane system. The unity of the oppressed is of the utmost importance for us together enthroning social change. SYL has thus in a similar manner invited activists from DSM, Pacesetters and other radical organisations of students and youths to its national symposium holding at OAU Ife on November 19. Together in struggle, we the 99% SHALL WIN!
Great Ife of struggle
by Ismail Oloyede
This was how it started in the 1990s when Prof. Olawale Omole was inaugurated as the Vice- Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. There was so much apprehension and trepidaton amongst the Students and the workers. While the students were agitating for their fundamental Human Rights(especially Rights to Freedom of: Expression Association, Peaceful Assembly and Protest) and saying a big “NO’’ to any form of outrageous and exorbitant fees in terms of tuition and accommodation, the workers were clamouring for better conditions of service.
Instead of listening to the genuine agitations of the students and the workers, the then Vice-Chancellor Prof. Omole embarked upon many devastating policies, thinking he could call the “bluff” of the students and the workers. However, rising to the challenges of the time, the leadership of the then Students’ Union gave a resounding and tenacious representation to the Great Ife Students by embarking on a series of protests and rallies as well as using court injunctions to restrain the management from further tormenting the generality of Great Students with obnoxious policies.
Realizing that he could not withstand the intellectual fire-brand of the then Students’ Union, Prof. Omole embarked on a process of finally annihilating the ever- conscious and ever -progressive Students Union by bringing in cultists to help him curtail the tenacity and audacity of the Students’ Union. This was a task which the cultists attempted to carry out with blood by not only eliminating our own George Iwilade (aka AFRICA) the then Secretary General of the Students’ Union,but by also killing of 4 other Great Ife Students.
WHAT ARE WE DRIVING AT?
The continued proscription of Great Ife Students’ Union is gradually creating a vacuum, as we now live under the arbitrary dictates of management meant to make us live in constant fear of brutal death.
It is no longer news that the wings of the neo-fascist elements i.e. “Cultists” is growing at a very alarming rate and if the Students Union of Great Ife is not reinstated forthwith, then a palpable danger of armed attacks on activists might begin to stare us in the face.
. OUR DEMANDS!!!
We demand the immediate reinstatement of our Students Union for in our Unionism and Collectivism lies our Strength and Security.
We also demand the immediate reinstatement of Comrade Owolabi Olawale(aka Ogunruku).who remains suspended despite the resolution of the governing council which ordered that all the victimized students should be reinstated.
Finally, we demand that the new Vice-Chancellor Pof. Bamitale Omole should ‘HALT’’ all plans at increment of school fees and acceptance fees, as these will only bring hardship on Great Ife Students.
Great Ife in its traditions of struggle will vehemently RESIST any obnoxious, anti-student policy such as increment in school fees.
Revolution from Below! (SYL News)
Report of SYL Ife workshop
An Internal Workshop of the Socialist Youths League “SYL” Obafemi Awolowo University Branch was held on the 29th day of October 2011. It started with revolutionary songs led by Comrades Lai Brown and A.B Nice.
The 1st Plenary Session of the workshop had as its theme: “COPY to SYL, a transformation; the Past, the Present and the Future”. The lead-off on this was by Comrade Adekunle Ajayi aka Wiseman. He started with an historical materialist perspective of the evolution of human societies. He noted that Karl Marx emphasised the need for the study of the past, to be able to have a theoretical compass for our practical struggle towards the future of human freedom.
Comrade Wiseman, then spoke extensively on the evolution of Congress of Progressive Youths (COPY) from 1997 to 2011. COPY in Ife, he noted, was a front organisation of the ‘May 31st Movement’, which later became the Socialist Workers Movement by 2001. COPY as an organization joined the ‘UAD’ United Action for Democracy in 1997, when it was formed under the leadership of Barrister Olisa Agbakoba, and played a key role in mobilising for the 5-million man rally which was the highest point UAD of the coalition’s democratic struggles.
The 1st coordinator of COPY in Ife was Comrade Ola Saint Jericho under whose stewardship the organization achieved a lot, despite a barrage of challenges. Comrades BJ and Arosky were the 2nd and 3rd coordinators respectively.
Wiseman then expatiated on the process of transformation of COPY to SYL. This he said emerged from the merger of the Mayist SWM and Socialist League (SL) on January 29, 2011. COPY cadres, he pointed out, had been actively involved in the 2-year process of discussions and joint activities between both organisations, leading to their merger.
The 1st General Council meeting of the SWL held on July 21-23 had resolved on a common identity for all the SWL branches on campus. This common identity, is as the Socialist Youth League, SYL.
Comrade Wiseman identified the need for greater ideological cohesion, stronger organisational discipline and recruitment of more like-minded students who want to fight for a better society as some of the challenges facing the SYL now.
On a final note, Comrade Wiseman emphasised the need to build a new strata of activists and also, he insisted, togetherness and unshaken solidarity is the answer to the problems and challenges of the organization and revolutionary in general.
The 2nd Plenary Session was with the theme: “Removal of Oil Subsidy: a Socialist Perspective; on the Way Forward”. The lead-off presenter was Comrade Biodun Olamosu a member of the Socialist Workers Bulletin editorial board. He asserted that endemic crisis in the Oil industry in Nigeria has become a recurring decimal under both military and the civilian regimes.
Commenting further, Comrade B O maintained that the U.S and other European Nations are very desperate to control world oil matters, thereby causing a lot of troubles in the world. He cited the U.S invasion of Iraq as an example. Furthermore, he submitted that liberalism and deregulation are Capitalistic policies meant to castrate the poor masses. And that the petroleum industry in Nigeria is a BLACK market about which majority of Nigerians lack adequate information. Accoding to him, “In essence there is no subsidy on oil products in Nigeria, the government is only trying to fool us”.
Comrade B O also submitted that the diversification of Nigeria’s economy towards other sectors is of paramount importance for the growth and transformation of the country. Finally, he stated that while organised labour coalitions and other groups have rightly resolved that there must be no Subsidy Removal and vow to resist it, the issue will be resolved at the barricade. And forces organised on the ground, through tireless, concrete organising, before the bubble bursts, will be adequately positioned to give leadership to the mass upsurge that will emerge.
In conclusion, Comrades were unanimous in their condemnation of the proposed oil subsidy removal, calling on the Federal Government to shelve such policy for it will put hardship on the poor masses of the country. The cadres also resolved as SYL to forge ties with as many groups as would be ready to fight the impending fuel pump price hike, as much as possible, while on its own part the League shall; organise, organise and organise!!!
Reinstate Ogunruku NOW!
Comrade Olawale “Ogunruku” still remains denied of his due studentship by t Obafemi Awolow University’s management, for no just cause. Every one of the five students who illegitimately deprived of their studentships for daring to demand the withdrawal of increment of school fees has been reinstated by the school authorities.
The reason for Ogunruku’s continued victimisation is not far-fetched. The management of AwoVarsity is not unaware of his principled stand as a socialist over the last two years and feel threatened of his role as a mobiliser on the campus. The present continued victimisation of the student would however be met by stiff resistance. The SYL OAU branch has commenced a reinstatement campaign, leafleting and pasting posters on campus.
A national campaign will be organised if the management of the school remains recalcitrant. Students at Awo Varsity would however be central to his reinstatement through lecture boycotts and demonstrations.
Vinceremos! We shall win!
Revolution from below!