The Federal Government set the country ablaze with its over 100% increase of petrol price on January 1. In a matter of days, massive demonstrations have rocked more than a dozen cities, shaking the country to its foundations; and this is just the beginning! NLC & TUC have declared an indefinite general strike & mass protests from January 9, if the increment is not reversed.
Unfolding before our eyes is a revolution with which we would change our fate, breaking the bondage of our oppression by the elites who feed fat on our sweat and the spoils of the land. The increase in fuel price is an attack on us all, sure enough, but it is more of an ignition of the anger we have bottled inside us for years, as we suffer and yet can hardly make ends meet.
Deregulation of petrol prices and all forms of deregulation, privatisation and so-called “public sector reforms” that lead to the worsening of the lives of working people ad youths are all part and parcel of the same capitalist system. The cabal that has been fleecing billions of naira from the supposed subsidy are equally part of the capitalist class that Goodluck Jonathan, his executives, the legislators and law enforcement agencies/army represent. Thus, under capitalism, either way, we the working people and youth suffer exploitation, oppression, and marginalisation.
The capitalist elites use our ethnic, regional, religious, etc identities to keep us divided. We are also made to believe that the capitalist system cannot be changed and that they and not we, the 99% who create the social wealth should determine our own fate as a people. In revolutionary times like this though, through our bold actions to resist such provocations as the hike in fuel prices, we come to realise the strength that collectively we have. We become bold enough to see in action that we can indeed build a new society based on solidarity with no regards for differences in religion, age, ethnic background or where we come from!
This is the greatest lesson from the Arab Spring which has spurred waves of revolutionary upsurges across the world. The unfolding revolution in Nigeria is part of the global awakening of the 99%. Different immediate causes have served as triggers in different countries. But the masses have had to generalise their anger and resistance, including but going beyond such immediate triggers. We demand the reversal of petrol price back to N65.00. But we want even more: WE WANT FREEDOM from exploitation and oppression of all forms! We want to build a society where power resides with us the people, and where the fullest development of all is both the goal and the basis of national & world development.
We know the capitalists have stolen and are stealing billions. We know that Nigerians, in the only national debate ever held on what sort of society we want to build (during the IBB regime) declared for socialism, and we also know that our struggle is one with that of working people and youths all over the world, together with whom in victory “we will bring to birth a new world on the ashes of the old”. And now, we have stopped agonizing and started organising. Our organising MUST NOT be limited to the legitimate and popular demand for the reversal of fuel pump price. This is the time for us to organise for our own self-emancipation.
What is to be done? Support the General strike; spread the mass protests and reclaim the streets; form General Assemblies and popular action committees as organs of people power, and MAKE THE REVOLUTION NOW!
Issued by Socialist Workers League © January 5, 2011. JOIN US NOW! Call: 08120128487 or 07037273343