Дата канвертавання16.01.2013
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In all the tiers of government, the reigning philosophy is this: the rich to become richer while the masses can go to blazes. Under the bogus terms of privatisation and liberalisation, collective heritage and social wealth are being handed over/sold to a few private local and foreign businesses, at give-away prices. At the same time, the governments have intensified commercialisation drive which means that only those who have sufficient money deserve to have food, water, housing, health care, education, electricity, telephones, etc. Can these counter-productive approach and policies ever pave way for mass prosperity and political freedom?

In the history of post-independent Nigeria, no sitting government had ever conducted free, fair and acceptable elections, even going by bourgeois standard. Are there indications that this time around things will be different?

What factors lay beneath Nigeria's ceaseless ethnic and religious crises? How can these problems be permanently and positively solved in the interests of the working masses?

Things have become so bad that even sections of the working masses, including some trade union and socialist activists, have begun to develop illusion in the return of the military. Can the military come back now and if so, can that bring better living conditions and democratic rights to the masses?

Is it true that there is no viable alternative to the prevailing global capitalist exploitation and oppression? If there is, as we socialists have always insisted, what are the basic economic and political features of this alternative? Put differently, how can the working masses put in place an economic and political alternative that will guarantee their own basic needs and aspirations?


More than at any other time in Nigeria's post-independence history, the economic features and orientations of the past three years of civil rule have clearly revealed the fact that there are only two options before the working masses: socialist revolution or the deepening of barbarism.

As at 29th May, 1999, when the present civilian section of the capitalist class replaced their military counterparts, crude oil, the main foreign exchange earner, was selling at $9 per barrel. But as a result of developments in he world oil market, this soon went up to $20 per barrel.

But as usual, while the country makes more money, little or nothing is being spent to improve the living conditions of the masses. Less than 10 million Nigerians have access to the minimum health care facilities recommended by the World Health Organisation. 18.6% or 24,180,000 million Nigerians are categorised as hungry by ACDESS. This is expected to increase to 27.8% or 36,140,000 million by the year 2015. 85.5 million Nigerians are too poor to afford the basic standard of living, good shelter, nutritious food and good education. 69% or 89 million Nigerians are living on less than a dollar per day.

Not surprisingly, life expectancy at birth in Nigeria is put at 47 years and 52 years for male and female respectively. The figures for the developed capitalist countries are 73 years and 80 years for male and female respectively.

Yes, governments at central state and local levels and private employers have had to increase the wages paid to their workers. But apart from the fact that this exercise covers only an infinitesimal proportion of the working masses, the overall effects of this increment itself had been cancelled by other pro-rich, anti-poor capitalist policies being implemented by governments, across parties and structures.

Today, hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs as a result of claims of inability to pay this increment. The better to be forgotten era of accumulated, unpaid salaries and allowances are back again. For most pensioners, it is nightmare unlimited. To the bought press and ignorant/fraudulent public commentators, Tinubu's government in Lagos State is a “success”. Yet this same “successful”, “Awoist” government has sacked 15,000 public servants ostensibly because of inability to pay the new minimum wage. To add insult to injury, the government has refused to pay these unfortunate workers their terminal benefits one year and a half after their unjust sack!

Osun State, another state headed by an “Awoist”, in the person of Bisi Akande, has sacked about 12,000 public servants including teachers, in a state where government is the largest employer of labour. And for daring to continue to fight this unjust act, Dr. Oyebade Olowogboyega, the NULGE president in Osun State who spearheaded the struggle for the payment of N6,500 minimum wage, was pencilled down for elimination via assassination. On the 19th July, 2001, gunmen were sent to his house at about 2.00 a.m. with a view to kill him. Although Olowogboyega's assailants did not succeed in killing him, they nonetheless left him with a leg irreparably damaged for life, as a result of gunshot.

In the last three years, the President Olusegun Obasanjo's central government has increased the prices of petroleum products twice. Needless to stress, this as usual, has led to astronomical rises in the prices of housing, transportation, telecommunications, goods and services in general. In a situation where retrenchment of workers is seen as the best strategy to ensure balanced budget and at the same time enhance profitability, the fact that the overwhelming majority of able and qualified persons, most especially youths, remain jobless and have no prospect of gainful employment in the foreseeable future, needs no special explanation.

While wrecking unprecedented assaults on public housing, education and health services, while accessibility to electricity and telephones remain in pre-civilisation threshold, while less and less proportion of roads are being tarred/maintained, when compared with even with the most inglorious civilian regimes of the past, government propaganda through the bought bourgeois press, have come up with glowing but virtually non-existing achievements.

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