By Oladipupo Jimoh, International Liaison Personnel, Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard [RCIT Nigeria], 26th June, 2020, https://revolutionarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com/
Senator Abiola Ajimobi was officially declared dead yesterday after much prevarication from government sources. His death follows a long string of events that indicate burgeoning chaos in the Nigerian ruling class stratum. Before his death, or the official announcement, there has being internal wranglings over the national chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the ruling party in Nigeria. This tussle over the chairmanship of the party which started some months ago resurfaced because of the disagreement between the de-facto national chairman who was the former Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomole and the incumbent Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki. The de-facto chairman ended up getting the short end of the stick as his suspension as chairman from the party was reaffirmed by the Court of Appeals and the incumbent Edo state governor who was his stooge defected to the other wing of the arch-reactionary caucus of the Nigerian bourgeoisie, the People’s Democratic Party. 
What followed was the immediate attempt by opposing factions in the APC to lay claim to the position of chairman. Although the late senator was the deputy national chairman, because of the now strong rivalry between the factions of the party from the western, southern and northern parts of the country, the national secretary, Chief Victor Gaidom, representing the northern/southern faction, declared himself the new chairman. In response the Tinubu led/western faction denied the death of the deceased senator because he was a member of this faction and laid claim in his name to the chairmanship. Now that the president has declared the National Working Committee (NWC) “dissolved”, his death has been announced. Add to all this, the embarrassing cause of his death—the corona virus. This crisis is further exacerbated by the disquieted protests in the North over the insecurity and terrorism in the region. 
We are entering a period where more defection from the ruling party is more likely. In fact a mass defect to PDP is more likely than the split of the ruling party. Even if none of these occur there are already harbingers, as far back as 2019, that portend a greater or more acute dichotomy between the factions of the Nigerian ruling caste most especially between the western/southern or pro-Tinubu caucus and the northern section. The most lucid of this omen was the formation of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Operation Amotekun) in June 2019  when there was no popular knowledge of the SARS-CoV-2 but warning signs of a 2nd Great Depression. Granted, both the APC and PDP are arch reactionary parties and there has been interparty rivalry between even the predecessors of both parties but this internal crises is different because it creates right through the heart of the presently most dominant party, a crevice, that can only be paralleled by the emasculation of PDP in the periods leading up to the 2015 radical general elections.
However to trace back signs of these crises to such periods means these internal crises is not peculiar to Nigeria neither is it an APC thing but it is more of a global trend.
One doesn’t need a professor in political science to see that there is a serious domestic crisis in the Trump administration and whole ruling class order in the US which started with the acute discord between the Republican and Democratic Party but which is now fully represented by the widespread demonstrations against racism and police brutality coupled with the highest corona virus death toll. In Egypt, the government of general Sisi faces insurgency on the Sinai which he has been unable to crush for some time now. Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and his allies in the United Arab Emirates suffer from the successful drones and missiles attacks against Saudi’s oil industry, their failure to crush Qatar and the global price collapse of the oil market (the main source of income of the Gulf States), etc. Add to the few examples above the rising number of corona virus cases and the failure of many world governments to tackle the corona virus pandemic and the wave of anti-racist protests all over the world.
It is historically proven that most times when the ruling class are faced with domestic crises they opt to divert attention by expanding the scope of their foreign intervention. A classic example is the assassination of Qassim Soleiman by a US drone when Donald Trump was in the thick of his impeachment hearing by the US Congress. Another example is the blame game between the US and China over the spread of the corona virus after both parties failed to tackle the pandemic in their respective countries. Even now, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other powers in the gulf are gearing up for the invasion of Libya. We can already see attacks against the Nigerian commission in Ghana and chauvinist reprisals from reactionary propagandists after the Ghanaian earthquakes. Even when we admit that the conflict between states and powers are intrinsic for this stage of capitalism, the domestic crises in the respective nations will definitely exacerbate the rivalry in international politics.
Revolutionaries must shun giving the whole crises an APC nature rather they must put it within the proper context of escalating collapse of the capitalist order. As earlier said, the case of Operation Amotekun was only a visible forerunner of things to come in terms of ruling class dichotomy and systemic crises.
The demise of Ajimobi from corona virus shows again at this time that the health sector has not seen any tangible improvement and now as the death tolls in Nigeria and globally increase governments are proposing a return to the lock down or more stringent restrictions. We warn that this would be a perfidious move from a government that is planning to cut funding for the health sector by more than 40% while they continue to lobby for and receive more loans from the World Bank. Further, the lock downs have either failed or had no meaningful effect on ameliorating the health crises. Take China for example, there are proposals in the country for a second lock down despite the recent harshest form of clamp down for the same purpose. Other European nations which towed the path of China have started to launch fresh restrictions.
For us, all forms of travel ban, lock downs and all restrictions on the right to publicly gather must be opposed. The Nigerian masses have no reason to trust this government given their failure to fight the pandemic which resulted in the death of two high-ranking members of the ruling class stratum. This is without forgetting the on-going strike of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD). Hence, a return to the lock down or increased restriction status is handing over the wheel to the arch-reaction.
Already, a global campaign against racism and discrimination—one of the most consequential pre-existing conditions which has subjected many to death from poor health facilities, underdevelopment and illiteracy—has begun. We must push such campaigns further by demanding a publicly controlled health system. While this health system should optimize mass testing with quarantine of confirmed cases, it must not over-prioritize the dangers of COVID-19 but give appropriate attention to other diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, Lassa fever, Ebola, etc. There must also be proper provision for care for pregnant women and other emergency cases. We must call for at least 20% and 26% budgetary allocation for the health and education sector respectively. Massive financial and otherwise aid must be mobilized for Africa from the rich imperialist countries which impoverished Africa and left the health sector in a precarious state. This aid must be mobilize by taxing the multinational corporations. For fulfilment of all the demands of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD). The only way out of this abysmal cataclysm is mass action!
Unfortunately, the Nigerian left continues to underutilize these crises as broad sections of the left have also been plunged into similar chaos. This can be seen in the split in some left organizations and the bitter discord amidst some left coalitions. The reason for this is due to the fact that these sections are under the influence of centrist, reformist, opportunists and Stalinist persuasions so they could not avoid pitfalls.
More so, some of these bodies subscribe to foreign branches or mother sections who acknowledge the revolutionary nature of the current period only after the anti-racist protests broke out in the US and around the world, an assessment that was already overdue by mid-2019. Others would still subscribe to the bourgeois narrative that the economic recession and the current capitalist catastrophe was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of admitting that the measures by government is what has worsened the economic and health crises. In fact SARS-CoV-2 is a product of a new age of historic capitalist decline which began in 2008 in which we have seen previous similar epidemics like SARS and MERS. This decadence is why most of these organizations have failed to follow a consistent socialist approach from the beginning of the pandemic.
The schism in the ruling class ranks is bound to worsen as the economic slump deepens accelerating contradictions in the run up to the 2023 general elections where will see more naked tussles. The Nigerian left must make a clean break from all reactionary tendencies cum national centeredness and find what is the true Marxist path to use such crises as a spring board for the advancement of the cause of the masses because the future is pregnant with wars and revolution.
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Defeat the counterrevolutionary bandit Haftar and the powers behind him!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 24 June 2020, https://wp.me/paky5E-5J
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