Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (RSV) [Nigerian Section of the RCIT], 10.02.2021, http://www.revolutionarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com/
3 months and some days have passed after the barbarous massacre of youths all over Nigeria on the 20th of October 2020 led to the severe dampening of the End SARS movement. What is clear, however, is that the stoppage of physical demonstrations under whatever name is only temporary in Nigeria. Yet it will be slothful simplicity to assert that the movement was interrupted by just the machine of state terrorism of the Nigerian government since it should be by now glaring to all that the labour leaderships and the whole bureaucratic milieu behind it betrayed the struggle mainly led by the youths.
Just to recapitulate, the struggle was not just about police brutality, the growing acceptance of the slogan to “end bad governance in Nigeria” is sufficient proof of this. Add to this the fact that such an uprising exploded within a global revolutionary period that was although interrupted by the COVID-19 counterrevolution became rekindled and spread like a forest conflagration through the Black Lives Matter protests in the US. This should have at least convinced all those comrades who think only a hike in fuel, electricity or food price can lead to a revolution (even though there were successive government imposed hikes in the price of these commodities in the days leading up to the End SARS protests) to take the movement with more seriousness, at least to begin a campaign for the removal the rotten bureaucracies atop the Labour unions.
Developments following the cessation of street demonstrations show that these “socialist” or “pan-africanist” milieu of comrades have no interest in ousting the moribund leadership of the trade unions, in fact this is a far cry from their intentions. No sooner had the embers of the protests began to smolder did these comrades start organizing online symposiums to discuss “tactics” and “strategies” for the 2023 general elections. The reaction of the liberal milieu was not so different. The musicians, actors, social media influencers who had earlier refused to push for any official leadership of the protests became the strongest advocates for the relocation of the campaign to online forms. This was the origin of the Coalition of Protest Groups Across Lagos and Nigeria/Nigeria Coalition of Protest Groups barely days after the Lekki massacre.
As already mentioned this crust of activists in order to save their skins and expand their sphere of influence at the same time discouraged or ignored genuine attempts to create official leaderships at the various protest grounds. This “leaderlessness” also had strong support throughout the opportunist and centrist left who also had their own agenda of getting mass support for parties they would field in bourgeois elections.
The so-called influencers refused to openly declare or mobilize for a second phase of the protests on 7th December, last year. In contrast, the RSV called for democratically elected and collectively controlled coordination committees with self defence units in every protest ground from the onset of the protests. We posited that only the combination of these unanimously controlled bodies can form a national leadership which will move in the direction that the masses want and at the same time will be used to measure the progress of the movement. We defended this position throughout the length of the demonstrations and even after. We called for the uprising to be turned into an indefinite general strike to bring down the Buhari regime.
Now new mobilizations have been sparked by the most heart wrenching betrayals—one of the online activists/influencer, Segun Awosanya (Segalink) who is on the Lagos state panel of inquiry for the Lekki massacre voted that the Lekki toll gate, the epicenter of the protests and the site where over a dozen people were killed in one day should reopened for business. Youths are now mobilizing for mass action We have always held the position that no justice can come out of the panel since it was not even democratically constituted. Revolutionaries can only argue to promote the interests of the working masses by showing that the government and its institutions in the present form are enemies of the people, thus winning more people to the revolutionary cause.
Which is more heart wrenching? To vote for the reopening of the illicit business scheme at the site where innocents were massacred or to hold symposia or conferences with class traitors like Ayuba Wabba, (Where Is The Light) the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). We leave our “socialist” activists to decide. We have always called for the removal of the degenerate bureaucracy heading the labour movement, not only in writing but by pushing for an actual campaign to that effect.
In time, the youth and popular masses will rise again to shake the system but for that shake to possess the power to collapse the system we must organize democratically and rely on our own strength not in petty-bourgeois, liberal activists or pacifists. The permanent emancipation of Nigerians from economic hardship, state high-handedness, insecurity, tribalism can only be founded on a socialist bases. Socialism is impossible without a Revolutionary Workers Party which will drive the revolution to a socialist victory. Building an international Revolutionary Workers Party is the ultimate commitment of the RCIT!
Justice for the victims of Black Tuesday, extrajudicial killings and police brutality all over Nigeria! For the reversal of all hikes in PMS price and electricity tariff! Fight for a publicly controlled employment program! Stop the toll collection at Lekki permanently!
Support the #OccupyLekkiTollGate campaign! Form Action Committees and Armed Self Defence Guards to fend off state sponsored thugs in uniform or without! No more “leaderless” movement! For an indefinite general strike now!
The hope that the UN will wade in to save the day has been exposed for what it is—a hoax. No trust in the ICC, UN or any other imperialist institution! No trust or illusion in the US, EU or Chinese government for pro-masses intervention! Form rather solidarity links with the masses fighting dictatorship and anti-people governments in Thailand, Myanmar, Haiti!
Only consistent mass actions can pressurize any panel to bequeath justice! Justice however can only be fully served when the incorrigible ruling class are vanquished and replaced by a planned economy controlled by the workers and poor peasants government!
For a Revolutionary Workers Party in Nigeria and globally! This is what the RCIT is fighting for! Join the RCIT!