Nigeria: In the Face of Deepening Insecurity, Anti-People Economic Policies and State Clampdown: Call for an Indefinite General Strike to Kick-Out APC/PDP!

Launch a “Wabba Must Go” Campaign! Fight for the Democratic Running of the Labour Unions!


Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (Nigerian Section of the RCIT), 18.12.2020,




The audacious rampage of Boko Haram and ISWAP has and will definitely embolden the rise of more decadent gangs ready to devour society through the use of arms, if not for anything, for the fact that BH/ISWAP has had a free ride to perpetuate the most vicious mayhem since 2009/10. So just two days ago, there were reports of abductions in other parts of the country.[1] Many highways and interstate routes have now been declared unsafe because of the activities of kidnappers and bandits. At least one person from all walks of life, including high-ranking members of the police and military, has had some experience with armed gangs of abductors or bandits who collected some form of ransom if they did not kill their hostages.


In any case, the rise of these violent gangs cannot be blamed solely on the activities of Boko Haram since as we have recently stated Boko Haram is an excrescence of the sustenance of the colonial model of running Nigeria coupled with anti-people policies that has left the economy in a continuum of degradation for decades which, in turn, only translates to extreme and multidimensional poverty for the overwhelming majority of Nigerians. As we speak, the already worse living conditions for the poverty capital of the world is about to become more ominous. Just imagine the chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai claiming that terrorism will persist in Nigeria for the next two decades![2]


In the immediate, the naira-dollar rate has sky-rocketed causing pocket tearing inflation in the price of goods and services. This is further exacerbated by the steady increase in the pump price of PMS and other petroleum products by the Buhari regime since May this year. Add to this the crazy electricity bills for unstable Power supply. Experts announced late last month that Nigeria had just entered a new economic recession but in the experience of many Nigerians the economy has never been fruitful. A study shows that almost 8000 bank workers were laid off in the first nine months of this year.[3] This is while the Nigerian corrupt ruling class continues to obtain loans from China and the World Bank for their white elephant projects such as building oil refineries abroad or in neighboring countries and allocating humongous quotas of the annual National budget to beautifying the National Assembly and other government houses so that they can siphon money by awarding contracts to family and friends. All these happen without any reduction in the jumbo salaries and numerous allowances of representatives and law makers.


However, for people to be kept in penury an iron-hand of stiff state repression is required and this can be seen most visibly in the mass murder of protesters through out the country during the END SARS protests. As the END SARS protests were coming to a halt governments at different levels launched a man-hunt for protesters and dissenters. In Rivers state, governor Nyesom Wike immediately deployed police and military forces to invade the homes of supposed IPOB members at Obigbo, these forces dragged scores of their targets out of their homes and murdered them in cold blood.[4] A similar occurrence took place in the sub-urban or rural areas of Lagos state where local authorities, after the razing of police stations by angry youths, mobilized thugs from the Oduduwa People’s Congress (OPC), a reactionary sect which poses as a national liberation organization of the Yoruba people, on a search and kill mission of supposed looters during the protests, the people in those local government areas still fear that the harassment of this group will continue.


Several individuals and groups of protesters have been charged to court, detained or restricted from freely moving by the confiscation of their international passports. About 14 bank accounts have been frozen on accusations of allegedly funding the END SARS protests. Mr Nicholas Makolomi, the man who was instrumental in spreading the video where SARS officers brutally a young man sparking the explosion of the END SARS protests has been rearrested while DJ Switch who did a live coverage of the Lekki massacre on instagram is currently in asylum in Canada.[5]


Towards the tail end of the protests the federal lawmakers tried to resuscitate the social media bill which they had twice failed to push through because of the public outrage, there were even talks of banning Twitter in Nigeria by presidential aides. The attempts to impose draconian censorship on social media has only lost attention now because of the recent terrorist attacks. All of these occur amidst unabated police brutality as a roadside newspaper vendor was killed by men on the security detail of the speaker of the house representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, when his convoy was passing by.[6] Another man, this time a tricycle driver was killed by police for refusing to pay bribes. While other reports similar to this abound many often go unreported. There are also trace considerations amongst the ruling class to return the people to the repressive lockdowns.[7]


The governors of other Northern states like Jigawa, Zamfara and Kaduna have ordered the shut down of secondary schools in response to the recent abduction of 300 school boys in Kankara. The premonition is that more Northern states will follow suit. This happens as the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) have threatened to call for a strike should the worsening state of security persist especially regarding institutions of learning.[8] Recall that almost all universities across the nation have been paralysed by the strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which demanded the payments of owed allowances and salaries of academic staff coupled with increased funding of the education sector with scrapping the austerity scheme, IPPIS. Similarly, the many branches of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have sustained their strike which began to spread from May during the lockdowns.


In the face of this deluge of capitalist attacks, the reactionary and corrupt bureaucracy at the head of the trade unions have kept mum. They have capitulated to all imposition of austerity measures turning a blind eye to the burning questions of insecurity as they show indifference to the shrinking democratic space in the nation. These compromised bureaucratic leaderships must be driven out of the labour unions at all levels and divisions; in the sister unions as well as in the mother unions. Concretely, Ayuba Wabba and Quadri Olaleye of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress respectively must be kicked out and replaced with truly democratic organs of workers decision making in the Labour movement.


No doubt, this is impossible without fighting for full internal democracy in the unions, that is, fighting for the unions to be democratically run by its members through regular or periodic meetings to determine the steps to take at every point in time. All decisions made by the NLC and TUC must be the summation of discussion amongst rank and file members of the labour unions even from the lowest levels. No secret meetings with the government! All meetings with the government must not be without first a congress of workers. We propose the slogan; “WABBA MUST GO” to drive in the campaign for a the dismissal of the corrupt trade union bureaucrats leading the movement and the restoration of democratic decision making in the unions.


The already striking workers union such as ASUU and NARD must lend their voice in unison to fight against insecurity and clampdown on democratic rights. It makes absolutely no difference if truly about 340 recently kidnapped boys have been released since this was the same thing that happened with over a hundred girls in Dapchi. More so two of the abducted students have already lost their lives in a cross fire between state forces and the captors. What is more disturbing is that there is every probability that hundreds of school boys are still in captivity since the actual number of abducted students have hardly been established, some reports put the figure at 500 while other say 600 students were abducted [9]


The popular masses must be ready to defend themselves against state sponsored thugs in uniforms and marauding gangs of armed raiders in our collective fight for emancipation from all these attacks. However, arms are meant for the sustenance or the defeat of a state. No state can exist likewise be defeated without arms. That is why all attempts by the workers and oppressed masses to rescue the abducted students must be combined with a general strike to fight all anti-people can anti-democratic attacks as well as gain freedom from the tight grip of APC/PDP!