Nigeria: For a People’s Militia to Defeat the Conquest of Northern Hegemony!


Defend the Right of Southern Ethnic Nationalities to Secession and Autonomy! For an Indefinite General Strike to Bring Down the Buhari Regime!


Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (RSV) [RCIT Nigeria]. 01 March 2021.




Gunmen suspected to be bandits have abducted over 100 people, including 80 nursing mothers and children in Sabuwar Tunga village, Dankurmi district in the Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.” [1] This occurs when the abduction of over 300 girls in Jangebe, Zamfara state in Western Nigeria by armed groups goes unresolved. The attack in Maru is the latest in a string of macabre attacks throughout the country. To mention a few, Boko Haram attacked local residences killing 36 people in Kano and Kaduna states on the eve of the abduction in Jangebe. Beyond the 3 persons killed in Yewa North Local government of Ogun state between February 13&14, the herdsmen crises in the local government is worsening. A day does not go by without abductions and/or terrorist attacks happening in at least one part of the country. The answer of the federal government has been negotiations and ransom payment to these terrorists who are christened as “bandits”. In fact, the national assembly is currently considering giving amnesty to them.[2]


In contrast, air raids have been conducted against Eastern Security Network (ESN) forces after intense fighting with the army. Pastors and other religious leaders have equally been arrested for allegedly being part of IPOB/ESN. Bank accounts of the popular self-acclaimed agitator for Yoruba rights, Sunday Igboho, has been frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before foiled attacks were made by a combination of DSS, police and army to arrest probably intimidate him. Amotekun (South Western Security Network) corps have been shot, arrested and attacked by both police and other state forces.[3]


As expected more and more interesting developments follow from the South in response to the biased nature of the federal government. To many southerners it is the backing of oppression of southern ethnic nationalities by the entrenched Hausa-Fulani barons of the far north who also dominate the federal government and the state forces. Hence the people of Edo state have not ceased to voice out against the domination of their forests by killer Fulani herdsmen. Similarly the Niger Delta militants, a group with a history of fighting the environmental degradation caused by transnational oil magnates such as Chevron, have threatened to launch attacks in Lagos and Abuja.[4]


We say that the current degree of armed insurgency which is majorly perpetrated by northern actors throughout the country, including attacks by Boko Haram and ISWAP, is founded in the age long onslaught of the far north to conquer the southern and middle belt nations that has from the onset had an Islamist coloration. As the governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi, did attest after the abductions in Kagara:


“The agenda is to destroy the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Let’s not make any mistake about it, that’s the ultimate agenda…these are remnants of the actors of the North East that have found themselves in other parts of the country whether they are known as ISWAP, or known as Albanawi faction or as Shekau people.” [5]


However, such conquest and national oppression has reached such a climax due to the peaking crises of the capitalist system. The present chaotic dispensation of the capitalist system exacerbates other tensions upon which the system of exploitation is founded, part of this is national oppression. So not only do the oppressor Hausa-Fulani alliance of the far north have no other choice than to step up operations for their conquest, but the southern ruling class also finds it extremely difficult to continue to collude with the northern cabals. Hence, more notable figures of the southern ruling class have begun to campaign, albeit, in the reactionary ways for a Nigeria where the North has significantly less control. This was the major theme during the second term inauguration of the Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu:


” Restructuring should not be driven by political expediency, but by economic and financial viability. “The resources in each state should belong to the states. The constituent entities should pay federal taxes or royalties for those resources.” On unity of the nation, he argued that instead of a Federal Government of Nigeria, the citizens could think of the United States of Nigeria or the Commonwealth of Nigeria…former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, said the topic was apt since it was aimed at addressing the problems facing the country and exploring opportunities that abound. Governor Akeredolu…blamed the growing sectional activism, which he said, was gradually replacing national patriotism, on the faulty federalism being operated in the country. He lamented that most Nigerians were losing faith in ‘Unity in Diversity,” mantra while urging that true federalism was the only opportunity to restore national consciousness.”[6]


Only a handful of left wing forces reserve a correct assessment of the nature of the crises, even less are able to give limited support to the national movements or agitators. In essence, this means leaving the leadership of the movement for equality across all ethnic nationalities to petty bourgeois-liberal or even outrightly bourgeois forces like the governors of the southern states. What these leftists cannot see is that the national conflicts have crossed a Rubicon because just like the capitalist chaos that threw them up it will be nearly impossible to return to pre-crisis normal. In this case both the oppressor nations of the far north and the oppressed ethnic nationalities of the south are determined to change the balance of forces forever.


We have tried in previous statements on the same question to point out that the mechanism of collapse of country wide security can be very much hinged on national oppression/inequality using the oppression of minorities in the US as a paradigm, that is, minorities or people from oppressed nationalities are mostly at the receiving end of the so-called insecurity. This is the same for Nigeria, even though most of these attacks are concentrated in the north, the heightened levels of such attacks in the south shows that the attacks are in line with a conquest which must also take place throughout the whole northern region since as many intellectuals have pointed out: “the north is not monolithic.” That is, it has its own fair share of minority ethnic nationalities. The US as an imperialist nation is hell bent not just on maintaining its global hegemony but improving it by oppressing nations beyond its borders yet it is racist towards national minorities within its borders because the treatment of nationalities within its borders and beyond is part of one agenda of imperialism. This is a replica of what we see in the federal government of Nigeria which is controlled by the northern region.


Thus, since the crises we are now facing cannot be sufficiently understood as a security failing of the Nigerian state, Buhari cannot also be seen as the main source of the problem. So any anti-government campaign that does involve or include resolving the national question respectively incorporating the struggle for national liberation of the ethnic nationalities of the south, is incomplete. It should suffice to say that before the emergence of Buhari as president extremist groups such as Boko Haram have flourished unrestrained. Even though Buhari has worsened the pale of all facets of Nigerian living like every other member of the ruling class around the world in this time of burgeoning capitalist catastrophe. He is far from being the sole or major cause of the national crises. The conflict between majority and minority ethnic nationalities is first a reflection of the inherent contradictions in the capitalist system and as such has its roots in Nigerian colonial society:


Ahmadu Bello, the premier of the Northern Region, for instance, criticized the idea of carving out the Middle Belt State from the Northern Region. He described the Minorities Commission as a “wandering and most embarrassing commission” set up by the colonial office. Bello argued that his great-great grandfather’s family had ruled virtually the entire Northern Region without any difficulty and wondered why any group should agitate for the creation of a physically incongruous Middle Belt. Bello also stated that state creation in Nigeria would lead to further disintegration along ethnic lines. Based partly on these arguments, the Minorities Commission concluded that the boundaries of the three regions should remain intact.


Bello’s reference to the Minorities Commission as the “most embarrassing commission” lends credence to the view that the British nurtured despotism in the North by vesting a lot of powers on the ruling class and their relatives. Some scholars have interpreted these developments as showing that colonial authorities were more inclined to protecting the interest of the Northern leaders than other groups. While making a case for the retention of a large region in the North, Bello raised a vital issue that is easily neglected in the minority discourses.” [7]


We support the cause of the Niger Delta militants. For decades, their lands have been destroyed and their water bodies contaminated by oil spills and other effluents from oil exploration of multinational corporations. What is worse is that this region has seen subsequent decrease in the already minuscule amount of oil revenue allocated to it making it one of the poorest regions in Nigeria:


A more widely supported demand of the oil-producing states and communities is that a significant proportion (usually put at not less than 10 per cent) of federally collected mineral revenues should be returned to the producing areas on the basis of the derivation principle. Derivation is, of course, a long-standing principle of revenue allocation in Nigeria. The derivation or origin principle of distribution stipulates that a significant proportion of the revenues collected in a locality should be returned to that locality or segment. Derivation has, however, been progressively de-emphasised as mineral exploration replaced agricultural exports as the principal source of government revenues and foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria. This change in the rules for allocating revenues has been denounced by ethnic minority elements as a politically motivated assault by the majority nationalities on the economic rights of minority communities who are perceived as too small and weak to threaten the stability of the federation.”


“The following statements by the first civilian Governor of Rivers State and the representatives of the Ijaw community, respectively, aptly capture the intensity of ethnic minority resentments over the perceived abortion or distortion of the derivation principle by the Federal Government:


Derivation as a revenue allocation criterion is not new in this country. It featured prominently when cocoa, groundnuts, etc, were the main sources of revenue for Nigeria. But it has continued to be deliberately suppressed since crude oil became the mainstay of the country’s wealth… simply because the main contributors of the oil wealth are the minorities…. there have been disheartening contradictions and inconsistencies in Nigeria, a nation that recognised 100 per cent derivation as the basis for revenue allocation in 1950, but reduced it to 50 per cent at independence in 1960; to 45 percent in 1970; 20 per cent in 1975; 1.5 per cent in 1982 and 3 per cent in 1992 as crude oil, found in the Ijaw country, became the main source of national revenue” [8]


Admittedly, the Niger Delta militants have been largely inconsistent and have been most times bought over especially when a politician from the South-South region is represented at the federal level, for instance, President Goodluck Jonathan. Albeit this does not invalidate or reduce the legitimacy of their cause rather it is a weakness of their leadership. Genuine revolutionaries are obligated to give critical support to the militants while denying the leadership any political endorsements by criticizing its flaws in order to win the membership for the truly emancipatory practice. We are not against guerilla warfare as a tactic for revolutionary struggle but no illusion should be had that the total liberation of the oppressed can come through this means alone since the balance of forces must change considerably for a workers and poor peasant government to be established:


As Marxist revolutionaries, we do not oppose guerrilla warfare as a tactic in the service of proletarian revolutionary warfare, and as a section of the ‘regular’ workers’ army consisting of armed workers’ militias. We do, however, strongly oppose guerrilla-ism, which is the idealist belief that guerrilla warfare could or should replace the proletarian army and achieve victory on its own.”[9]


As earlier mentioned all anti-government campaigns, like the on-going #BuhariMustGo campaign, that does not also acknowledge the exigence of providing solutions to questions of autonomy and self-determination of southern and central regions/ethnic nationalities is incomplete. These campaigns must also include or occur simultaneously with the call to remove the duplicitous leaderships of the labour movement. Our leftists put themselves in a dilemma, they do not support the liberation movements of oppressed ethnic nationalities, yet they refuse to campaign for the deposition of Wabba and Oladimeji, the leaders of the NLC and TUC, bodies they agree is pivotal to overcoming the bourgeois regime in Nigeria. They conflate support for the national liberation movements in the south with support for their reactionary leaderships.


True, the working-class vanguard must dominate the leadership of revolutionary movements before a socialist victory is possible, but this does not invalidate all other struggles which are not based on economic issues. Rather, it means pouring the revolutionary liberation struggle of the working class into all areas of resistance of the oppressed. For this to happen, the trade unions and all structures of the workers movement must be purged of the bureaucratic scum floating atop the movement, clogging it torrents from bringing down the APC/PDP regime and leading the liberation struggle of the southern ethnic nationalities.


We seize this medium to stress again that only nations/ethnic nationalities fighting to maintain their dominance or oppression are tribalistic. Nations or ethnic nationalities in their fight for liberation cannot be tribalistic since they fight for their emancipation against oppression. However the RCIT rejects all forms of bourgeois nationalism. Workers and masses of the northern ethnic nationalities must recognize their bourgeois as the main enemy and support the right of the southern ethnic nationalities to economic and political autonomy even up to secession!


Thus we say: Down with northern ethnic jingoism! Similarly we oppose all tribalist attacks whether verbal or otherwise launched by the Yoruba ruling class against the Igbo people or any other oppressed nationality/minority in any part of Nigeria and vice versa. These tropes, for instance during the #OccupyLekkiTollGate and the #EndSARS campaign, are attempts to increase their own powers to oppress the workers and masses. While we agree that the bane of the issue is not nomadic/pastoral farming but the Northern hegemony, we say that the southern people have every right to ban open grazing/nomadic farming in their region. Hence, we do not support the strike of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACABAN) (10) who are demanding unrestrained access to land for herdsmen. MACABAN has played the role of the middle man in negotiations with reactionary terrorists and killer Fulani herdsmen on behalf of the federal government and is tool of northern aggression towards respectively conquest, of the south.


Finally, for us in the RCIT while revolutionaries must give no political support to reactionary leaderships of the nationalist movements viz-a-viz the south western governors as they participate in the liberation struggles, the permanent liberation of the southern ethnic nationalities is hinged on a socialist struggle which seeks to bring down the Buhari regime and expropriate the bourgeoisie in all parts of the country so as to install a workers government based on a planned economy and nationalization of commanding heights of the economy. The southern ruling class are either too weak or too treacherous to carry through the total liberation of the south from northern hegemonic forces. They may sell out the liberation struggle as they have always done for a federal government positions. Worse, they sponsor a campaign of chauvinism against each other to atomize and demobilize the masses. Their petty bourgeois counterparts, like Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho are not any better because they retain illusions in the system, that is, their nationalism is within the confines of the capitalist system.


Form self-defense militias to protect the northern people! Decimate Boko Haram, ISWAP with all their appendages and offspring like the so-called bandits and killer herdsmen! Stop the ethnic jingoism in the north! No support for the MACABAN strike!


For a national liberation struggle of oppressed nationalities in the south and central parts of Nigeria which seeks to secure the right of self-determination (secession) and the highest level of political cum economic autonomy for these nationalities!


Defend the ESN from military attacks! But no political support for the reactionary leaderships of these groups and the southern nationalist movements vis the southern governments! Stop the attacks on Sunday Igboho!


Support the Buhari must go campaign! For an indefinite general strike to bring down the Buhari regime! Kick out the rotten bureaucracy holding back the workers with a WABBA MUST GO campaign!


For a Revolutionary Workers Party now!






(2) Guardian: Again, suspected herders kill three in OgunNigeria,




Vanguard: Sunday Igboho, securitymen in botched arrest drama.


The Nation Newspaper: Police confirm arrest of three Amotekun operatives in Oyo.


Vanguard: FG has frozen my bank accounts, Sunday Igboho raises the alarm.,


(4) Vanguard: Edo group faults Bauchi governor on armed herdsmen.


Vanguard: Niger Delta militants return, vow to destroy all infrastructure in Lagos, Abuja.






(7) See: Usuanlele-National Question in Nigeria, Historicizing Ethnic Minorities’ Movements and State Creation in Nigeria, 1946–1967, Arua Oko Omaka, p. 47


(8) See on this: Ethnic Minority Conflicts and Governance in Nigeria, Rotimi T. Suberu, Chapter 3: Ethnic Minority Problems and Oil Politics: A Case Study of Rivers State, p. 27-47,


(9) See: The Zionist Wars. A History of the Zionist Movement and Imperialist Wars, Book by Yossi Schwartz, Revolutionary-Communist International Tendency (RCIT). Chapter 1: Marxism and Wars