Defeat the Wahhabi Gangs in the North! Don’t Wait for Elections! Form Armed Workers and Popular Militias Now!
Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (RSV), Nigerian Section of the RCIT, 6.7.2022. http://www.revolutonarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com
The attack on Kuje Prison, Abuja, last night is the fiercest in a string of attacks by Wahhabi groups in the last 24hrs. The other notable attacks being the ambush of the Advance Presidential Convoy to Katsina state with 2 casualties and the killing of Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state with each occurring in different locations.¹ These attacks have brought the unsettled uproar from the recent Ogbaru massacre, revealed from reports and viral videos online, to new levels of apprehension.
“Troops of the Nigerian military comprising the Navy and the Army have reportedly killed dozens of innocent citizens in the productive age bracket in Ogbaru communities of Anambra State. SaharaReporters was told that the wanton killings, it was gathered took place on Tuesday night, 28th and early hours of Wednesday, 29th June 2022 at Ossomala, Umunankwo and Obeagwa communities. The deployment of the military personnel in the area had begun in the evening of Tuesday during which they claimed to be looking for unknown gunmen that recently laid the area under siege, according to sources.
The soldiers, according to information SaharaReporters obtained,later turned their guns on the defenceless and unarmed natives and others, while abandoning the forests where the locals said were the hideouts of the unknown gunmen located inside big river/swamp forest of Obene-Ochuche/Umuzu/Okija divided by Ulasi River.
The soldiers were said to have been mobilised from Ogbaru Naval Base and Onitsha 302 Artillery Regiment in over 20 trucks with arms and ammunition.” ²
A prison break at a secure high profile facility like Kuje Prison implies the involvement of deep state actors in similar prison breaks in the South East. Moreso, the spate of attacks further threatens the prospects of any elections in 2023 especially since the Wahhabi northern hegemony feels it is losing its grasp of power and control to southern factions of the ruling class.
Secondly, if the Nigerian government would deal with the armed insurgents in the North with the same belligerence with which they carry out massacres in the South, the terrorist chapter would have ended long ago. This bias confirms the unchecked aggression of the Nigerian state towards militant southern groups. It is also a parody to all those critics of the national liberation movements who claim that agitations for secession has become drowned by electioneering for candidates from the largest geopolitical zones in the country.
If these critics will be sincere enough with themselves the massacre at Ogbaru and the Kuje Prison break only show that reducing the degree of attention given to a problem does not mean it is unreal. It is true that the southern national movements have suffered several blows especially since the abduction of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the IPOB and the raid of Chief Sunday Igboho Adeyemo’s (the leading agitator for Yoruba separation from Nigeria) home by DSS men. Moreso, due to fatigue leading members of these movements have capitulated or betrayed under immense pressure from the petty bourgeoisie to instead support one aspirant or the other from the bourgeois jumbo parties and their splinters.
But this is the case with every other movement this election season. As we have mentioned in the past more than once, large swaths of the so called EndSARS frontliners join the caravan of the APC and PDP. The recent splinter from the PDP, the Peter Obi retinue, contains the largest and most popular of these middle-class activists, social media influencers, artists etc.
Shall we then conclude that police brutality was never an issue because Rinu Oduala, Aisha Yesufu, Debo Macaroni and Co. are leading the campaign for a man like Peter Obi who has his own share of scandalous history regarding no other unit of the police force than SARS. This same Peter Obi who failed to honour the invitation to the EndSARS panel of inquiry concerning the activities of SARS when he was governor of Anambra state where they killed youths and dump the corpses in the Izu river.
By the reasoning of these comrades since this is happening “police is your friend” and police brutality in Nigeria is just a hoax. Despite the denial of our “Nigerian socialists” which has been filliped by the election campaigns sections of the national movements remain consistent. June 12, 13 and 14 were days of demonstration by Oodua, Biafra and Ambazonian people in Brussels to demand the liberation of these nations from the stranglehold of Western imperialism.
Every serious revolutionary should by now know the thoroughly decadent role that elections play in a dying capitalist democracy. Elections have lost any revolutionary potential they may have had at the start of the historic triumph of capitalism in the 18th century. The role elections now play is to put a cap on social movements effectively preventing the revolutionary onslaught that will lead to genuine social transformation.
That is why the major contestants for the presidency in 2023 are each one from the so-called 3 largest ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. Further, the most popular, Peter Obi, belongs to one of the most marginalised and therefore most radical of the 3, the Igbos. So the campaign season does not disprove or relegate the importance of the national question. In contrast it reflects that the historical progress of the masses of Nigeria is not possible without resolving the national question.
Aside from the denial of the left, the whole uproar surrounding the Ogbaru massacre has been drowned out by the drive for a Peter Obi presidency. An online discussion using Twitter Spaces was organised with the theme “Organise For Peter Obi and Nigeria” in which over a thousand participants attended to paint the massacre as merely a provocation by northern/APC politicians to divide the electorate in the Eastern and Northern region to which the solution must be the emergence of Peter Obi as president. Not minding whether these killings would continue for the 7 month period that lies ahead before the elections next year.
This was the same thing that happened in 2020 US where the revolutionary mood from the #Justice4GeorgeFloyd protests was funneled into voting for the Democrats despite clear signs and indicators that Biden was one with the racist white supremacist and imperialist government of the US. Like the Biden administration which was an intermittence in the resurgence of far-right wing onslaught in the US which reached significant levels with the emergence of Donald Trump. Peter Obi provides a false sense of succour to lull the revolutionary senses of the masses after the emergence of a similar right-wing figure like Buhari.
For Biden, it took 2 years and the overturning of Roe v Wade for the American public to see how totally incapacitated the administration was before the harrowing capitalist crises and its doppleganger, the rise of far right bonapartist currents. Obi on the other hand may not enter the ballot before the burgeoning crises shatters his whole campaign and render him and the labor aristocrat traitors in the Labour Party as one and the same enemies of the masses like PDP&APC. For one thing, the elections are still in a relatively distant future but most importantly unlike the US, Nigeria is a semi-colonial state where the effects of the collapse of the capitalist system will be felt more excruciatingly. And part of this is the onslaught of Wahhabi raiders including Boko Haram, ISWAP, Bandits, Fulani herdsmen etc.
Thus, revolutionaries cannot proffer elections as a solution irrespective of the candidate. We must first call for popular armament and the formation of self-defence militias in the villages, communities, schools, workplaces, churches to combat the advance of the Fulani-controlled Nigerian state forces. Weapons and aid for IPOB and ESN.
The governor of Borno state has cynically called all citizens in his state to bear arms after years of leaving the people defenceless in the face of the rising Wahhabi tide which has swept hundreds of thousands away from their homes. Besides he himself being part of the northern ruling class which is rooted in the Wahhabi Salafist sect is washing his hands off the plight of the people giving Wahhabist sects the go ahead to overrun the state.
Nevertheless, we don’t subscribe to the petit-bourgeois sentiment that wishes to put its safety in the hands of police and other state forces even though they have not just proven to be incapable of fighting the invaders. They have also been complicit in aiding them and killing change seeking civilians like the during the EndSARS protests in Lekki, Obigbo and now in Ogbaru and Nnewi. We have supported arming the masses of the people against northern Wahhabi groups since the massacre by Fulani herdsmen in Igangan, Oyo state last year.
For us, the national movements down south embodies all revolutionary potential since like the EndSARS movement it brings it members into a collision course with the local, regional and even national ruling class. The SE governors have already constituted for some time now Ebube Agu, a regional force meant to attack and hunt down IPOB/ESN members without leaving their sympathisers out of the attacks. In case of the civil war revolutionaries must support the southern movements for national liberation without giving any political approval to their reactionary leaderships.
It goes without saying that freedom of Biafra will come only after such groups have been vanquished along with their sponsors in the SE governments. Thus, justice for the people of Ogbaru and freedom for the south will pit the masses against any and all faction of the ruling class. Revolutionaries must build their ranks on not just an internationalist but also an anti-imperialist basis to ensure the victory of the oppressed!
1. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/07/breaking-terrorists-bomb-kuje-prison-2/; https://saharareporters.com/2022/07/05/breaking-terrorists-currently-attacking-kuje-prison-abuja; https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/07/breaking-terrorists-bomb-kuje-prison-2/; https://saharareporters.com/2022/07/06/breaking-terrorist-attack-many-inmates-escape-kuje-prison-abuja-others-including; bit.ly/3yg4qcl