Join the campaign for Independence of the Southern Ethnic Nationalities but no political support for the Southern governors and their proxies!
Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (Nigerian Section of the RCIT) https://revolutionarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com/, 21.03.2021
Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a Sunday Igboho the acclaimed leader of the Yoruba rights movement had on Wednesday 17th, March declared the establishment of Yoruba nation in the South West through a press conference attended by Prof. Banji Akintoye, President of Ilana Omo Oduduwa, another Yoruba nationalist association and other national rights activists. In response, Yerima Shettima on behalf of the Arewa Youth Forum has given a 72 hour ultimatum to all northern based Yoruba people to evacuate the north. This follows a long drawn war of words between the Southern and Northern governors surrounding the activities of Northern armed groups across the nation.¹
At this point it is imperative that revolutionaries fight for the leadership of the nationalist movements. This must be done by giving unconditional support to the call for secession of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the agitators for Oduduwa nation while giving no political approval to their openly reactionary leaderships. Genuine leftists, democrats and socialists must support the campaign or iniative for autonomy, self-government and even the establishment of self defense militias like the ESN by the southern ethnic nationalities while reserving the right to take position on issues concerning or surrounding the movement including forming a political opposition to the leaderships of these movements.
We however clamour for the founding of prospective Biafra and Oduduwa nations on a socialist bases, that is, added to the stance against northern-Fulani hegemony, must be the expropriation of the southern bourgeoisie without compensation and the establishment of a workers state through a planned economy. This workers and poor peasant government must be led by a Revolutionary Workers Party which surrounds itself with the workers vanguard-the most advanced layers of the working class.
It is important to bear in mind that it is the same southern ruling class viz the southern governors and their proxies who have sold out the working masses time and again for executive positions, business deals, the purchase of national assets and corporations etc., to their counterparts in the north. All indications point to the northern hegemony’s refusal to grant key executive positions to the southern mostly the south western ruling class in the 2023 general elections as the main motivation for the push towards secession by the southern ruling class. Albeit, the overall current that makes the marriage of convenience of the Nigerian ruling class factions now unbearable cum the heightened support amongst the masses to burst asunder this prison house of ethnic nationalities is the global crises of capitalism.
That is why the quest for national liberation comes up as one of the episodic upheavals of the present phase of capitalist chaos. Thus we warn of a tendency for betrayal by the so-called leaders of these movements when they are thrown a bone by their hegemonic masters in the north. Sunday Igboho and his more easterly colleagues like Asari Dokubo have an history of being political bedmates with the southern ruling class. Sunday Igboho has been alleged countless times of being a stooge of the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the brainchild of whom is the All Progressives Congress (APC). The southern ruling caucus have been responsible for the riveting hardship that has plagued the southern working class and poor so they are not in any position to lead the fight against northern oppression.
In spite of the almost certain propensity for their betrayal in one way or the other, the balance of national forces might have reached a Rubicon meaning that in the advent of a betrayal many southerners would lose confidence the more in the southern ruling class and seek a more radical alternative not only to the national question but other aspects of living creating some vacuum for revolutionary socialists to fill. Fundamentally, the worsening catastrophe of global capitalism is responsible for the same. The extent, however, to which this vacuum will be filled depends on the participation of socialist activists in the campaign for liberation of the southern ethnic nationalities.
Unfortunately, even at this stage many activists, a sizable chunk from the “socialist” camp do not recognize any revolutionary or progressive content in the nationalist campaigns. They define the movement in terms of its reactionary leaderships and make the increased control of the southern bourgeoisie over the economy in the South the only possibility or end of the nationalist movements.
For us in the Vanguard, the fight for the equality of nations especially in the epoch of international oppression or imperialism, is an indispensable feature in the quest for socialist transformation of society. We know that the fight against national oppression, imperialism and for national liberation is more than capable of sparking a socialist revolution. Hence we do not advocate prosecuting the struggle for national liberation through legal or bourgeois parliamentary means such as referendums. A look at nations that have hinged their liberation on referendums have proven to be a disappointment. Just look at the British during fiasco called Brexit. Another example is Catalonia where after a regional referendum the Spanish authorities still denied to them independence.
We also discourage any attempt by the southern governments to achieve autonomy or independence through constitutional amendments. These methods will only lead to painful compromises, concessions and limit the revolutionary potential of the campaigns. Workers unity is only possible when the Northern workers recognise their privileges and relinquish them by supporting the call of the Southern ethnic nationalities for secession. We therefore denounce the quit notice from the Arewa Youth Forum for all northern based Yoruba to leave the North. The Northern workers must form self defense units to protect the workers of Yoruba or southern descent from attacks from bigots and chauvinist aggressors.
In like manner socialists must oppose all forms of ethnic cleansing or reprisal expulsion of northerners or northern ethnic groups from the south as we already pointed out in one of our statements earlier on: “We denounce the call of Sunday Igboho and governor Akeredolu for the evacuation of Fulanis/Fulani nomads from Igangan and Ondo state respectively.”² We are against the creation of a “nationally pure” sovereign state rather we vie for a workers and poor peasant Oduduwa and Biafra republic which respect and protect the rights of minorities within their borders. This remains the only state form that can truly end national oppression and ethnic discrepancies.
As Africans we have been cut off from people who share innumerable cultural similarities with us and our nations divided by the imperialist robbers who partitioned Africa like the spoils of war after 400 years of Transatlantic slavery and plunder. In the Nigerian case, we are surrounded by close nationalities on every side of our borders. On the Eastern side we have the Igbos of Cameroon; on the Western border the Yorubas of Benin Republic. We call for a popular uprising upto an armed insurrection to dislodge the age-old hegemony of northern Nigeria; overthrow the southern bourgeoisie and establish a Socialist Republic of West Africa in which all nations and ethnic nationalities are equal and free from all imperialist burden!
1. https://punchng.com/we-dont-want-nigeria-again-but-yoruba-nation-sunday-igboho/, Benin Republic Chief to FG: Stop senseless killings in Nigeria, emulate us, ban open grazing, After Dokubo’s Formation of ‘Biafra Government,’ Igboho Declares South-West as ‘Yoruba Nation’
2. See on this: Nigeria: National Question and the Liberation Struggle Today, https://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revolutionarycommunism-new-series-51/; See also: 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 Mar, 2021. https://revolutionarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com/2021/03/01/for-a-peoples-militia-to-defeat-the-conquest-of-northern-hegemony/