Nigeria: Take the #BringBackOurBoys Campaign to the Streets!

Turn this Campaign into a Popular Uprising to Bring Down the APC Regime! Form Armed Militias to Rescue the Students and Defeat Boko Haram!


Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (Nigerian Section of the RCIT), 15.12.2020.




1. Over 300 school boys were kidnapped by Boko Haram in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina state, north western Nigeria last Saturday. This occurs while the nation is still reeling from the agony of the massacre of dozens of rice farmers in cold blood at Zabarmari less than three weeks ago.[1] As expected the abduction has sparked the regular theatrics between sections of the Nigerian ruling class respectively the so-called Legislative and Executive arms of the Nigerian government. The National Assembly (NASS) has issued a presidential summons for Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to answer for the macabre state of security in the North after the killing of the rice farmers but the president has been a “no show”. What is more interesting is that the president was on a visit to his home town, Daura, just 200km away from Government Science Secondary School where the kidnapping took place yet he has failed to visit the school even 3 days after the event occurred![2]


2. While all of these has rightly sparked new rounds of outrage and alarm amongst liberals, left wing intellectuals and the masses at home even beyond the shores of Nigeria, the truth is that since the killing of peasant farmers in Zabarmari the attacks from BH/ISWAP has been without cessation. For instance, ISWAP terrorists kidnapped ten soldiers, killed one and seized some armoured vehicles and weapons afterwards.[3] These attacks have given more impetus to the call for the replacement of the service chiefs which many left groups such as TIB, RevolutionNow have supported actively. Other leftists and intellectuals find themselves engrossed in a rather verbose debate on whether or not the National Assembly has the right to summon the president especially since the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) decried publicly the right of NASS to seek accountability from his boss.[4]


3. Many socialist organizations limit their analyses and ways forward to the fact that only a workers and masses government can solve the problem of insecurity in the country. Others deride such left organizations for refusing or failing to expose the links between the Nigerian government and the armed insurgents. While both points are very valid these tendencies fail to call for an armed workers and peasant militia to fend off attacks and vanquish Boko Haram and ISWAP once and for all. If the solution to the problem of National insecurity, in fact all problems facing mankind, is a revolutionary workers government then why do these organizations not encourage the formation of armed militia by this same workers. Surely if the Buhari regime is complicit in the sustenance of these terrorist groups then the solution must be a people’s militia comprising of workers, peasants, students and the masses at large formed, although not as a rule, through their organs such as the trade unions, students unions and civil society organizations which must not collaborate with the state forces of the Nigerian government.


4. The failure of these “socialist” organizations to call for the armament of the people as a means of defence is largely due to their characterization of police, military and other forces of state cohesion as workers. This can be seen in their intransigent call for increase in police wages; better welfarism for police and military personnel. Some even go as far calling for police unions.* Meanwhile Marxists have always maintained that the scientific yardstick for defining a worker lies not solely in the fact they earn a wage but that they create value in production of commodities or rendering of a service. Only by this means can the mode of exploitation inherent the capitalist system be scientifically explained and hence placed at the foundation of all misnomers in human society. Our leftists ignore this fact and subsequently ignore the fact that in the US and other imperialist countries where these forces are better paid or live under better conditions their attitude is no less racist (even now black people like Casey Goodson have been recently killed indiscriminately by police in the US) and anti-people which is a proof that their fundamental essence is to maintain the capitalist system. This is the background which restrains their most active campaign to the replacement of service chiefs.


5. The call for the replacement of the service chiefs is a genuine and popular cause amongst the masses, it possesses the potential to weaken the Buhari regime as it is a means through which the people vent their frustration at the regime but it is a demand borne out of illusion of the mass in the system. That is why failing to call the people to arms is tantamount to treacherous reformism which surrenders the people as guinea pigs for slaughter in the politics of “left-wing” forces to take power through bourgeois elections.


6. This kind of leftism also leads to a non-existent or a careless characterization of armed insurgents. In our previous piece on this issue we stated: “the Nigerian government for decades has through its neo-liberal policies which have translated to abject poverty and feudal backwardness in the Northern region been culpable in the rise of such groups as the foot soldiers of these armed insurgents are mostly paupers from the lowest rung of society”, and “BH/ISWAP are products of the deterioration of British colonial policy which granted independence on the basis that Nigeria will remain subservient to Western imperialism” [5] but this doesn’t mean all Islamic insurgents can be lumped into one category of “terrorism” as is often done by Western imperialist media. There are groups that are actually anti-imperialist such as the Tuareg rebels in Mali which revolutionaries must give military support without giving any political approval to their reactionary leaderships.


7. BH/ISWAP are of the Wahhabi-Salafi Islamists, a type of reactionary Takfiri sect that counts as enemies every other party which does not share its ideology including other muslims and is very much similar to Daesh (ISIS). This group(s) must be isolated and defeated. To not carefully characterize these groups, that is, to not estimate their concrete role in society, is to feed the propaganda which justifies the US, Russian and EU imperialist aggression in the Middle-East; the genocide of the Israeli apartheid state in Palestine; or fanning the flames of Islamophobia by which Arab and African migrants are repressed and denied their democratic rights cum freedoms.


8. For this cause, we denounce all forms of “anti-terrorist” intervention of any Great Power whether from the Western camp (US, EU, Japan) or from the East (China, Russia). We say that all imperialist forces and military bases in Africa like the one in Mali must be driven out of the continent. Also we seize this medium to call for the dissolution and defeat of the AMISOM.[6] For us in the Vanguard, no trust must be had in the International Criminal Court (ICC), it is a puppet structure that most times bends to imperialist whims, at other times it is used as a tool of Great Power rivalry. This time bodies like the ICC claim to “investigate” just to pacify the anger of the people leading the morphing revolutionary mood to a miscarriage. Likewise, no collaboration with the native bourgeoisie—the executioners of imperialist directives, and their body guards—police and military.


9. We support the #BringBackOurBoys campaign, albeit the campaign is limited in its online form. It must be transformed into street protests and subsequently a popular uprising to bring down the Buhari regime. We reiterate that no victory over armed insurgencies can be complete without the defeat of the Nigerian capitalist elite and the freedom of the nation from the caprices of imperialism. That is why any attempt to restore tranquility to the north or any other part of the country must be combined with the struggle against economic attacks and anti-democratic attacks on the people. This uprising should have equal priority for all progressives irrespective of the region of domicile be it SW, SS, SE etc. as the propensity for armed insurgency is not limited to the north alone.


10. A mass based fighting force which is armed both ideologically and physically formed through the workers’ unions; students unions and youth organizations; and other mass based organizations; remains the only body that can quell the threat of armed insurgency as well as ascertain justice for our brothers and sisters massacred in Lekki, Obigbo and throughout the END SARS protests.[7] If these unions or organizations prove too weak by the reason of their reformist or corrupt leaderships the masses must form this force without the approval of their leaderships. In the formation of such a force caution must be taken concerning all those left-wingers who still classify the apparatus of state repression as part of the oppressed as such position can lead to betrayal in the struggle against the capitalist system. In the end, the life-span and success of any such force of the oppressed is dependent on a revolutionary international workers party which is what the RCIT is fighting for!


* For an armed workers and peasant militia to conduct the search and rescue mission of the abducted students! Defeat Boko Haram and ISWAP through an armed peoples militia! Down with the Buhari regime! No trust in the ICC, UN or any intervention of the Great Powers!


* For the immediate end of imperialist military interventions in Africa such as MINUSMA in Mali and AMISOM in S. Support the campaign of the Arab Muslims against Islamophobia! Stop the aggression against muslims in France!


* For food, employment and housing program for the Northern poor! No discrimination against the Alimajirai!


* For a revolutionary workers party! Join the RCIT to achieve this goal!





* police have protested in the past and can still protest for whatever reason but this doesn’t change the class characterization of the protesters or have major consequences for the approach of Marxists towards them just the same way the class characterization of the pro-Trump supporters now out on the streets has not changed because they are protesting for a Trump presidency.


For more on the subject of Boko Haram/ISWAP see our previous statement:


Bring Down the Buhari Regime through a Mass Uprising!


Form Armed Workers and Peasant Militias to Defend the Northern People but no “Anti-terrorist” or “Security” Collaboration with State Forces!








ISWAP Terrorists Kidnap Soldier, Kill 10 Others in Borno