On Important Features of the Current Political Scene in Nigeria


By Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard [RCIT Nigeria], 6 July 2020, https://revolutionarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com




In Nigeria, the political atmosphere is tense and is made up of a combination of factors which creates a precipitous situation where anything is possible within the shortest limits of time. As we have noted earlier in one of our statements the whole bourgeois order is in chaos with varying developments in line with this trend making the headlines almost on a daily bases. The most controversial of these multiplying rifts is the emergence of bourgeois populist forces which are constituted in the so-called National Consultative Front (NCF), which began to collapse almost immediately as it was formed now that some advertised members of the movement have denied giving their consent or being involved in the formation of the party. Even though the movement/party was said to be the new “third force”, the members who now decline involvement comprise of the most progressive of the populist lot. [1]


Further to the aforementioned state of the ruling class quagmire is the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the ranks of the Nigerian government officials. Even the echelons are not left out. As you know, the chief of staff to the president, Abba Kyari and the former governor of Oyo state died of the disease but to mention a few new cases, the incumbent governor of Ondo state and his wife have both contracted the virus.[2] The commissioner for health in Ondo state died recently from the virus.[3] Although the cause of death is not sometimes disclosed there are other under-reported cases of due to the less popular nature of the personalities. Examples include the Kogi state governor’s aide, Siaka Oyibo and Tinubu’s aide.[4] In short as we noted in our most recent statement the bourgeois order in Nigeria is riddled with crises and all of this tend towards more acute factionalization of this class which will continue to accelerate under the mix of the weight of the global economic crisis and the coming elections.


This will in one way or the other make the ruling class more desperate such that it will launch attacks on the suffering masses. Even though a considerable number of the restrictions have been eased the economic and anti-democratic attacks continue but the restrictions are not over. The president announced some days back that the second phase of the easing the restrictions will take effect from 30th of June to 27th of July, this according to the plan should come with the reopening of secondary schools for graduating students to prepare for and take their exams.[5] Albeit, there are increasing speculations of a return to the lock downs especially in Lagos state.[6] All of these happen at a time when the official figures of infected cases of COVID-19 experience larger and larger leaps every passing day.[7]


To the Nigerian people this figures lack credibility and are just a ploy to “allocate” funds for dealing with the virus; for purportedly distributing food and other relief materials to the people or for obtaining more loans from international credit institutions and world governments. This is hardly surprising since the body language of the Buhari regime since the beginning of the pandemic has been thoroughly perfidious and as such has subjected the average Nigerian to deepening poverty and abject misery. During the lock downs, not up to 0.25% of Nigerians had access to palliatives, now afterwards the government plans to cut 40% of the health budget and at the same time renovate the national assembly complex with a whooping 27 billion naira. This happens amidst several mass lay-offs, wage cuts and inflation.


As if all of this was not enough the government has increased the pump price of PMS from 125 to 143.8 naira per liter.[8] This has expectedly sparked outrage amidst Nigerians especially the middle layers even the reactionary bureaucracy of the Nigeria Labour Congress has been pressurized to condemn the move alongside other union leaderships. This trend of increment and privatization may continue or spread to other sectors with visible signs, one of which is the newly imposed stamp duty.[9] Naturally such a hike will definitely cause further upward spike in the inflation index. All of this is without mentioning the heightened level of domestic and gender based violence. Reports have it that over 770 cases of rape alone has been highlighted.


The common man in Nigeria is now a victim of arbitrary arrests and police brutality; adverse financial and economic conditions; increasing government attacks and little or no access to standard health facilities. These are naturally the recipe for worsening dissatisfaction with the government.


Unfortunately large sections of the Nigerian left is still limping from a bitter storm of crises. This can be characterized or simplified by two examples. First, the split in the CWI Nigeria last month which equally led to the Movement for Socialist Alternative which is under the ISA with the original faction, the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) remaining loyal to the CWI.[10] Another example of this left crises is the break of the Socialist Vanguard Tendency (SVT) from the Coalition for Revolution due to a bitter discord they have sustained with the Socialist Workers and Youth League (SWL) (the organization which numerically dominates CORE and TIB) for the past couple of years but which spiralled to abysmal levels with both parties throwing shades of slander at each other. Now a new leadership has been set up for CORE since the defection of the SVT whose leader was one of the co-convener of the organization.


We have emphasized that the reason for this crises is that these organizations were either branches of international centrist or reformist organizations or they have simply been greatly influenced by centrist, opportunist, Stalinist, reformist and populist persuasions. Thankfully the wave of global anti-racist protests whose spark arose from the US have given also the Nigerian masses the courage to outrightly defy the lock down regime and the counterrevolutionary confinement of the ruling class since they joined the #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd protests in the US. With this came a new wave of anti-rape protests in Nigeria as the rape cases soared. More interestingly is the serious discontent in the ranks of military personnel that was exposed through the resumption of terrorism in the Northern part. This discontent came in the form of a Lance Corporal criticizing the chief of Army staff in a viral video.


The above developments forced these “leftists” who were hiding in their crevices waiting for a post COVID-19 period to begin to organize protests. The Take-It-Back movement has organized one or two protests since then against rape, police brutality and terrorism. Even the MSA, the new organization breaking out of the CWI in Nigeria has organized a procession to the Iranian embassy in Nigeria to protest the arrest and planned execution of three Iranian activists.[11]Contrary to the lock down phase the TIB and other radical organizations, have resumed calling for meetings and planning to organize programs beyond the online or virtual versions during the lock downs.


Finally the current situation in Nigeria is one of accelerating and widespread anti-masses economic and political attacks in a period where the masses are freer to fight back by taking to the streets. The ruling class will further be divided especially along geo-political zones as faction lines.


All genuine revolutionary forces must gear up to unite and wage a permanent war on this moribund ruling elite for never before has victory been so certain as it is now!



[1] https://punchng.com/2023-naabba-falana-utomi-ezekwesili-others-float-new-political-movement/?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR0nAvHfwfO3y_BOYpUryV43qJCe9koJGnd84BAE77HmHrEhUwkFZmyIrJU#Echobox=1593629459
[2] https://nairametrics.com/2020/06/30/ondo-state-governor-akeredolu-tests-positive-to-coronavirus/
[3] https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/400713-updated-ondo-health-commissioner-dies-of-coronavirus.html
[4] https://www.thecable.ng/breaking-tinubu-loses-most-trusted-aide
[5] https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.as.com/en/2020/06/30/latest_news/1593516061_849840.amp.html&ved=2ahUKEwjkr-KjgbnqAhXv0eAKHUlLD6gQFjAAegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw3hlnwHFH-UthNXOlj2JayE&ampcf=1
[6] https://punchng.com/lagos-osun-threaten-fresh-lockdown-as-cases-hit-23298/
[7] https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/&ved=2ahUKEwiguuqWhbnqAhV_AWMBHRQiC7QQFjAEegQIDRAB&usg=AOvVaw1Vt-KeuuvAi4Z7M0frw3SU
[8] https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/07/updated-pppra-raises-july-fuel-price-to-n140-80-per-litre/
[9] https://nairametrics.com/2020/07/03/firs-introduces-stamp-duty-on-house-rent-and-c-of-o-transactions/
[10] https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3196705357086868&id=100002423051228
[11] http://saharareporters.com/2020/07/03/group-protests-front-iranian-embassy-abuja-over-death-sentence-three-oil-workers