Socialist Workers League welcomes the campaign against corruption and for good governance by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress.
We all have to be united in fighting for more resources to be made available for providing food, shelter, clothing, health, education and jobs. The penalties for corruption enrichment are also laughable.
For example, two years ago, Mr. John Yusuf that stole N33bn walked away with N1bn after paying a fine of N250,000! So, we support NLC’s call for the death sentence against corrupt public officers in high places.
It is impossible to stamp out corruption within the exploitative framework of capitalism. It is a strategy of enrichment that is carried often carried out illicitly but also institutionalised as “parliamentary lobbying” in advanced capitalist countries.
Contrary to the generally held belief that the primary problem is corruption, it is actually more of a symptom of the cause of our woes.
Capitalism thrives on exploiting the working class, making the rich richer and further impoverishing the poor. We can curb corruption and its impact to some extent within this oppressive system, through wealth redistribution. SWL thus stands for progressive taxation, where the wealth of the rich are heavily taxed to fund enhanced public services delivery and a new minimum wage of N66,000 NOW!
But, the bosses will always find some way or the other to roll back the gains from such progressive reforms. The so-called “free” market works in their interest. This is why they have been pushing through privatisation and cuts in the funding of social services all over the world.
We must defend these reforms. However, it would be an illusion for us to believe we can really be emancipated from want, hunger and emptied lives through the steady introduction of reforms.
The most fundamental challenge for us as working people is to end the corrupt, exploitative and oppressive capitalist system.
This can only be through consistent and tireless struggle against corruption in high places, all forms of exploitation and anti-poor people policies by governments, in our workplaces and communities, which sees each aspect of capitalism as part of a whole system that can be and must be overthrown.
Such revolutionary struggle is the pathway to our self-emancipation. The best of “good governance” under capitalism will be primarily to defend the interests of the bosses. In overthrowing their pro-rich people government, we have to establish organs of popular power from below, based on the fullest of democracy.
Representatives must be delegates from assemblies of workers, farmers and other poor people. They must earn the wages of an average worker and must be recallable at any time they are found wanting.
Another world is possible, based on justice and equity. Another Nigeria is possible where corruption would have been stamped out and our collective wealth will be used to uplift everybody and not just a few.
We must fight to win this new society. This requires us to participate actively in building our unions as fighting democratic representative organs of the working class.
The struggle for power to build this better society is a political struggle. We must thus campaign for re-building the Labour Party as a mass workers’ party based on a socialist programme. This is the time for us to organise, mobilise and fight: against corruption and to defeat capitalism which breeds it.