In response to the harsh socio-economic conditions and crude taxation that are imposed on Nigerians, the Youth Against Austerity(YAA) held a symposium on Sat 23rd April at the Conference Hall of the Action for Community Development at Mission Road.
The symposium was massified by staffs of the Youth Employment Scheme(YES) who were unjustly disengaged after 7 years of hard and productive works in the Edo state civil service. Adewale Barshar, the first speaker spoke on the struggles and pains of the working class people under capitalism as especially witnessed so far in Edo state.
He went ahead to reiterate the need for a working class peoples’ party that will truly represent the people. He called on workers to join the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) as radical alternative. Victor Idonije, the president of the YES workers spoke next on the travails of the 8 thousand workers since the cruel mass disengagement without any form of severance emoluments. He noted that the disengagement was fraudulent and typical of the Adams Oshiomhole’s anti-poor policies.
He also posited that the workers will not relent in the fight for regularisation and payment of arrears. He then called on the workers to continue to unite and fight relentlessly. He as well warned that workers should not queue behind both APC and PDP as both are birds of a feather. Idonije then stated that YES workers are committed to a welfare charter which will be signed by any political party that has the interest of workers and youth at heart. He however called for revolution as the permanent solution to the crisis.
Also speaking was Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, the national convener of the Youth Against Austerity who commended the YES workers for their steadfastness so far. The case of the YES workers reflects the policies of the entire APC. Workers and youth must understand this and stop the illusion in Buharism. All the anti-poor policies of this government so far is indicative of the fact that all ruling class parties are anti-poor.
Strategies to up the ante of the struggles were also raised. Ajayi concluded that a working class peoples’ party is needed now, calling on NLC/TUC to lead the process as the most organised section of the working class. Such party must be unambiguously socialist in its programme as stated in the subsisting NLC Policy on Politics.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Ayo Ademiluyi who moderated. Sam Ajufor, Executive Director of Action for Community Development rounded off the meeting with a charge to action on massive mobilization, self-funding, and relentless action. SWL continues to stand with the YES workers. We urge them to work with all other oppressed unions like JUSUN. In a fight between the oppressor and the oppressed, the first may laugh first, but the latter will laugh last!
by Kunle Wizman Ajayi