Radical and revolutionary forces have played key roles in the numerous struggles of the working-class in Nigeria, since the colonial period. While the capitalist politicians have promoted ethnicity and religious identity to serve divide the working people, socialists have been at the fore of showing the commonalities of our conditions and the need for workers unity and the united fight of workers and youth across all the regions and irrespective of religious differences.
We have been able to raise the class consciousness of working people whom we are part of as the labour movement, at different times in our history. A sharp example of this was the call for Nigeria to take a socialist path of development made to the Political Bureau in the mid-1980s.
The military government which constituted the Bureau suppressed its report as a result of this popular condemnation of capitalism. Meanwhile, the capitalists as military and civilian governments alike continued to denude, despoil and squander national wealth that should be used to better the life of poor working people.
Nothing short of seizing power from the bosses can result in our emancipation from this worrisome situation. Socialists never lost sight of this fact. But while struggles we have inspired have resulted in the overthrow of both colonialism and military dictatorship, we have not been able to win power from the class of capitalists.
We might however be going through an historic moment, presently. There is great disillusionment with different sections of the ruling class. Workers and youth desire more thoroughgoing change than what the bosses can give.
Today more than ever calls for radical and revolutionary forces to take the struggle for power seriously. This would require doing away with sectarian divides and the forging of alliances and a united front. We must deepen the radicalizing mood emerging in the buildup to the 2019 elections, towards one for revolution.
by Alex OGBU