The arrest of the Take it Back/African Action Congress members while pasting the party’s campaign materials in Ikeja yesterday is a clear indication that the government has no regards for basic democratic principles. The arrested TiB/AAC members did not violate any law, because they were pasting the posters in public spaces in accordance with the provisions of INEC and LASAA of Lagos State. Clearly their only crime is that they are conscious Nigerians seeking real political alternatives and a departure from the bosses’ neoliberal exploitative system.
The attack on the TIB/AAC shows that the oppressive government and its cohorts are getting jittery already due to the political alternatives of the masses which the party represents. Equally they are more afraid of the social change the influx of conscious working people can bring to the party and to the nation at large.
But the repressive act of the state government through the Area F command, Ikeja under the order of the state commissioner of police is an assault on the working people. This is not unconnected to the killings of peaceful protesters in Abuja a few weeks back. It equally shares similarity with state influenced riggings during elections in Ekiti and Osun states for example. All of these are rapes of the Nigeria working and poor masses collective interest and mandate.
This shows that the bosses are resolved to use the state’s coercive machinery to intimidate working people seeking real social change from below. It further established our position that the current democracy which is a bourgeois democracy that places the control of public institutions in the hands of a few thereby undermining the interest of the majority working people, is a failure.
Only a workers’ democracy that rests on popular grassroots-based institutions which place resources under the democratic control of the working people can work for the common woman, man, youth and child. Obviously, the political elites and bosses will not give us this on a platter of gold. Clearly, they are not prepared to hand it over through the ballot. We have to organise and fight for real systemic change from below.
Socialist Workers and Youth League (SWL) thereby condemns the arrest and all forms of attacks on democratic rights of working-class people and youth. We sternly implore the Nigeria Police to abide by the tenets of democracy and stay off partisanship. We equally enjoin the Nigerian working people, students and youth to join the protest for the immediate and unconditional release of the detained comrades and to defend democracy that was fought for and won by the working people. Workers united can never be defeated.
Workers and Youth… Unite and Fight!!!
For: Socialist Workers and Youth League
SWL Lagos Branch.