The first in a series of #DaysOfRage organised by the Coalition for Revolution (CORE) is today. We, as working people and youth in Nigeria, being fed up with poverty, unemployment, high cost of living, rising insecurity, and a grossly incompetent government, take a stand to our suffering and smiling. We fight for a better future, which starts today. We fight for #RevolutionNow to take back our destiny from the hands of the class of thieving politicians and oppressors that have kept making life worse for the poor people, while they, the few rich people, continue to get richer at our expense.
As we protest today, we equally demand #FreeSowore immediately. The “terrorist midnight arrest” of Omoyele Sowore, National Chair of the African Action Congress and leading light of the unfolding revolution is meant to stop the #RevolutionNow movement. We will send a message to the illegitimate government today, as we take over the streets. We will make it clear with mass action that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.
We defeated General Ibrahim Babangida with popular action. He was forced to “step aside” on 26 August 1993, in the midst of mass protests on the streets. We brought down the illegitimate Interim National Government of Shonekan with our uprising as the masses. Abacha’s forcing him to step aside on 17 November 1993 was merely face saving for the class of oppressors.
The ING had been rendered impotent and obsolete with working-class and youth power as a general strike and mass protests rocked the nation. It was equally our reawakening of mass struggle, initiated with the “five-million-man march” in March 1998 that put fear in the hearts of imperialism and the local oppressors, who hurriedly found a way an artificial way out of the crisis with apples and other tales by midnight.
And in 2012, the January Uprising marked a turning point in the country’s history because millions of working-class people and youth downed tools in the workplaces and took over the streets in fifty-four towns and cities. Unfortunately, because the forces of revolution were not organised, opportunists from the opposition of bosses latched on to the mood created, came up with the mantra of change and the fraud of APC, with which their six took over from the half a dozen of PDP in 2015.
Whoever says the working masses in Nigeria cannot make revolution has a very poor sense of history. And whoever fails to see that revolution is the idea whose time has come for kicking out oppressors and exploiters cannot see beyond her/his nose. In North Africa the working masses have taken back power from decades-old dictatorships through revolution.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) government’s hypocrisy cries to the high heavens. In 2011, General Muhammadu Buhari, as the candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), which was one of the parties that later formed the APC, called for a revolution in Nigeria. Praising the revolutionaries in Egypt at the time, he said, through Yinka Odumakin, his spokesperson at the time that “their tenacity has again confirmed the truism that no force on earth can stop a people determined”.
And earlier in 2003, Buhari who contested the presidential elections that year as a candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and lost, organised a protest at the Court of Appeal, venue of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. Obviously, all what he and his cohorts wanted was to be the ones at the main table for stealing the country’s wealth.
That is not what the Coalition for Revolution wants, that is not why the African Action Congress was formed. Our aim is the emancipation of the working masses and youth by themselves. We are merely catalysts. The struggle is yours; the struggle is our collective fightback to break the shackles of corruption, suffering, inequality, poverty, insecurity, government incompetence and impunity, elite manipulation of ethnicity, etc.
Our five-CORE demands are clear:
- An economy that works for the masses. No to an economy which throws 90 million people into poverty, while just five people own N11 trillion!
- An effective and democratic end to insecurity. Poverty, discrimination, repression by government and manipulation of ethnic differences by the rich elite are the roots of perpetual insecurity – we must end all these!
- An end to systemic corruption and for total system change. The bosses’ system is inherently corrupt. We must overthrow them and build a new society based on solidarity and democracy from below!
- The immediate implementation of the N30,000.00 minimum wage. Workers deserve living wages. All salary arrears must be immediately paid. Politicians must be placed on civil service salary scale. Even the N30,000 is not adequate, negotiations for upward review by 2021 must start now!
- Free and qualitative education for all. Education is a right and not a privilege. Massive investments must be made to develop public schools’ infrastructure. Curriculum must be reviewed to promote critical thinking. Independent student unionism must be respected!
We are under no illusion that the struggle ahead will be easy or over in a day. Those that have benefited from exploiting us and the natural resources in the land will not simply accept to implement these demands after a day of protest. They will use every trick in the book to try divide us. They will do their very best to repress us. But they will fail, because we will be unshaken and remain resolute in our resolve and continued action until victory is won.
Babangida did as Buhari is now doing, he failed, even as a military president. The dark-googled Abacha’s evil regime with all its diabolic ruthlessness was also outlived by our struggle. In Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and Sudan, the dictators-in-chief like Buhari did all they could, but they all eventually fell. Buhari and the class of oppressors #MustFall.
We have been pushed to the wall. Their system snuffs life out of us every day, leaving us in a state worse than death – that is when we are not outrightly killed through police brutality, attacks by marauding bandits, starvation or frustration. We have nothing to lose but our chains, if we fight. We have a new Nigeria, a new world to win as we dare to struggle.
Our march to freedom starts today. We take the first steps towards emancipating ourselves with this first day of rage. Be a part of the glorious history of the working masses. Join this great moment of the people’s movement. Onward Forward to #RevolutionNow!
by Baba AYE