The increasingly repressive rule of Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s regime cannot be separated from the systemic crisis of the capitalist system. This was pointed out in a leaflet issued by the SWL Lagos branch earlier in the week.
“The Buhari regime just like every other anti-worker regime that preceded it is committed to protecting the interest of the ruling class at the detriment of the needs and rights of the poor masses including our right to life.” Capitalism, which this regime represents is in a state of turmoil. For decades, the bosses have claimed that there is no alternative to their system. They have claimed that it is only capitalism that works.
But it is becoming more and more obvious to the working masses that while this exploitative system is definitely working for a handful of persons, who are becoming richer and richer despite the global economic crisis, it is definitely not working for the immense majority of the population and is destroying the planet.
That is why revolts have been spreading like wildfire. Sudan, Algeria, Chile, Ecuador and France are some of the countries were working-class people and youth have risen in struggle to challenge the policies and politics of the bosses’ class.
Our oppressors of course do not fold their arms simply because we oppose their exploitative system. On one hand they try to divide our ranks with populist propaganda. And on the other hand, they try to crush us with the use of their instruments of coercion including the police, army and reactionary legislation.
That is why this regime has thrown up such empty mantras like “change” and “next level” while at the same time cracking down on protests and freedom of expression. That is why it took ages to agree on a miserly increment of the national minimum wage (which in real terms is actually a reduction of what the minimum wage was eight years ago) and governors have indicated that they will not honour the negotiated consequential wage increases.
We can break the haughty power of the regime and gain our freedom only through struggle. This requires that we mobilise, organise and fight. That is why the SWL has embarked on mass leafletting and door-to-door campaigns in Lagos, commencing at Ogba bus stop on Thursday. Almost five hundred leaflets were shared with working-class people, may of whom expressed interest to join the SWL.
SWLers in Lagos and across the country will also participate actively in the rallies called by some human rights bodies for “human rights and rule of law”.
We stand for the defence of our political, economic, ecological and political human rights. These were never given out of benevolence by the bosses’ class. As Fela correctly noted “animal can’t dash us human right”. Working-class people and youths fought for and won these rights.
We stand for the immediate and unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Ibrahim el-Zakzakky, Jones Abiri and all other political detainees.
We however make bold to state that limiting our struggle to one for “human rights and rule of law” is to try cutting the stem of a tree of systemic tyranny. We stand for uprooting the system from which this stem sprouts.
This root includes; exploitation of working-class people – including payment of poverty wages, privatization and commercialisation of social services, casualization of labour and underfunding of public health and education.
We will continue to fight to win gains like ensuring that the new national minimum wage and consequential wage adjustments are enjoyed by all workers, and every child enjoys free education up to the tertiary level. But we have no illusion that the capitalist system can be reformed to ensure all we need to live qualitative lives.
No section of the bosses’ class can help us. They are all interested in their own pockets and will defend capitalism in the workplace, national and state houses of assembly, courts of law and on the streets with the police and other security personnel.
But we are many and they are few. The people united and determined cannot be defeated. We must emancipate ourselves. To do so, we must overthrow the regime and the system it represents.
SWL thus stands for #RevolutionNow for #SystemChange!
by Segun OGUN