The Coalition for Revolution CORE has elected an inclusive democratic leadership. This was at the 28 June 2020 Plenary Session of the coalition. The 7-member CORE Coordinating Committee includes Baba Aye of the Socialist Workers & Youth League (SWL) and Gbenga Komolafe, General Secretary of the Federation of Informal Workers Organisations of Nigeria (FIWON) as Co-conveners and Kofoworola Beckley of the Take It Back (TIB) movement as secretary.
CORE was formed in 2018 as a coalition of two blocs. These were the TIB on one hand and the Alliance for the Masses Political Alternative (AMPA) on the other. AMPA comprised SWL and another socialist group which had worked together initially within the National Conscience Party (NCP) as the NCP Socialist Forum (NCP-SF).
Subsequent to the NCP bureaucracy’s surrender to unprincipled collaboration with the PDP (as part of the fraudulent Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP) in August 2018, the component bodies of the NCP-SF resigned from that party. AMPA was set up as an independent voice for socialist politics to work closely with TIB in building the African Action Congress (AAC) as a party for both activist electoral and revolutionary extra-parliamentary struggle.
The coalition called for building the masses alternative towards the 2019 general elections. After the elections, the TIB-AMPA coalition became more properly known as CORE. It organised a demonstration in Lagos during the May Day against any increment in fuel price or value added tax and for implementation of the new national minimum wage, which it equally called for an upward review of.
And from April to August, it carried out intensive grassroots mobilisation in several working-class communities, particularly but not limited to Lagos, against epileptic electricity supply and crazy bills. It also gave full support to the struggle of LASPOTECH workers for regularisation of their salary structure, which its activists participated fully in.
CORE came to national prominence in July when it declared 5 August as flag off date for its #RevolutionaNow campaign with the first in a planned series of #DaysOfRage. Despite massive state repression, CORE activists protested in 23 towns and cities across 14 states of the federation and in at least eight other countries across different regions of the world.
One of the leaders of the coalition and Convener of the TIB, Omoyele Sowore was arrested by the secret police in the state’s bid to nip the mass mobilisation in the bud. But this was to no avail. Rather, Yele who faced and continues to face severe travails from the hands of the state was recognised globally as a prisoner of conscience and the right of CORE to a revolutionary protest respected and even upheld by a court of the bosses law earlier last May when it awarded N1m against the federal government for disrupting the #RevolutionNow protests.
With the CORE leadership being democratically constituted for the first time, barely five weeks to the anniversary of the #RevolutionNow first #DayOfRage, it immediately commenced planning to organise mass actions across the country this coming 5 August. It is not simply meant to be a commemoration. It is a reaffirmation of the persisting need for revolutionary change and the self-emancipation of working-class people and youth.
The first public step in this regard was the first CORE webinar which was organised on 19 July, and titled COVID-19 and Increasing Economic Hardship: What Can Working-Class People Do? Trade union leaders from the health and education sectors and one of the co-conveners of the coalition where the lead discussants. The next in the series of webinars before the next #DayOfRage comes up on 2 August with the theme: Nigeria in Crisis: Which Way Forward?
CORE’s work in the few years of its existence has always been directly within and with working-class people and youth on the ground in their workplaces, communities and struggles. Thus, its mobilisation this time around is also not being restricted to the virtual space of webinars and social media. Over the next two weeks, CORE activists will mobilise in different cities and towns for action to change Nigeria and indeed the world as a whole for the better, towards establishing democracy from below through revolutionary struggle.
by Baba AYE