The Coalition for Revolution (CORE) is organising a nationwide protest on August 5. This is to commemorate the launch of the CORE #RevolutionNow campaign last year, and to deepen mobilisation and struggle to change the system and win a better future. CORE brings together several radical and revolutionary groups fighting for the masses’ emancipation, including the SWL.
The lives of poor people keep getting worse in the urban and rural areas alike. Workers in the public and private sectors receive wages that hardly last for a week. Workers and artisans in the informal sector can also hardly survive on what they make from their trades. Informal housing settlements and workplaces are demolished without any alternative provided, leaving people homeless and hopeless.
THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM IS THE PROBLEM
While living has become hell on earth for over a hundred million poor people in the country, a few rich people keep getting richer every day. What Aliko Dangote makes a single day is eight thousand times more than what an average worker earns in a whole year! And he pays most of his workers in the factories peanuts, proudly informing the country that even PhD holders are applying to be truck drivers in Dangote industries. If there are jobs, with their qualifications, would they apply to drive trucks for barely N100,000 per month?
The wealth of the five richest billionaires is enough to wipe out poverty in the country. So, why is Nigeria the poverty capital of the world? Government and its agencies have become means of enrichment for politicians and their hangers-on. Tens and hundreds of billions of naira are stolen on a regular basis. We hear news of these and then nothing, as they settle their real disputes, on sharing, behind closed doors and continue with the looting spree. Even the loot which get recovered, as we now know, get stolen again by those in EFCC.
These are not unrelated or incidental events. The brutal exploitation and suffering that poor people are faced with, and the stupendous wealth of the super-rich in and out of government, are interrelated. They are all instances of the same system, which is capitalism. It is based on the exploitation of our labour and natural resources, for the benefit of a handful of rich people. The secret of their wealth lies in our increasing poverty. Corruption is part and parcel of that process of exploitation, and not an anomaly, as the ruling class want us to believe.
FREEDOM COMES ONLY THROUGH STRUGGLE
We can emancipate ourselves and get rid of these exploitative oppressors only when we rise up, fight for our rights and get rid of their system through revolution. The oppressors know this. That is why they repress us. Over 30 journalists and other citizens have been arrested for no just cause over the last few months, some for simply “insulting” the president or a governor.
And when CORE launched the #RevolutionNow campaign last year, government filled the streets with armed security personnel. They brutally dispersed peaceful protests, beat up over 50 demonstrators and arrested many of us. But that did not stop us. Repression must not stop us. It cannot stop us if we march united as masses fed up with the system and ready to fight until victory. That is how we defeated the military, that is how we will defeat the entire capitalist system together.
We are many, but the looters and oppressors are few. So, they sow seeds of division in our midst. They try to divide us on the lines of race, ethnicity, religion, etc. But they are united on boards of big businesses and in governments where they exploit us together. Look at those running the federal and states governments and those on the boards of all the major companies raking in billions of naira. They include the big men (and a few big women) from all the ethnic groups.
Thus, we the poor masses, must stand united, based on demands to improve our lives, and fight to emancipate ourselves. Join the CORE nationwide protest on 5 August and fight for:
- An economy that works for the masses (and not a handful of individuals, banks, government officials and multinational corporations)
- Payment of a living wage for all workers and unemployment benefits for poor unemployed people
- The tens of thousands of workers sacked by companies during the COVID-19 pandemic to be reinstated with full payment
- Decent housing for all, guaranteed by government, and everybody whose homes or workplaces have been demolished paid compensation
- Immediate reversal of the fuel pump price to N123 per litre
- A reversal of the new stamp charges, VAT, etc and to stop any further increase in electricity tariff
- Universal provision of quality health services and education as enforceable rights (and all public officers and their family members barred from using foreign or private healthcare facilities and schools)
- An effective and democratic end to rising insecurity, with the poor masses uniting to cooperate across ethnic lines and defend themselves
- An end to systemic corruption and impunity – all the looters must be brought to book and the monies they have stolen recovered and used to genuinely provide social services to the masses.
Join the August 5th nationwide protest, fight for #RevolutionNow!
The masses united and determined cannot be defeated!
The time to act is now!!
Issued by the Socialist Workers & Youth League (SWL) © August 2020