Nigerians No Gree For Hunger And Oppression Again! From Resistance To Revolution Now: Fight For Total Liberation!! Nationwide Protest Kicks Off On 26 February: Join One & All!!!

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Emiola Solomon, Oyo State CORE Coordinator leading the mass protest against hardship in Ibadan on Monday 19 February

The Coalition for Revolution welcomes the surge of mass actions by the poor Nigerians and youths over the last few weeks. Hunger, unemployment, insecurity, high costs of living and sundry forms of hardships have pushed the people to the wall of patience, and we are fighting back. The desperate situation that the masses are in today did not just happen. They are results of the social and economic policies of the Nigerian state and the exploitative nature of the system which makes the rich richer and poor people poorer. 

The whole world knows that these protests are not sponsored as the APC regime of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu claims. Poor working women and men have spontaneously organised them, demonstrating the power that lies in the hands of the people themselves. CORE activists in different states have joined the protests and led the demonstration in Ibadan on Monday. 

It is time to generalise these rivulets of protests into an ocean of revolt. Towards this, CORE will be organising and mobilising with other civil society organisations and coalitions as well as the trade union movement to deepen the unfolding popular struggle of the working people and youth to breathe and live with dignity. 

Thus, kicking off on Monday 26 February, we will demonstrate with the following demands:

  • Reversal of the fuel pump price to pre-29 May prices: the multiplier effect of fuel pump price hike in driving up the cost of living is a major reason for widespread hunger today. The people must not be made to pay for the inefficiency and corruption of the ruling class. The four refineries must be fixed within the next six months to avoid wasting scarce foreign exchange to import refined petroleum products.
  • Stop and reverse the free fall of the naira with immediate effect: the free market floating of the naira has benefited only a few rich people with dollars while making goods and services more expensive for poor people.
  • Put price control mechanisms in place for food items and house rent: this must be under the control of the people’s organisations: trade unions, community-based associations and grassroots civil society organisations. It must be made to ensure it delivers for the people and not become another conduit for the enrichment of a few.
  • Halt the restriction of movement of food items from the North to the South: this artificial restriction by some governors will only compound the problem for working people in all parts of the country and create new ones. It worsens food scarcity in the South and makes it impossible for farmers in the North to sell their produce and gain revenue to buy other essentials apart from food. 
  • Full payment of the arrears of N35,000 wage award to all workers from October: payment of the wage award as agreed upon by organised labour and government must be fully respected. Alongside paying the arrears, the government must continue paying the wage award until a new minimum wage which is a living wage is agreed upon. 
  • A living wage of not less than N436,500 and a built-in annual wage increment based on the cost of inflation index: must be put in place to as a central element of decent work. All state governors and the organised private sector must uphold a living wage as the minimum wage, at all times henceforth.
  • Social protection for all working people: social safety nets targeting workers in the informal economy must be put in place and disbursed through organisations of the working people themselves to avoid a few government officials stealing palliative measures designed to help the working poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
  • Reversal of tuition fee increases in public tertiary institutions, scrapping of students’ loan scheme, provision of free and quality education as a right: there must no longer be a commodification of education.
  • Universal access to quality public health services: stop the catastrophic spending on healthcare by working people or their having to turn to quacks. The right to health is a universally recognised right next only to the right to life itself, which every Nigerian must enjoy.
  • Job security, fair wages and workplace safety for healthcare workers: the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, environmental and community health practitioners health technologists and all medical and health workers who work persistently to deliver healthcare to the people must have their own wellbeing safeguarded. We stand against the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s repressive policies, for example. Healthcare work must be made attractive in Nigeria, and the professional development supported instead of draconian measures to curb migration.
  • Tax the rich and reduce the large amounts paid to public officers: there is more than enough money in Nigeria. The problem is systemic social inequality. To stop hunger and fund social services, we must establish a steep progressive tax system that compels wealthy individuals and corporations to pay for these. We must cancel tax breaks and tax holidays. And we must cut the huge amounts of money paid to public officers at all levels: no elected public officer should be allowed to take home more than what an average worker earns as a salary.  

Let us unite and fight until we win our total liberation from the ruling class of capitalists. The people united cannot be defeated!

being a press statement of the Coalition for Revolution (CORE) issued by Baba Aye & Gbenga Komolafe as CORE Co-conveners.

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