Press Statement by the Socialist Congress of Nigeria (SCON)—a TPAP-M affiliate
We condemn the growing frequency of violent attack on Nigerian citizens by government agents
The Socialist Congress of Nigeria (SCON) strongly condemns the widely-reported armed attack security operatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria involving what evidently amounts to disproportionate use of force on the private residence of Mr Sunday Adeyemo (also known as Sunday Igboho) at Ibadan, Oyo State, in the middle of the night of Thursday July 1 2021.
In this growing frequency and intensity of the deployment of heavy armed force during civil disturbances, we recall the heavy military barrage against, and the resultant carnage on, the compound of Mr El Zak Zaky a few years ago in the city of Zaria; the massive and unprovoked military attacks and killing of unarmed peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on October 20, 2020; and the current entrenchment of routine attacks on peaceful protests including the recent police murder of a student protesting against increases in school fees in Kaduna State! This sustained state terror across Nigeria, of course, has its antecedents in the brutal economic and social policies imposed with impunity especially since the late 1970s!
On the specific case of the attack on Igboho’s residence, it is unacceptable in a law-governed society that a full “shoot-out” military operation was carried out on a citizen’s residence, reportedly, without a search warrant or any invitation by police to such a citizen to report at a designated police establishment; even when law-enforcement agencies claim to be in possession of “intelligence reports”! These questions arise because of the numerous instances of what amounted, in the past, to summary executions and disappearances of “suspects” by police!
We must add that the intractable fundamentalist militancy in the North East of today and the current militarization and state-sponsored violence in the South East are traceable to the impunity of state power and state actors ahead of the current separatist, secessionist, ethnicized and religionized phase of violent conflicts in Nigeria! Over time, a police state developed in our country because the ruling coalitions had failed consistently in the last two decades at least to deliver on the simple responsibility of securing the lives and property of citizens!
SCON’s position on separatist and secessionist resolution of the crisis of governance in Nigeria today
We must declare that we in SCON believe that any peaceful separatist or even secessionist program is, or may be, legitimate; but we know that there are hardly any antecedents or examples of such peaceful secession! Even the possibility or actual peaceful breakup of Nigeria as it is today, with the generalized socially irresponsible and looting mentality of the ruling class, will simply sustain the interests of the ethnic faction of the Nigerian ruling class against that of the oppressed and marginalised masses of people in the putative “new” country! These are the lessons of the history of separatisms; not figments of our imagination.
Assuming that a breakup of Nigeria can be achieved peacefully, immediate and practical problems of creating and maintaining new boarders, massive refugee problems (housing, food, water, health care, jobs, agricultural land, etc.) and attendant security crisis in the “new countries” and their borders will fester for decades to come. The poor and marginalized masses, not the various ethnic wings of the Nigerian ruling class, will necessarily bear the burdens of these consequences. We must also state emphatically that a break up Nigeria, peaceful or not, will lead to loss of the inherent advantages of the beauty and diversity of the geographical, resource, and cultural diversity which have enabled, and continues to enable, the masses of ordinary people to build, exchange, and sustain authentic solidarity and fraternity, livelihoods, and opportunities! Clearly these advantages are realizable only if the struggles of the masses produce a Nigeria that is owned truly by the masses.
For the reason of all of the foregoing, we condemn, in very strong words, the continued irresponsible deployment of the police and the army and other multiplying wings of Nigeria’s neo-colonial, largely punitive occupation “law-enforcement formations” against our people across Nigeria. At the same time, the ruling class cannot secure the life and property of our people; not just in the increasing ethnic and religious conflicts, but also in ruling class-instigated inter-community, intra-community, and religious clashes!
Imposing “disaster” economic and social policies, divide-and-rule, and repressing popular resistance: how constantly-regrouping elites from all over Nigeria stay in power to accumulate wealth.
It is looking more and more obvious that the instigation of ethnic and religious conflicts in Nigeria is a ruling-class program of manufacturing “disasters” to divert the attention of the masses from the violent economic and social policies imposed on them especially in the last twenty years or so—policies that generate and multiply poverty, inequality, hopelessness, and manifested in unemployment, unpaid salaries and pensions, cuts in workers’ salaries, increases in fuel and electricity prices, abandonment of infrastructures and public-funded education, security and health care.
Beyond enabling the ruling-class coalitions they call political parties to maintain a divide-and- rule hold on the victims of their IMF/World Bank economic and social policies, the said policies are the direct causes of the ethnic, religious, farmer-herder, and communal antipathies and clashes, fear, cultism, ritual murders, urban and rural decay, banditry and generalized violence. In turn the generalized violence breed the culture of groups and individuals resorting to “self-defense” and taking the law into their own hands—creating, predictably, the current Nigerian state of barbarism which human beings have been trying to overcome in the last five thousand years or so!
For a Mass pan-Nigerian Working Peoples’ Independent Political Response and Class Resistance
In the circumstance imposed on Nigeria by overlapping generations of Nigeria’s ruling class and their handlers in the World Bank and the IMF, we repeat our call on the masses of the Nigerian people to begin to build independent peoples’ coalitions such as the current effort of The Peoples Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M) which SCON is fully involved in. A Peoples Alternative movement will work towards A New Nigeria, guaranteeing peoples power and enforcement of fundamental economic and social rights of all Nigerians—sovereignty of the people and putting the commanding heights of the economy under popular public control, massive public support for urban and rural renewal and environmental rehabilitation; popular and community control of law-enforcement and law-enforcement agencies; reversal of all the looting they call privatization; right to security of life and property, right to jobs, right to food, water, shelter, public-funded education and health care and affordable public transport.
We pose the foregoing fundamental conditions as the cure for escalating mass poverty, fear, ethnic and religious divisions, separatist and secessionist agitations, banditry, general insecurity of life and property and generalized violence across Nigeria.
Socialist Congress of Nigeria