‘End Hunger’: Nigerian protests break out

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called for a 2-day nationwide protest wave, which will take place at February 27-28, 2024. We publish the press statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Movement, the ISp affiliate in Nigeria.

Tuesday 20/02/2024

We support the decision of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embark on a 2-day mass protest
We call on the TUC and other labour affiliates to mobilize and join the protest
Tinubu must stop attack on the working people
For 200,000 minimum wage Now

The Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM) backs the decision of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embark on a 2-day nationwide warning protest against the rising cost of living, insecurity and other anti-people policies of the Tinubu-led Federal Government. We believe a nationwide protest of this is long overdue and we call on the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other affiliate unions to immediately join and commence mobilizing for a total, comprehensive and massive protest on the 27th and 28th of February.
The resolution of the NEC meeting of the NLC held on Friday 16th of February to embark on this strike is well-deserving and long overdue. In fact, we believe the protest action should have commenced after the removal of the fuel subsidy and floating of Naira. As we warned during those periods, the economic policies of the Tinubu regime will bring nothing but more hardship on the mass of the working people. The economic crisis of Nigeria did not just start today. The origin of the current crisis can be linked to the successive capitalist governments of the country that have incessantly looted the collective wealth of people, privatized the commanding heights of the economy and subjected economic decisions to the recommendations of the world imperialists.
We also support the other resolutions of the NLC, especially with the commencement of an indefinite strike action if the government fails to meet the demands of the workers. We call on the NLC to start making plans for this indefinite strike as the Tinubu-led FG has no magic to perform in a few days. The NLC should be wary of all forms of romance and cosmetic measures of the FG to avert the strike action. Even, we have seen during this same Tinubu regime how he has used Court Order to impede the constitutional right of the the Congress. Hence, the NLC must be prepared for all these tactics of the FG.
Similarly, the past few days have recorded protest breakouts in several parts of Nigeria including Niger State, Kano State, Lagos State, and Oyo State, to mention but a few. These are testaments to the fact that people are ready to hit the street. The role of the NLC is to provide the necessary leadership and direction for the people. Even, the protest actions have the potential to grow into larger, interconnected ones without the intervention of the Labour front. Hence, we charge the Trade Union Congress and other affiliate unions to rise to the duty and lead the people to freedom, emancipation and progress.
The labour leaders should fight for full payment of wage award of 35,000 to all categories of workers both in the public and private sectors. The labour leaders must prepare to lead protracted struggle against the state governors that have received huge sum of palliative but refused to share and even pay workers wage award.
In the same vein, the TUC President, Festus Osifo, must have realized how wrong he was to support the removal of subsidy and Naira devaluation policy (according to Vanguard Newspaper, June 16 2023). The policy he supported has been hunting millions of Nigerians, collapsing thousands of small businesses, and causing a surge inflation of goods and services. We believe this is an opportunity to show remorse and re-commitment towards fighting, side by side with the working people, against policies that will further wreak havoc on the masses of the people.
To us in the Revolutionary Socialist Movement, the leadership of the Labour movement must provide clear demands and lead the people to achieve those demands. We propose that the NLC and TUC should, together with the demand for a living minimum wage of at least N200,000, link the struggle to the return of a well-monitored subsidy scheme on the PMS, reversal of all hiked fees at public tertiary institutions, renationalization of the power and petroleum sector and so on.
All of these events are clear indications that the Labour Movement needs to initiate the building of a genuine mass working people’s political party or reclaim the existing Labour Party with a revolutionary programme and method to wrestle power from the thieving elite, backward capitalist ruling elite and establish a workers and poor people’s government armed with socialist programmes. Such a socialist government will ensure the human and material resources of the country are used on the basis of socialist planning for the benefit of all and the genuine development of the society.

Kayode Salako
Publicity Secretary

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