Once more on the ‘Occupy Nigeria’ uprising

 

Now that the Jonathan regime is shooting down workers with live ammunition, its true nature as a puppet of imperialism and in particular US imperialism, is exposed.

 

We recall in the era of the slave-trade when slaves were captured from West Africa, including what is Nigeria today, the tribal chiefs were bought off by the colonial powers for a few pieces of silver for selling their people into bondage. Today the Jonathan regime and the so-called parliamentary ‘opposition’ have taken up the position of the tribal chiefs, selling the Nigerian masses into permanent bondage to Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron and other imperialists.

 

The masses have taken up the slogan of ‘Occupy Nigeria’ which in itself is a direct appeal to the modern slaves, the working class in the USA, many of them descendents from West Africa, to stand up to their regime in a more decisive way. Occupy Nigeria is showing to the US worker that if they are serious about Occupy Wall Street then they have to occupy USA and if they are serious about this then they have to prepare the way for a General Strike.

 

US imperialism is the main plunderer of Nigeria, West Africa, indeed of the entire Africa. Suddenly there is an attempt to instigate ‘Muslim-Christian’ violence, which shows the direct hand of US imperialism- ‘divide and rule’ is what they learnt from their former colonizers, the British regime. US imperialism instigated ‘Sunni-Shia’ infighting as a means to divert the Iraqi masses from fighting the occupying power.

 

The masses are already countering the divide and rule policy of US imperialism through Christians going to protect mosques while Muslims go to protect the churches. The masses realize that the fuel hike has nothing to do with religious belief. US imperialism wants to divert the fight against the state into an inter-ethnic fight. The strike committees should take the lead in organising joint marches of Christians and Muslims to the government buildings as well as the installations of the oil monopolies. The Egyptian workers raised the slogan- Muslim and Christian are one hand, one fist.  The strike committees should organise centrally the defence of the mass uprising from attacks of the state. Occupy Nigeria cannot be based on passive resistance but on armed self-defence against the attacks by the state which is nothing else but a giant security firm for the imperialist exploiters.

 

To really occupy Nigeria means steps must be taken (we have outlined such steps on our 9th Jan 2012 statement)- in essence:

 

1. The first step is to set up committees of action centred on delegates from the workers in the oil industry. Action committees of workers and unemployed should be set up in the cities and rural areas. Efforts should be made to draw in the rank and file soldiers into the action committees. The action committees should spearhead the action of the masses such as the general strike which starts on the 9th Jan 2012. Although middle class joining the fight against the regime should be welcomed, a careful eye should be kept on them to ensure they do not dominate the struggle.

2. Due to the role of the state in suppressing past attempts at general strikes, it is important that committees of self-defence are set up as part of the action committees. Whichever soldiers are won to the cause should assist with the training of the masses in the use of arms for self-defence against the attacks of the state.

3.  Watch out for the trade union leaders who want to limit the fight to an economic one, ie just to reduce the price of fuel or to make a compromise with the regime. These trade union leaders are calling the strike only to remain in control of the mass action. What is needed is to start with a reverse in the price increase and for the struggle to be extended to the total removal of the Jonathan regime.

 

For sure, many capitalist ‘opposition’ are lining up to take over the struggle for them to replace Jonathan in positions of privilege. This must not be allowed- they merely want to become the new chief security guards for Chevron and Shell.

 

What is needed is a workers’ council of delegates of the action committees, locally, regionally and nationally. Preparations should be made for the setting up of a revolutionary workers’ government based on councils of the action committees of the strike.

 

The strike should be transformed from a stayaway into occupation and a takeover by the workers and the communities of the oil installations and other capitalist factories, farms and banks. The trade union leaders of the strike protect the bosses through the stayaway, a tradition that comes from Stalinism, which keeps the fighting working class away from taking over the means of production (factories, farms, mines, banks etc).

 

4. Expropriate the multinationals and the local capitalists, without compensation, place these companies and farms under workers control. The first step must be the setting up of factory committees with delegates of all workers, be they casual or permanent, local or immigrant.  It is only a workers government that can implement these demands. It is only through expropriation of the commanding heights which includes the banks, that the masses will achieve housing and jobs for all.

5. Nationalise the land, expropriate the capitalist farms, place them under workers control through the setting up of model collective farms; cheap credit and assistance to the small farmer while encouraging them to join the collectives.

6. For workers in the US to set up solidarity action through the Occupy Wall street movement and other means to block US military intervention in Nigeria, to stop the killing machines of Exxon Mobil and Chevron in their tracks. Prepare the way to Occupy USA which means the setting up of factory committees to prepare the way for a General strike in the USA. US imperialism is terrorizing the world masses, not only that in Nigeria. What is needed is for the working class to take power in Nigeria and the US (indeed all across the globe). For this to happen, is required a working class party in Nigeria, in the US, indeed in every country in the world, as part of a revolutionary International (the refounded Fourth International).

 

Forward to a Soviet United states of Africa! To end the modern slavery in Nigeria, we must end the modern slavery in the USA as well!

11.1.2012