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DG of SOWORE 2019 UPDATE: THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES – A NEW NIGERIA IS STILL POSSIBLE

The Presidential vote count is finally over. Although we fell short of our goal of placing a committed and courageous leader at the helm of affairs in Nigeria, there is much that we can be proud of.

Omoyele Sowore ran a long, hard campaign that captured the hearts and minds of Nigerians. We created a movement and established a political party within a year. We recruited candidates to run for over 150 positions from the Presidency through to gubernatorial, senate, House of Representatives, state house of assembly, local government chairmanship to local councillorship positions.

We introduced the concept of town halls to Nigerian politics – where candidates engage the electorate in intimate settings that allow for deeper interaction. Our disruptive and innovative approaches to campaigning helped to force the introduction of Town Hall sessions to the national stage – culminating with The Candidates forum featuring just four selected parties. With your help, we raised about N150 million – with donations that ranged from N50 to N1 million, demonstrating that a politics devoid of godfathers and special interests is possible in Nigeria.

If elections are won based on hard work, engagement with the electorate and passion – then we would have prevailed. In the end, we were unable to overcome the establishment this time around. To begin with, there was the outright vote buying and wholesale rigging that occurred. Furthermore, we had a President who openly advocated the shooting of “ballot box snatchers” on Election Day and, as we expected, that threat of violence at the polls depressed the votes and made this the election with the lowest turnout since 1999.

In the final analysis, we did not win this time because the Nigerian people ultimately decided that they would rather choose the lesser of two evils; electing to go with the DEVIL THEY KNOW, rather than the ANGEL THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW.

While many of us might be disappointed that the elections ultimately came down to this false choice between the APC and PDP, we must listen to what the Nigerian people are saying. Their votes for Atiku and Buhari were cast reluctantly. Despite the billions of naira spent on these elections by the APC and PDP, only 27 million people voted, a paltry 32% of the total number of registered voters. The overwhelming majority chose NOT to participate.

THERE ARE TWO LESSONS THAT WE MUST LEARN

  1. NIGERIANS MUST GET TO KNOW THE ANGELS in TIB & AAC: Since 1960, our people have experienced cycles of hope followed by massive disappointment. Leaders have made promises during election cycles and they have failed to deliver. The restoration of democracy has brought nothing but economic misery and growing insecurity. No matter who has been elected – from Obasanjo, Yar’adua, Jonathan and then Buhari – nothing seems to have changed. It is therefore understandable that cynicism would set in. When a people lose faith in the expectation that changing leaders will improve their lives, they settle for the familiar. They choose the lesser of two evils. They go with the “Devil they know” rather than the angels that they do not. Our task is to ensure that by 2023, every Nigerian would have been touched by the activities and actions of the TakeitBack movement and the African Action Congress. They must have seen our impact in their lives. We must roll up our sleeves and engage. We must help shore up our schools, organise medical missions to various communities, develop policies and push for bills to be passed at state and national legislative bodies. We must call out corruption wherever it occurs and lead the Nigerian people to demand their rights in the courts and in the streets. We must practice what we preach! If we do all these things, and remain true to our mission, the Nigerian people will see us as partners who are in this fight for the long run – not just opportunists looking for votes. When they have seen us work to improve their lives in their own communities, they will trust us to do so at the national level.
  2. WE MUST STRENGTHEN OUR REACH AT THE GRASSROOTS: Although we have a commendable geographical spread, our movement and party will need to extend our reach to the grass roots. We must be present in every ward and in each of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria. Our members must be in every one of the 120,000 polling units in the nation. We must have active chapters in every tertiary institution. Our engagement in churches and mosques, market squares and community centres must continue. It is how well and how deeply we engage when there are no elections that will determine our reach and acceptance.

MARCHING FORWARD – MARCH 9th and BEYOND

Over the next few weeks we will be engaging with all of you in a series of conferences, meetings, town hall sessions – virtually and in person – to chart a way forward. However, in the short term, we still have elections to win, and we must remain focused on them.

On March 9th, we have 96 Candidates that will be running for various offices at the state level – 20 for Governor & Deputy Governor, and 76 for various State House of Assembly seats. They need our support, now more than ever. We cannot and MUST NOT abandon them.

Sowore will be holding sessions on the couch on Thursday February 28th, and on March 7th and 8th to help raise funds for the candidates. They have campaigns to run and agents to support. They need resources and encouragement. Let us continue to support them financially.

Funds donated to the party account from now through March 8th, will be allocated to the candidates. Anyone interested in making donations to candidates, can find a list of Gubernatorial candidates here:
https://aacparty.org/gubernatorial-candidates/
and state house of assembly candidates here:
https://aacparty.org/state-house-of-assembly-candidates/

Donations to the party should be made to:

AFRICAN ACTION CONGRESS
Zenith Bank
Account Number 1015977493

CONCLUSION

It was my great honour and privilege to serve as the Director General for the Sowore 2019 campaign and I want to thank all of you for your impassioned support for our great candidate, Omoyele Sowore. He is the leader Nigeria needs and we are fortunate to have him at the head of our movement and party.

Aluta Continua. Victoria Acerta – The Struggle continues. Victory is certain!!

Dr Malcolm Fabiyi
DG, TakeItBack Movement
Deputy National Chairman (Admin), AAC Party

Confronting the Difficult Questions: The Politics of Real Engagements

We have come to see everything that is wrong with Nigeria so that we can fix it’ – Omoyele Sowore on visiting the poor along Agege Railroad.

Although the reception of about nine months crusade of Omoyele Sowore’s Take It Back political revolution now poised for a run on the new AAC platform continues to soar and exceed imaginations, there still remain small pockets of dismissals or misevaluation of his efforts, and others bunching him into the stench of the usual.

Certainly, repeated national failures, including poverty, continue to instruct the conception of the present and projections into the future by majority of Nigerians, giving rise to a numb and parochial national space. But more worrisome and perceivable everywhere is a passively muttered belief that all politicians are the same and that hope is currently an unaffordable luxury in a country like ours.

While all these escapist mental positions and coping strategies are certainly no solution to the problems we are confronted with as a people, they continue to stand in the way all political aspirations are interpreted and absorbed. One may then ask; are there grounds to seek any difference in what Omoyele Sowore’s political philosophy represents, the future it could possibly engender, looking at the implications of his crusades, metaphorically and literally?

To answer this valid question, one may seek lighthouses in his political efforts and find his unflinching will to confront difficult questions beaming through the spread of his town hall meetings that has remained archives of bold national discourse and engagements. But beyond the fact that such engagements are pioneered by his political audacity, there are a number of important examples of his engagements with the nation space that exceed the usual.

A pause to consider his revealing visit to Bakassi IDP camp, the rot it uncovers which spans from lack of basic amenities to a pathetic and yet very small pen of pigs as alternative livelihood, makes pain a raw bite and grating illumination to attentive minds.  More so, it is very important to note that on visiting this misery that is the IDP camp, Sowore had said; today I am more convinced Nigeria needs to be taken back from the bad leaders. There are times during the visit that he welled up with compassion and blurted out with renewed conviction that the leaders of this country are wicked. At another time he said, he is moved to tears but he will not cry least someone thinks he is playing politics with his tears.There, at the camp, he muttered he saw hopelessness on the faces of the children and on the faces of the adults he saw misery, while the optics of the visit remains a jarring one, provoking just one lingering word, abandoned.

Yet, there are issues this political endeavor also brings to bare, issues that no longer have space in our unbridled political arena, where interest are often corrosively selfish and rarely noble, and more importantly, this visit allows us to ask important question, for example – running through the video – one may ask, should this fate remain the lots of anyone whose land and heritage were lost to another country, not by choice or accident, but after a concession by their home country?

Could this kind of government rot show what worth the Nigerian government placed on her people? What does it mean that Sowore, a presidential candidate visited these people? Was there such thoughtful stop before now by vote seeking politicians and are there nerves or compassionate chords strummed in such previous event? Obviously, the deplorable site shows the population are merely numbered and lumped within the usually despised Nigerian communities by the political elites, and we are often numbed at sites like this and are barely provoked into compelling actions?

Engaging the people, Sowore carried one of their babies, kissed him/her and promised to ensure he/she is always fed. He also said he will help to bury the dead. But to ask further questions; is it right to reduce all these to mere political gimmick giving the background that no other politician interrogates a rot as bare as this, and if all the gazes of the people remain a prayer, can Sowore bring them their desired life in spite of their losses should he become the preside or should this provoke conscientious supports from empathetic Nigerians for Sowore’s political agenda since he is the one paying attention to these kind of issues and carrying such burden forward towards a political re-engineering?

On gleaning through those beaming eyes, I believe it is not out of place to believe the gazes of these men, women and children, though fastened on Sowore, are prayers pleading with all of us who can vote and influence political space to disrupt the status quo for the emergence of the one that will indeed respect all lives no matter where on the social ladder they belong.

We must all be awakened to the truth that says how our country treats the least of us is the value of what she truly thinks of all of us no matter what tier of life we steers. We must never forget the pain of this reality and make it a compass for our political choices. We decide.  

AAC Voters Education

What are the Polling Hours?

On each Election Day, polling stations will open for Accreditation and Voting from 8:00am to 2.00pm. However, voters on the queue before the close of poll at 2:00pm will be accredited and allowed to vote.
IMPORTANT: No person will be allowed to vote at a polling unit other than the one where he/she registered and got accredited.

Can I Bring My Phone to the Polling Unit?

Yes, you can use your phone to capture results and every proceedings but your phones are only prohibited in the polling booth.

What is the Voting Procedure?

Voting at the polling unit will be as follows: At the polling unit, join the queue. An INEC official will check if you are at the correct polling unit and confirm that the PVC presented belongs to you.
An INEC official will confirm if your PVC is genuine using the card reader. You will be asked to place your finger on the card reader.
An INEC official will ask for your PVC and confirm you are listed in the Voters Register. Your name will be ticked and your finger will be inked to confirm you have voted. If your name is not found you cannot vote.
The Presiding officer will stamp, sign and endorse your ballot paper. You will be given the ballot paper rolled with the printed side inwards and directed to the voting cubicle.
Stain your finger with the ink given and mark the box for your preferred candidate/party. Roll the ballot paper in the manner you were given and flatten it.
Leave the voting cubicle and drop the ballot paper in the ballot box in full view of people at the Polling Unit.
Leave the Polling Unit or wait if you so choose, in an orderly and peaceful manner, to watch the process up to declaration of result.
N.B The result of each Polling Unit shall be pasted at the unit for everyone to see.
IMPORTANT: A voter living with a disability will be assisted to vote in the polling unit by a person chosen by him/her, other than a poll agent. Where available, visually impaired voters may use Assistive Tactile facilities.

How do I report “Vote Buying” and other Election Offences?
Report election offences to the INEC situation room on election day. The number to reach the situation room will be communicated to the public before the election day.

Report election offences to the AAC party situation room on election day. The number to reach the situation room are +2349054176262
+2349075080891


Buhari’s Autocracy and a need to Change Government

A political theory or system favoring and exercising unlimited or unchecked authority by a single individual is Autocracy. Virtuous to the principle of power sharing and Democracy, autocratic rules and decisions are deemed unfit and apparently liable to assail the rule of law in a constitutional society. Nigeria being a constitutional democratic state provides for the separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature, and judiciary. Each vested with different responsibilities as provided by the Constitution are required to operate independently from each other in order to check and avoid abuse of power.

In Nigeria today, under the administration of President Mohammed Buhari the arms of government have had a lot of conflicts resulting from power tussle. On December 2, 2016, an Abuja High court ordered the immediate release of the Shi’a leader, El Zakyzaky with a fine of 50million Naira, Subsequently, On July 2, 2018, the court ordered the immediate release of Colonel Dasuki; unfortunately, President Buhari refused both judicial verdicts on different occasions.

The Peak of the atrocities came when the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onohnghen was alleged and charged to court for failing to declare his asset, the issues generated heated controversy and the Code of Conduct Tribunal was denied jurisdiction to preside over the case leaving the Chief Justice undecided and apparently presuming his innocence by virtue of section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution. The Government of the day has succeeded in violating the rights of the people it is obliged to care for.

Spiteful of Walter Onoghen’s presumption of innocence, The Presidency ordered a swift suspension of him and immediate installment of Mohammed Tanko as the acting chief justice of Nigeria violating judicial process and peeping into tyranny implicitly. The appointment of Tanko is deemed unconstitutional virtuous to Section 231(1) in the quote “The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.” The appointment of Mohamed Tanko without legislation is a command and abuse of power which is not tolerated under democracy.

Since Justice Walter Onoghen has not been convicted by a Competent Court of law and has not been brought to book by the Judicial Commission, it errs to appoint a new one amounting to two Chief Justices to head the judicial arm as we cannot have two presidents and two senate presidents in the country. Pursuant to section 231(4) “If the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding has resumed those functions, the President shall appoint the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court to perform those functions.” In this regard the office of the CJN is not dully vacant and cannot be filled.

On the appointment of Justice Tanko, it is partially right on the ground that he is the subsequent justice of the Supreme Court to justice Onoghen, but violating the due process of legally removing justice Onoghen in accordance with section 292(1ai) of the 1999 constitution outrightly invalidates the appointment of Justice Tanko as the Chief Justice of Nigeria. In the supreme law of the Nation the removal of the CJN must be legislated, therefore the president’s action to impose the new CJN on the Nation Judicial mantle is outright dictatorship and must be dejected by the people of Nigeria.

Haven seen the dictatorial traits of the recent Government, and having the opportunity at the Election poll coming on February 16, it will be delusional and perversive to re-elect a Government which has no respect for the Fundamental rights of the people who are proclaimed to be Government. If proper decision is not taken, and the current government is reelected, a prospective sack of democracy and explicit return of autocracy is perceived.

MEET SOME OF OUR STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES, DELTA STATE

State House of Assembly

Oburumu Tamaraukepreye

Bomadi LGA

I am Oburumu Tamaraukepreye widely known as comrade Tam Oburumu. I was born on the 26th of December 1977. I am from Ogbeinama town, ward six, Bomadi LGA, Delta state. I am a direct maternal grandson of chief T. O onduku, renowned Ijaw educationist,community leader and the progenitor to the Ijaw hierography. In 1999 I sat for the SSCE popularly referred to as GCE that paved my way to the higher institution. I have a BA Ed in English language of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo university, Ile Ife from the Adeyemi college of education campus ondo, Ondo state between 2001 and 2005. In 2006 I was called to serve my country under the NYSC scheme in Borno state. I am a creative writer, essayist, playwright, novelist and poet with numerous unpunished works. Right now two of my books are undergoing publication. I was awarded by the national union of Ijaw students a certificate of life membership because of my selfless service is the union during my time as the editor in chief of the union in 2003. I was also recognized with an for my humanitarian services to the society by the Ayakoromo students Association in 2016.

Work and Human Rights Political Experience

I have worked as a private and public teacher since 1999 before I gained admission into the university. I was the Chairman Ijaw youth council (IYC) Isoko chapter in 2003. Between 2002 and 2005 I founded the African Writers Association on campus and served as the pioneer president of the group. In 1998 I was one of the determined Ijaw youths that took part in the famous kaiama declaration that brought new phrase in the resource control agitation in the Niger Delta. Today I am social crusader of equal rights and justice. I am a civil rights activist preaching the message of good leadership and representation on radio, television and social media. this has made me the most popular candidate today in Bomadi constituency amongst the other candidates.

My Manifesto

I am going to be a very vibrant, selfless and outspoken in Parliament especially during plenary in sponsoring bills and moving of motions to the benefit of my constituency.

If elected, build a constituency liaising office where my constituents will have the opportunity to make complaints and suggestions for the benefit of everyone.

I am going to hold quarterly town hall meetings with every ward in my constituency in which the people will determine what project they really wanted.

Constituency development funds shall be made public for everyone to see. How money is spent will be published for accountability. I will lobby the executive arm of government during budget representation in order to influence human faced projects to my constituency.

I will be accessible at all times. My phone numbers will be there for anyone in the constituency to call and discuss issues that will move Bomadi LGA forward.

Education will be given top priority especially the girl child education.

Provision of instructional materials and conducive learning environment will be looked into.

Children, pregnant women health and care of the elderly ones will be part of my bills and motions. Sports and youths entrepreneurship and leadership will be given attention in other to bring self confidence in our young people.

Ikemefuna Anyasi

State House of Assembly

Oshimili north

I believe strongly that representing a people is all about the people such that improve their living standard and affect their lives positively. Com. Ikem Anyasi is determined to make an indelible mark in our LGA. He has got the vision, the contact and the strong will to empowered and give exposure to our people. He has vowed to do things DIFFERENTLY. Powered by AAC Oshimili North Exco

My Manifesto

One area where we can better the lives of our people, improve their living standard, expose them and do human capital development is through Sports. Sports is the highest employer of labour all over the world, yet we underestimate what a total overhaul and massive development of the sector will do for our people.

For a start when elected, Com. Anyasi will concentrate on four different sporting events such as:

1. Basketball,

2. Tennis,

3. Athletics and

4. Football.

I will establish four academy centres with school and boarding facilities in four different towns in the LGA. The focus target will be children between the ages of 12 and 18. Train the discovered talents with state of the art facilities in partnership’ with foreign professional schools.

The children will later be transferred abroad for further training and marketing in order for them to have opportunities in the big leagues. With this, families, towns and the LGA will be positively affected.

Foreign currency will flow into the schools and people who would have become frustrated due to lack of what to do would have made a good living for themselves and the society. Nigeria will be better for it.

John Agboifo

State House of Assembly

Ika south LGA

I am the best candidate for the IKA SOUTH, HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, because of my passionate zeal and drive for humanity especially, the good people of Ika South, my immediate Constituency. I am an indigene of IHOGBE kingdom, Agbor, IKA SOUTH LGA, Delta State, born on 6th of August, 1973, to the family of Late Sir Alexander Agboifo and Hon. Victoria Agboifo and attended Erigbe Primary School Agbor, Christ the Kings College Onitsha. My hobbies are playing basketball, reading and traveling.

I am for reformation – legislative reforms and all inclusive representation. I am grounded, well loved and believed in by all because I have an history of over 2 decades in the course for humanity, fairness and enquiry. I can boldly say a vote for John Ubaka Agboifo is a vote for better living.

My Manifesto

My manifesto is for a progressive Ika South as a lawmaker via constitutional reform/ enactment.  

Adequate Representation

The gap between the Led and their Rep, for me, is and will remain a top priority. I will therefore establish not less than two offices in Ika South Local Government Area where my constituency will be lodging complaints for my immediate attention and urgent actions, as a TRUE believer of a transparent representation.

Also, in the bid to keep a direct communication between me and my people, I will create a constituency website, where the constituencies’ progressive moves will be updated periodically for the consumption and comfortability of my people. This will also come with a customer complaint number (Helpline) and an email for my constituency t

The management of these communication channels will in turn create mini job opportunities for a few people in my Constituency.

Lobbying and Collaboration

I will work assiduously with who ever becomes the Governor of Delta State in 2019, regardless of his political party or other affiliations because, what really matters to me is my constituency and the people I intend to represent and serve.

The Private Sector Partnership Alliance Programs (PS-PAP).

I will pursue vigorously through the enactment of laws in strong partnership with the Local Government Council Chairman the implementation of my agenda The Private Sector Partnership Alliance Programs (PS-PAP).

Job creation

As a lawmaker, I intend to sponsor reform and partnership bills that will attract private and corporate investors altogether via My Private Partnership Alliance Program {PS-PAP}. The bill will cover cooperative societies too! This in turn will lead to massive creation of job opportunities in our Constituency.

Natural and Human Resources Endowment:

In this area, I intend to study the existing laws on minerals in Nigeria and find ways we can put our mineral deposits into use and without the contravention of the Federal laws on one side, and while enabling a sort of self reliance and maximum utilisation of our mineral deposits to better the living conditions of our people on the other.

The Debate Before The Debate: What Are You Afraid Of President Buhari?

”In nearly four years of his presidency, Buhari has totally disengaged and distanced himself from Nigerians given his aloofness and spectating position on important and controversial national issues when he should have addressed the Nigerian people.” – Bayo Oluwasanmi

January 10, SaharaReporters published a story headlined “APC Coalition Joins Conspiracy To Exclude Sowore From Presidential Debate” In a statement issued by Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi, Director-General of the Sowore 2019 Campaign says “The African Action Congress and the Sowore 2019 Campaign has been notified of a plot to use frivolous lawsuits as a salt tactic to prevent a timely ruling on the case instituted by our party for the inclusion of Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the party, in the January 19th NEDG/BON 2019 Debate.”

“According to the party, the United Party of Nigeria (UPN), which is a member of the APC-led Coalition of Progressives Political Parties (CPPP), is set to file a motion at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja seeking to be joined as a party in the Sowore suit.”

The exclusion of Sowore from the debate has become the debate before the presidential debate. Nigerians are flabbergasted, scratching their heads why the hell Sowore who has proven to be a great communicator on the campaign trail, a tireless campaigner, a charismatic crowd puller, and a brilliant debater who explicates the great issues of our time for ordinary Nigerians was yanked from the debate.

The new plan of APC as a co-conspirator in the plot to disallow Sowore from participating in the debate make President Buhari an accomplice. In nearly four years of his presidency, Buhari has totally disengaged and distanced himself from Nigerians given his aloofness and spectating position on important and controversial national issues when he should have addressed the Nigerian people.

Buhari has remained dangerously reticent, wickedly reclusive, sneakily elusive, and a terrible taciturn who fail to use the bully pulpit to connect with Nigerians. For example, it took him four days as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to issue a terse statement after 100 of his soldiers were butchered by Boko Haram.

Mr. President, you’re employed by the Nigerian people. Sir, you’re duty bound to feel their pulse on any issue by talking to them and getting feedback. As president, you cannot choose to remain silent. Right now, there’s a rumor making the rounds that your handlers have surreptitiously scheduled your next doctor’s appointment in London to coincide with the date of the debate so a proxy will fill in for you.

The question that agitates the minds of Nigerians is: Why would President Buhari through his party APC join the conspirators to exclude Sowore from the debate? Who is afraid of Sowore? What are you afraid of President Buhari? Why do you want to deny Nigerians the opportunity to hear from Sowore? Why are you scared of being on the debate stage with Sowore? Nigerians are dying to hear from Sowore why he wants your job.

In fact, you should insist on debating Sowore so you can amplify your achievements as president in the past four years live on a national TV. If you ever go on stage with Sowore, we promise you our eyes will be stuck to the screen like peanut butter on bread. Please don’t let this rare opportunity pass you!

The importance of presidential debates cannot be stressed enough. Debates force candidates to discuss issues they would rather not discuss. Debates allow candidates to deny or confirm some of their bogus campaign claims and exaggerated promises. Debates allow voters to assess men and women running for office without the usual filters. Debates provide opportunity for candidates to defend their cagey positions and irritable repudiation of the other’s views, record, and ability.

Debates will reveal to Nigerians who among the candidates is well groomed, prepared, and ready to govern through display of confidence, construction of logical arguments that make sense, the opportunity to hear and see audience’s reactions, and the humility to listen and respond to others’ arguments. Debates also guarantee the freedom of speech by allowing people with whom we disagree to speak.

If we examined, scrutinized, and grilled our presidential candidates and see who is best fit, best prepared for the job, who demonstrates sound judgement, ability and intelligence, superior analysis, mastery of the problems and proffered solutions, the debate will recommend for voters who they’ll cast their votes for The debate will prove who is the dead dog and the living lion… Let’s go there!

Contributions to the debate on Forced Eviction in Lagos State

Contributions to the debate entitled: ’ABUJA POLICY DEBATE COMES TO LAGOS:THE POOR MUST ALSO LIVE.DEMOLITIONS OF MARKETS AND WORKPLACES IN LAGOS’’Organised by Freidrich Ebert Foundation,FES
FORCED EVICTION, DEMOLITION OF MARKETS, DISPOSSESSION OF THE POOR WORKING PEOPLE AND INCREASING POVERTY AMONG THE GRASSROOTS MASSES IN LAGOS STATE
Paper Presented by Kunle Oladejo,Director-General,International Centre for Grassroots Research and Development Initiative,InterCEGRADI,Economic and Political Risks Analyst in Collaboration with Comrade Barrister Musa Lawal, Secretary-General, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC
>Attention first and foremost captured by abject poverty and inequality-increasing gap between the rich and poor
> Extent of poverty in Nigeria since 1999: About 70% of Nigerians were reported by the “National Concord” of September 7, 1999 to be poor and that the number living below poverty line increased from 17.7 million to 67.1 million by 59.4 million between 1980 and 1996.Now the number of the poor is estimated to be more than 100 million people who cannot afford $1 dollar a day, that is, about =N=300 daily!!!
>Gross under estimation of Nigerian population:by the end of this year,it would have been about 222 million-at the end of 2018,it was approximately 2015 million
> Unemployed graduates greater than or equal to 10 million jobless;ILO figure more than 10 years ago was 37.5 million for all the jobless;FG’s Bureau of Statistics, BOS, gave 35 million ten years ago; at a retreat by the National Assembly 10 years ago ,it was estimated to be 50 million ;by our estimation ,the jobless population is between 60 and 70 million
> WHY IS INEQUALITY INCREASING IN INTENSITY? WHY IS THE GAP BETWEEN THE RICH AND POOR WIDENING? WHAT CAUSES CYCLICAL ECONOMIC CRISIS OR RECESSION OR STAGFLATION AND DE-INDUSTRIALIZATION?
> According to OXFAM & UNO at the end of 2015 when Millennium Development Goals,MDGs were renamed Sustainable Development Goals,SDGs,the gap between the poor and rich is increasing and inequality is increasing in intensity. This is a manifestation of cyclical economic crisis globally or better still intrinsic or organic crisis of market economic fundamentalism or paradigm
> But what causes cyclical economic crisis, recession or stagflation and de-industrialisation or Long Depression as we have been having since the end of the Great Recession worldwide between the end of 2007 and 2009 till today? The answer is not far –fetched .I am not convinced by social democrats who rely on KEYNESIAN MODEL OR SCHOOL of mainstream economics as a phase of capitalism or neo-liberalism which started in 1976 or 10 years after imposition as SAP,structural adjustment programme in Nigeria by General Babangida in1986 leading to serious de-industrialization in all sectors of the economy
> E vents in the world economy confirm the profundity of the predictions by Karl Marx and Engels more than 170 years ago more relevantly now.It could have been written yesterday!!!
> WHY ARE WE WHERE WE ARE: Nigeria’s Long Depression-Historical-materialist Perspective of the Crisis in Nigeria’s Neo-colonial Market Economy for the past 32 years?
> The premises of recession and skyrocketing inflation(STAGFLATION-stagnancy/de-industrialisation and inflation which did not start in 2016 in Nigeria is a concept developed by Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor Paul Samuelson, adviser to President J F Kennedy) are flimsy excuses by governments who have been implementing, since 1999, NEO-LIBERAL ECONOMIC POLICIES which are contrary to the 1999 Constitution (this is more than 90% of 1979 Constitution) in its chapter two entitled:’’ Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy’’- the IDEOLOGICAL/PHILOSOPHICAL foundation of that Supreme Law which its section 224 makes mandatory for political parties to have their manifestos and constitutions CONFORM TO.
> ON THE RIGHT TO SHELTER OR SOCIAL HOUSING encapsulated in chapter two and African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights,ACHPR,part of Nigerian Laws by virtue of its Enfocement Act,CAP 10,1990,by now after 3 and a half years,we should have had about 2 million low cost housing units were the social democratic reforms in the manifesto of the ruling party not abandoned for neo-liberal or market economic paradigm which General Buhari promised Tony Blair at Chatam House and Barack Obama when he was invited less than two weeks after he was sworn in.Between 1966 and 1986,SOCIAL HOUSING was in vogue with Gowon Housing Estates; interestingly in line with Chapter Two of 1979 Constitution,Late President Shagari who never budgeted more than =N=50 billion naira, built housing estates on owner-occupier basis –Former Governor Jakande of Lagos State never budgeted more than =N=1billion in total for 4 years, built Housing Estates for grassroots masses.But what we now see in Lagos is land speculation ,land grabbing and forced eviction during which the owners of the land were either injured or killed and their property were given to powerful individuals for private development .Most of these evictions were done in the night by wicked Lagos government in violent violation of their rights including right to life -an example is death of TRIPLETS WHOSE MOTHER SPONTANEOUS GAVE BIRTH TO THEM WHEN SHE WAS BEING EVICTED,BUT WHEN THEY DIED IN QUICK SUCCESSION,SHE RAN MAD,That is as a result of this intrinsic or organic crisis of MARKET SYSTEM predicted more than 170 years ago!
>Since the era of SAP and since 1999 in the richest state,Lagos there has not been SOCIAL HOUSING!!!
> Let us recall what NEO-LIBERALISM alias SAP did to the other sectors of the economy: General Babangida took power in 1985 and imposed the neo-liberal agenda foisted on Nigeria by IMPERIALIST-,IMF,WORLD BANK AND WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION,WTO which was then GATT, General Agreement on Trade and Tariff, GATT starting with deregulation, liberalisation of trade, devaluation of the Naira ,privatization or sale of public assets and companies in 1986.Hence , DE-INDUSTRIALISATION began ,for example ,the textile industry lost more than 500,000 workers to STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM, SAP, a neo-liberal paradigm from 1986 till the present time( ten years after IMF & WORLD BANK started NEO-LIBERAL GLOBALISATION in 1976 which they are now hypocritically denouncing as the root cause of the present LONG DEPRESSION IN WORLD ECONOMY which started in 2009 after the GREAT RECESSION,2008-2009 which was not-and could not have been as serious and deep as a DEPRESSION).OUR OWN LONG DEPRESSION started about 32 years ago in 1986.It only became more serious and much deeper with this RECESSION &INFLATION which, borrowing from Professor Paul Samuelson, we call RECESSFLATION .
> We used to have six (6) automobile plants. If a youth was told that as at 1985 when General Babangida took over from PMB, a Peugeot 504 from Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria, PAN, Kaduna was less than =N=5,000 Naira and a VOLSWAGEN BEETLE,the cheapest car, from the automobile plant along Lagos-Badagry Expressway was less than =N=3,000 Naira, the young person would not believe this and that 4 other automobile plants at ENUGU,ANAMCO ,was for Mercedes luxurious buses ,LEYLAND at Ibadan was for LANDROVER & RANGEROVER and two trucks assembly plants were in BAUCHI & KANO.NIGERIA was on INDEPENDENT PATH OF RAPID ECONOMIC/INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT until SAP destroyed it with NEO-LIBERAL FUNDAMENTALISM OR PARADIGM on which Late Prof Sam Aluko always opposed Late Prof Ojetunji Aboyade,a supporter of SAP and Special Adviser to General Babangida under whose and Prof Pat Utomi’s watch as Chairperson and Managing Director respectively, VOLKSWAGEN OF NIGERIA died.
> WHAT ARE FORCED EVICTIONS?
Definition by the UNO HABITAT
Forced eviction is “the permanent or temporary removal against their will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land which they occupy, without the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection” (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, general comment No. 7 (1997) on the right to adequate housing: forced evictions).
 Various elements, separately or combined, define a forced eviction:
– A permanent or temporary removal from housing, land or both;
– The removal is carried out against the will of the occupants, with or without the use of force;
– It can be carried out without the provision of proper alternative housing and relocation, adequate compensation and/or access to productive land, when appropriate;
– It is carried out without the possibility of challenging either the decision or the process of eviction, without due process and disregarding the State’s national and international obligations.
 THE COLLAPSE OF BOURGEOISDOM, KINGDOM OF THE CAPITALIST RULING CLASS-Death Agony of World Capitalism
 World Capitalism collapsed between 2007 and 2009 and was taken to the CASUALITY WARD .It went into COMA in 2009 and has been taken to the INTENSIVE CARE UNIT for more treatment. This explains the LONG DEPRESSION since 2009 engendered by the ORGANIC CRISIS OF CAPITALIST SYSTEM .Every sector of the world is grappling with crises which are manifestations caused by the organic crisis of capitalism at all levels: on the economic plane and its reflection on the political plane. Karl Marx made us to understand some laws in scientific socialism which he discovered more than 150 years ago in collaboration with his co-thinker, Freidrich Engels (Lenin and Trotsky, Co-leaders of the Russian REVOLUTION which began 100 years ago in February, 1917 during the first world war, THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION WHICH LED TO THE FIRST HEALTHY WORKERS DEMOCRACY/WORKERS STATE UNDER LENIN AS THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE SOVIET UNION, added another law to the ones discovered by Karl Marx).
 Crisis generated by forced evictions is just one of the crises or manifestations of the organic crisis of the capitalist system. Therefore, a holistic approach is adopted in interrogating factors responsible.
 What are these laws? 150 years ago, Karl Marx formulated the following laws: 1. LAWS OF CYCLICAL ECONOMIC CRISIS which used to have a cycle of 10 years, but now has a cycle of 5,6,7,or 8 years and never up to 10 years again.
 THE GREAT RECESSION OF 2008-2009 CAN NOW BE EXPLAINED BY THE SECOND LAW. 2. LAW OF THE TENDENCY FOR THE RATE OF PROFIT TO FALL as the GREAT RECESSION and the LONG DEPRESSION which followed it can only be explained by the second law, THE LAW OF PROFITABILITY, according to a London Professor, Comrade Michael Roberts, a British Professor of Mathematical Economics, Marxist Economic Theory and Political Economy, who authored books entitled: ’THE GREAT RECESSION’’ and ‘’LONG DEPRESSION’’.
 3. The third law, LAW OF COMBINED AND UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT, was propounded by Lenin and Trotsky to explain the highest stage of capitalism which they called IMPERIALISM. It was also applied to explain why revolution could take place in backward countries before advanced countries contrary to what Marx and Engels predicted.4.LAWS OF DIALECTICS form the set of LAWS which explain that SOCIAL REVOLUTION is possible. They are :a.Everything changes and in perpetual motion;b.Law of Unity and struggle of opposites;c.Law of THESIS,ANTI-THESIS AND SYNTHESIS;d.Law of quantitative change transforming to qualitative change,etc.
 The 1979/1999 CONSTITUTION in Chapter Two and laws enacted by the Federal Government encapsulate ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (ECOSOC Rights).’’FUNDAMENTAL OBJECTIVES AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY’’ also envisage SYSTEM CHANGE to a new SOCIAL ORDER
 The constitution furthermore makes it mandatory for political parties to be registered under section 224 to have their manifestos conform to the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy which led Comrade Femi Aborisade, a lawyer, legal adviser to TUC and Marxist to deliver this lecture: Presentation at the ACN Induction/Training For National Assembly Members-Elect Held on 26th May, 2011 at Osogbo
 I hereby quote him.‘’The topic, “Budgeting for maximum social advantage” shows a concern to make the welfare of the people the primary essence of governance. It is a revolutionary topic because on an international scale today, the norm is to use state power against the interest of the common people. The agenda of the so called international community, the IMF/World Bank is to compel governments, internationally, and particularly, in the so called ‘developing’ countries to protect the greed of the rich at the expense of the need of the poor.’’
 ‘’It is therefore important to appreciate and understand the economic history of how we arrive at this unprecedented stage – the neoliberal economic phase – in which wholesale protection of private capital without any pretence for the outright neglect of the need of ordinary people has become the creed of governance, not only in Nigeria, but internationally’’
 We ,as AAC have, in addition to our slogan of take it back include REVOLUTION NOW AS AN IDEOLOGICAL WAR AGAINST PARTIES OF THE RULING CLASS,APC,APGA,PDP,E.T.C!!! THANK YOU

AFRICAN CHINA ENDORSES OMOYELE SOWORE

The prominent reggae artiste, Chinagorom Onuoha, popularly known as African China endorses Omoyele Sowore for the president of Nigeria. In an Instagram post published on 12th January, 2019, he admonished the youth to make better inputs in the area of politics just as they have done in the area of sport, music, movies and computer apps. 


In a country where prominent voices are either silent or subtly deployed for the political oppressors, a gesture like this is important to our national politics. We hope that it provokes more voices to take more definite stance towards the general elections.  
Though it is important to acknowledge that some artiste are already helpful in the area of voters education and advocacy, we expect that these voices take a step further to endorse Omoyele Sowore. The problem with Nigeria requires a political and/or partisan involvement as standing on the fence gives strength to the thieving political oppressors. 


https://www.instagram.com/p/BrTrCIeAsMX/

Omoyele Sowore’s Quotes

“It is over for the old people, it is over for the cabal, it is over for the mafias that have been running Nigeria down.”


“People who destroyed your past cannot guarantee your future.”


“Since I stepped into the campuses of the University of Lagos in 1989 (30 years ago), I have not looked back from fighting to enthrone an egalitarian society.”


“For every four years we vote in wrong candidates, we lose 35 years of our individual productive lives and our national development.”


“I am the most transparent candidate, I have capacity, I have pedigree and I have an indestructible antecedent”.


“I can run Nigeria better than President Buhari, even in my sleep. There is no need to become a Local Government Councillor or a Senator when I can run a better country as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”


“Nigeria has no business being poor, we have all it takes to make Africa great.”


“If Nigeria gets it right, Africa gets it right.”

Take It Back!!!