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A COMMUNIQUE/PRESS RELEASE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF NIGERIA (SPN) MEETING WHICH WAS HELD IN BENIN

CITY, EDO STATE ON THE IST OF JUNE, 2013

Preamble SPN members from different parts of the country had a one-day meeting in Benin City on the 1st of June, 2013. The meeting, which was well attended and supported by committed members all over Nigeria and abroad, discussed many intra-organizational issues as well as some socio-political challenges confronting the Nigerian State. Sequel to the one-day meeting, this communiqu was issued. Major Decisions SPN is committed to the socio-economic and political reconstruction of the Nigerian State to ensure peace, security, employment and an egalitarian society, as enshrined in section two (2) of the Nigerian Constitution. Issues must be open to debates and discussed in the spirit of democratic centralism. Decisions and agreements arising from popular debates and discussions should be defended by all. There should be regular or periodic reports from State branches and other branches should be set up all over the country. The State of the Nigerian State On a general scale, there is the epidemic of insecurity in Nigeria. The country is rife with ethnic disunity, groupings and babel of geo-political and religious voices and violence, which are snowballing toward civil war and national disintegration. Internal cracks and forces are being supported by imperialists who have selfish interest and who flourish in the retrogression of Nigeria. However, we must remember that we had a bitter civil war from 1967-1970. It was ugly. WAR IS UGLY! EVIL! When another war erupts, Boko Haram, Niger-Delta militancy and other ethnic militarism will become a childs play. So, those who are beating the drums of war by perpetrating ethno-religious TERRORISM should bear this in mind and STOP without conditions because violence is not a monopoly of any class. Another deep crisis besetting Nigeria is economic. Nigeria does not produce ANYTHING! No factories! No serious agriculture investments are taking place anywhere in the country! Government simply depends on oils from the Niger-Delta whose prices they manipulate in the objectionable name and process of fuel subsidy removal. In spite of the general outrage against it, the ruling class is still hell-bent on pursuing the anti-people policy of fuel price increase. Furthermore, Nigerian educational system produces Nigerians who are hardly useful to Nigeria. The nature and content of the knowledge and curricula being transmitted are questionable. Our universities are poorly rated in the world just as our graduates are looked down upon in both national and international labour markets. Exemplary teachers and lecturers have become endangered species, scarcely found in schools these days. Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the unfair system take their children and wards to alien schools in foreign countries with more stable educational system to the detriment of Nigeria! SPN is well-equipped to tackle these socio-political and economic scourges ravaging Nigeria. The structure, intellectual and human resources of SPN as patterned at present have the moral strength and acumen to attain a peaceful nation and an egalitarian society. Destabilization and Emasculation of Labour Movement and Professional Bodies

Professional and intellectual bodies like NLC, ASUU, NMA, NUJ, NUT, NBA, NANS, etc, have been relegated to the background. Government at various levels employs all manner of devious strategies to disorganize, reorganize, balkanize and emasculate these groups. SPN urges these bodies to shine their eyes and see through the manipulations emanating from their enemy camps. We call on these organizations to organize training and enlightenment programmes to raise the consciousness of their members and leaders. We are committed to the unity of the trade unions and labour movement at large: Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, National Association of Nigerian Students, peasants, market women and men, and the intellectuals. These are indeed the genuine people who bake the national cake that the ruling class shares with reckless abandon. We equally believe in the dignity of labour. Therefore, SPN calls for a minimum wage of sixty thousand naira (N60,000.00) per capita. Governance and Corruption Corruption at all levels of government and official life remains the number one bane of socio-economic development. Successive ruling classes have not been able to curb corruption, let alone stop it. SPN will demystify the unnecessary high premium placed on the value of money in order to wipe out corruption. SPN believes, and practical experiences have clearly shown, that the presidential system of government that Nigeria is exhibiting is evil and wasteful, giving room to all manner of official iniquities. Therefore, SPN will democratically introduce a system that is favourable to the people of Nigeria. Gender Inequality SPN unequivocally states its commitment to gender equality in all socio-political, economic and educational ramifications except for naturally assigned gender-biological roles and responsibilities. Men and women should combine equally to move Nigeria forward. Women, for instance, are naturally the stabilizers and boosters of family units in particular and the country in general. In the last series of gubernatorial and presidential elections, statistics indicated that women voters were more in number. Yet, they are being marginalized and ill-treated. Indeed, women ought to be accorded equal opportunity and ratio in employment and government appointments. SPN will design and implement an active programme for the emancipation and advancement of women, and other oppressed groups like pensioners and the unemployed youths, from the grip of basal capitalist oppression and injustice. Constitutional Review While we accept that the Nigerian constitution needs to be urgently reviewed, we assert that the way and manner in which it is now being executed leaves much to be desired. Government should be more democratic in the on-going constitutional review. Both the elite and the generality of the Nigerian people: the illiterate masses, students, peasants, professional bodies, etc, should have a say. Conclusion Our desire to improve the quality of life of Nigerians remains unshaken. We believe that Nigeria has all it takes to rise and lead the world. Only a united Nigerian Left can save this country. In this connection, SPN recognizes and appreciates the efforts of comrades and sister groups who have been working tirelessly to save the country. SPN, therefore, calls for the unity of the Left in the struggle for an egalitarian Nigeria.