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From: The Socialist issue 1024, 9 January 2019: Tories out. End austerity. Mass working class action for a general election.

Search site for keywords: Nigeria - The Socialist - Socialist Party - Socialist - Elections - State - Democratic Socialist Movement

Blocked for years, but the Socialist Party of Nigeria is now standing in elections

DSM (CWI Nigeria) activists with their newspaper Socialist Democracy

DSM (CWI Nigeria) activists with their newspaper Socialist Democracy   (Click to enlarge)

Ibukun Omole, Democratic Socialist Movement, CWI Nigeria

After years of campaigning to be officially recognised, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN - launched by the Democratic Socialist Movement and others) is able to stand in elections.

Presidential and national elections will take place on 16 February. With state and local elections on 2 March.

120 people came to Hassan Taiwo Soweto's election rally for Ogun State House of Assembly in the Ifo constituency on 15 December.

Soweto called for a popular movement to fight for the development of road infrastructure, electricity, public education, healthcare and jobs.

He will stand against all anti-poor policies and serve as a bold voice for workers and youth. He will continue to live in the constituency and will not collect more than the salary and allowances of a skilled civil servant.

Olaogun town Chief, Bamigbose, spoke after him, saying that the constituency is larger than six local governments in the state, yet it is the most underfunded. SPN national secretary, Chinedu Bosah, said the Ifo contest was inspiring.

The SPN Lagos State chair, Rufus Olusesan, lamented that Nigerians can no longer beg around to feed themselves, and concluded that "enough is enough of capitalist politicians".

Falilat Jimoh brought solidarity greetings from the Campaign for a Workers' and Youth Alternative. Ayo Arogundade raised the idea of a politician living on minimum wage in the community, a demand that SPN is raising.

The local Tailors' Association chair, Olaoyenikan, encouraged people to vote for a grassroots activist. A local elder, Jegede, said he was inspired by the speech of the candidate at a Community Development Council meeting.

A representative of the Olambe town described the candidate as a David that could overcome the Goliath he is confronting. Mamakofoshi expressed her happiness that an activist is contesting the election.

An election fundraiser raised N45,000 in pledges and N11,500 in cash on the spot. A march and vehicle convoy followed the rally with people pasting up posters and leafleting passers-by.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 9 January 2019

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