Nigeria

The masses in Nigeria are showing enormous willingness to struggle. It is now spreading to the a key sector, the oil workers. But this militancy is not matched by the leaders of the unions who are negotiating with the government a reduced increase in the price of oil. That is not why millions of workers have been out on strike for.

The workers of Nigeria are once again on the move with the start of today's indefinite general strike. This is a first report about what is happening there. Further analysis will follow in the next few days.

We have received reports on the latest developments at the OAU in Ife, Nigeria, from the students involved in the struggle. In spite of a determined effort by the student leaders to stop the massive fees increase, because of many factors, not least the totally treacherous role of the student leadership nationally (NANS), for now the authorities have managed to impose their measures. But this is not going to be the end of the story.

The need for clarification on what has been happening at the OAU (Ife, Nigeria) is very urgent considering the level of propaganda and outright lies and distortions that the authorities have been churning out to the international community. Here we are publishing a reply from the students involved in the struggle.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the first edition of the Workers' Alternative, the Nigerian Marxist journal. It has not been easy keeping the banner of genuine Marxism flying in the conditions that prevail in Nigeria but the comrades have kept going thanks to the support and encouragement from their numerous supporters and readers, inside and outside Nigeria. Now to mark the anniversary they are making an appeal for more support.

Five years after the fall of the hated military dictator of Nigeria, General Sani Abacha, we look at why he came to power and why in the end the same ruling elite that had supported him was forced to intervene to remove for fear of the mass movement that was building up from below.

The OAU University authorities are trying to stalemate negotiations with the student union, further enraging the mass of students. Keep sending in your protest messages. Today we received important protest message from Greek trade unionists and youth and from the Spanish School Students' Union. By Isiaka Adegbile, one of the victimised students.

An interesting insight into the proliferation of religious superstition in Nigeria over the past few years, a reflection of the impasse of society.

It all began when the Prof. Rogers-led university management indicated their intention to blow up the payable fees in the university from N590.00 to N4,500 for the old students and from N1,500 to N9,500 for the new students. The crisis has been lingering since then.

The boss needs a rest. He goes home and locks the doors to the factory. A fire breaks out and a hundred workers are burnt alive as they desperately try to escape. The horror of 21st century capitalism in Nigeria.

This article, written by a Nigerian trade union leader argues the case against privatisation of the state-run NEPA electricity company.

Last year we publicised the plight of a group of Nigerian students who were shot at and arrested during one of their protes. Here one of those students describes the appalling conditions in Nigerian jails, but he also draws inspiration from his experience to continue in the struggle to transform society, the most noble cause anyone can dedicate themselves to.

The implications of the INEC Registration of the PSD, NCP and 22 other parties for the forthcoming Nigerian elections.

Since the introduction of Sharia law in the northern states of Nigeria the plight of Nigerian women has come to the attention of the world. In particular young women have been condemned to being stoned to death after being charged of the "crime" of adultery. This is a particularly barbaric aspect of class society and will only really be eradicated together with the system that spawns it, when the workers of Nigeria overthrow capitalism. Below we are publishing a comment on this situation by a Nigerian Marxist.

We are continuing our series of articles on Nigerian Trade Unions disputes. Here we make available to our readers articles from our Nigerian worker correspondents from June 1999. These news items are taken from the Nigerian Marxist journal, Workers' Alternative.

With this new series of articles on Nigeria we plan to publish over the next few weeks news items on Nigerian Trade Unions disputes. We have received a series of articles from our Nigerian worker correspondents over the last few years and we are now making them available to our readers. Most of the news items are taken from the Nigerian Marxist journal, Workers' Alternative. They give a clear feeling of the militant mood of the Nigerian working class.

Last week a group of six NANS (National Association of Nigerian Students) activists was arrested at Ondo State University, Nigeria. One of those arrested is Dotun Ilori who suffered a slight gunshot wound as the police opened fire on the students. This was during a two-day lecture boycott by the students to protest the victimisation of the students' union leaders of the university. A campaign is now under way in Nigeria for their release. We are appealing to all our supporters, sympathisers and readers in general to take part in our solidarity campaign for these students.

The terrible ethnic clashes and killing of over 200 people in Northern Nigeria that erupted around the Miss World pageant have brought to the attention of the world media the national question in this impoverished African country. What was the real cause of the conflicts? Fred Weston puts the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of western imperialism and their local lackeys in Nigeria.

Due to the immense poverty and apparent hopeless situation of ordinary working people in Nigeria many of the old superstitions still survive today. Comrade CD in Lagos, of the Nigerian Marxist journal, Workers' Alternative explains why.

The demand for a minimum wage is key to the improvement of the living conditions of millions of Nigerian workers. This article, from the Nigerian Marxist journal, Workers’ Alternative, explains the issues involved. (October 2000)

In this article, the comrades of the Nigerian Marxist journal, Workers' Alternative, examine the revolutionary essence of the music and songs of the late Afro-beat master, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who died on August 2, 1997. The article was originally written on the first anniversary of his death. This artist was extremely popular among African workers and youth for the radical and revolutionary content of his lyrics.

The objective situation in Nigeria can best be described as a big time bomb ticking at a very fast rate. The Trade Union leadership is under a lot of pressure, as big revolts over wages and working conditions have broken out. They are still holding back the movement qualitatively but it is only a matter of time before it explodes on a higher level. Many of the big companies are now directly cutting wages by as much as 40%-70%. The pressures on the lower classes are mounting by the day. The stock exchange is always overheating. A crash is inevitable.

The process of privatisation and increase in school fees is common the world over. In Nigeria there are plans to impose huge increases in university fees on students who are already finding it difficult to cover their costs. At the same time, university staff has not been receiving wages. At the OAU University in Ife Nigeria the workers and the students are fighting back. The workers have been out on strike and the students are supporting them. We are publishing a press statement we have received from the Ife students.

We are publishing an article sent to us from the Editorial Board of the Nigerian Marxist journal, the Workers' Alternative and is to be published in the next edition of their paper. It argues the case against the privatisation plans of the Obasanjo regime and poses the need for planned economy in Nigeria.

The National Question in Nigeria is probably one of the most complicated in the world - with over 120 languages spoken, three main ethnic groups, none of which constitutes a majority of the population, and the religious divide between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north. Over the past few years thousands of people have been killed in ethnic clashes. Unless the working class can offer a way out, Nigeria could be dragged into a bloodbath of barbaric proportions. Here we are publishing a collection of articles from the Nigerian Marxist journal, the Workers' Alternative, concerning this question.

This was the editorial from the first edition of the Nigerian Marxist paper, the Workers' Alternative which was launched in October, 1998.

The regime headed by Olusegun Obasanjo in Nigeria prides itself at being "democratic". Recently it was involved in passing judgement on the electoral process in Zimbabwe. But behind the democratic façade hides the same old despotic regime of the military that governed Nigeria for many years in the past. At the University of Ilorin, a leading student activist, Tosin Akinrogunde, has been expelled for protesting against the sacking of teachers who were involved in a strike in 2001. During his long history of student union activity he has been expelled several times, and in 1999 was also arrested and imprisoned for five weeks. This case will go to court and will incur legal...

This is another editorial from the Workers' Alternative, written at the time of the transition from the previous military dictatorship to the present civilian regime. At that time there were many illusions in so-called "democracy", as people hoped it would rectify the dire economic situation. We are republishing it now, as we believe it is as relevant now as when it was first published. (June, 1999)

Nigeria is facing the worst crisis in its history. So-called "democracy" has not improved the lot of the Nigerian masses. Manufacturing industry is in a state of collapse. And now the financial sector is also on the brink. In the past two years we have seen two general strikes and practically every section of the Nigerian working class has taken part in strike activity. Even the police has been out on strike and built its own union. And now there are rumours of a mutiny among the soldiers. Nigeria is facing an Argentine-type scenario. From the Editorial Board of the Nigerian Marxist journal, the Workers' Alternative.

This article was first published in the October 2000 edition of the Nigerian Marxist journal, the Workers’ Alternative. We think the analysis developed here by the Nigerian Marxists is still valid, and that the development of the MDC in Zimbabwe is full of rich lessons for the Nigerian and other labour movements. It shows that a mass party based on the trade unions can be created, and can be very successful - but also that this is not enough. To prevent the party from being taken over by capitalist elements, it must be controlled by the working class and have a socialist programme.

This article exposes the conditions of the workers at the farm owned by Obasanjo, the ruler of Nigeria. Obasanjo is the "civilian" president of Nigeria, who was in power in the past, but as a military dictator. He is now in power as a so-called civilian.

A week-long general strike from 7th to 13th June 2000 took place in Nigeria. It was in protest at the 50% increase in the price of fuel announced by the government of President Obasanjo. The strike was successful in forcing the government to drastically reduce the announced increases. We publish an eyewitness report we received.

Here is a report on recent events in Nigeria. Five students were killed by a cultist gang, that is a neo-fascist type organisation, at Ife University. Our comrades were closely involved in the events and some of them are lucky to be alive, as the gang were looking for some of them. Luckily our comrades escaped.

An article from the Nigerian Marxist paper Workers' Alternative which looks at the problems facing the student movement in Nigeria, and the events leading up to the arrests of our comrades there!

In spite of the fact that women constitute a sizeable percent of the Nigerian workforce, putting in the same time as their male counterpart, with their labour of no less value, and in the vast majority of the cases, having the same responsibilities, women are still discriminated against as "second class" workers.

"When I started work here 5 years ago I could see very clearly - now I couldn’t see very well, thanks to WAPCO".  These words, made by a WAPCO worker give a clear indication of condition of work in this "slave-camp". The working conditions are no better than most other factories. It follows the all too familiar pattern in Nigeria - more work, less pay.

In this article, the comrades of the Nigerian Marxist journal, Workers' Alternative, examine the revolutionary essence of the music and songs of the late Afro-beat master, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who died on August 2, 1997. The article was originally written on the first anniversary of his death. This artist was and still is extremely popular among African workers and youth for the radical and revolutionary content of his lyrics.

The ruling class of Nigeria is facing a dilemma. The Indonesian revolution has brought home to them what could happen in Nigeria in the coming period. As in Indonesia, one man at the top was attempting to hold onto power in spite of the growing undercurrents of discontent among the masses. The overwhelming majority of the Nigerian population wants an end to military rule. That is why people came onto the streets to celebrate the death of the hated dictator, Sani Abacha, in June.

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