Much ado about elections in Africa

We are in the middle of a spate of elections across Africa. Last year, a dozen countries went to the polls. Ten more have held elections this year, with about thirteen more to go before the end of 2019. In a formal sense, democracy appears to be sinking deep roots into the continent’s soil. Gone are the days of the last quarter of the twentieth century when military dictatorships and one-party states where the norm. However, this has not translated into the betterment of the lot of the poor masses. Two thirds of the least developed countries in the world are in Africa. This of course does not mean that everyone in those countries bear the brunt of poverty. The politicians and businessmen in countries like Congo, Mozambique and Uganda which are considered to be some of the poorest countries in the world, enjoy opulent lifestyles. The key to ostentatious wealth for these degenerate figures of the African ruling class is political power. And through hook or crook (quite often some mixtu…

Thirty Years After Black Wednesday

The Great Anti-SAP Revolts and thereinafter 1989 was one of those years that represent a turning point in history. A wind of mass anger threw away authoritarian regimes behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe, students took over Tiananmen Square in China, the Berlin Wall fell paving the way towards German re-unification. And in Nigeria, there was a mass upsurge like none other since 1 October 1960. This was a revolt against the structural adjustment programme and the legendary spate of corruption of the General Ibrahim Babangida-led junta, in the midst of rising poverty. From 24 May, all hell was let loose for almost two weeks. Students ignited a wildfire of action, with the first spark struck at Benin, where Uniben students took to the streets. This immediately spread to Ibadan and then Ilorin, where activist students mobilised thousands of students from UI and Unilorin (and Kwara Poly) respectively on to the streets. They were joined in no time by other angry youths. Each day, ove…

Remembering Black Wednesday, 30 Years After the Great Anti-SAP Revolt

all who fell on Black Wednesday, 30 years back
all who lived through it and came to our conclusions
all who have trudged on, at different times, in our vehicle of its aftermath
all who seek, fight, and keep forging on still, even when the skies are dark
all Mayists, Marxists and any who seek the Nigerian revolution that keep hope and struggle alive

The heat and passion crushed
In that hour, the zeal and heroic
Confrontation, snuffed for a while
By bullets and bayonets

....did outlive the deaths and imprisonments:

From Black Wednesday, would a movement
Be born. A critique of critiques and which thus
Did and still must critique itself. The manure compost
Wrought by fascist thugs, does from flutter the flower, we are

Stirrings legacies never die, when they stir would-be stirrers

It seems so long a journey since and yet so near in time
So much distances covered but so few the places of arrival
The brotherhood of steel though, …

On J. Gaskie: resignation and responses

The following is a thread of the letter of resignation of J.Gaskie as Coordinator of the SWM (and self-suspension of his membership) in August 2009 and the organisation's response half a year later, after several attempts to win him back


Comrades All,
A time comes in the life of every organisation and individual, when it becomes critically important to take a step back and reflect on course of history as it is has impacted on one, as well as one has impacted on it.

Such a time has come for me, as i believe it has also come for the organisation, our platform, our movement.

A number of things have been developing over the last few years, accelerated by the dysfunction in the movement occassioned by the toll of the retreats suffered on various fronts of the struggle in which we had been pivotal and active.

The struggles on the pro-democracy front, on the Niger Delta front, on the nationalities front, on the workers fr…

On J. Gaskie: the May 31st 2009 Post on the FOIC List Serve

JG's posting below is definitely that which I have been most reluctant to respond to on this serve. A little background on this would suffice, to put the reason why in its apt perspective.

Events of the 'Black Wednesday' exactly twenty years ago which signaled both the climax and the crushing of the anti-SAP revolt, led us to some conclusions on organising and organization. Ever since then, we have committed ourselves to building and providing leadership to the socialist platform of May, which today is the Socialist Workers' Movement. 

I would have wished to keep my positions on the posting and having the first inkling of the below being JG's thinking, only through that same posting, off this serve. But it would, I believe be a passive, if not active form of political dishonesty and a strand of sectarianism, apart from the fact that it would have been downright unfair, to others whom I have had to engage with on similar views....including leading comrades from other …

Speech to the PSI Asia Pacific Regional Health Sector Network*

Dear brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues, comrades, I wish to start by expressing my heartfelt appreciation for being with you here today. This would be the first PSI regional network meeting, strictly speaking, that I would be attending since resuming as Health and Social Sector Officer.
Before proceeding on what I have been asked to talk on, which essentially is to initiate discussion on the tasks at hand for us together, in the sector, permit me to say that my first impression of sisters and brothers within the sector in this region is one of deep respect and high hopes. Even before my resumption, I had received emails from comrades in all the regions with questions and suggestions. But it was from the Asia Pacific region that I received the most, and these were quite important.
From Australian affiliates wanting to know how the working conditions of workers employed in France by the Australian multinational corporation Ramsay Healthcare (to be better prepared for a possible fight…