By Peter Ayoade
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has expressed concern over the president’s actions and inactions to the killings, demands and plight of Nigerians.
According to a press statement signed by its National Secretary, Comrade Chinedu Bosah, SPN said President Buhari demonstrated gross insensitivity to the lives and properties lost so far and the plight of Nigerians when he delivered a broadcast address to the nation on the evening of Thursday, October 22, 2020.
Part of the statement reads: “The speech actually came too late and ended up lacking the expected response to the events that have taken place in the last two weeks. It was indeed shocking that President Buhari in his speech was silent on the use of live bullets and the mailing and killing of peaceful protesters by the military at Lekki on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, and elsewhere.”
“Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) sympathizes with the injured and those killed since the mass protest broke out. We demand adequate compensation to be paid to the victims and their families.
“President Buhari acknowledged the right of Nigerians to protest peacefully but we have witnessed on countless occasions how Buhari’s police and military have arrested and detained peaceful protesters and activists. As a matter of fact, the ENDSARS protest across the federation was peaceful until the government started sponsoring thugs to attack peaceful protesters in Abuja, Lagos, Osun, Edo etc. Nigeria under President Buhari is back to the dark ages of the military considering the mindless brutality and terror.
“It is rather unfortunate that the President used his speech to further insult the sensibilities of Nigerians by reeling out tokenist and failed policies such as TraderMoni, N-Power etc. The reality is that these policies are too little and insignificant to arrest the current unemployment and the growing poverty in one local government let alone talk less of the entire 774 local governments. The only economic policies strong enough to arrest the growing unemployment and poverty and that will meet the demands of Nigerians is the creation of industries, revitalization of manufacturing sectors like Ajaokuta Steel, the building of more refineries, building of more schools, building of more hospitals, provision of basic amenities, guaranteeing affordable and interrupted electricity supply etc.
“We welcome the announcement that a new salary structure for the Police is being worked out by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission but we strongly feels that this top-down approach will not fundamentally address the gap. Any salary increment that will address the welfare of police officers and workers, in general, is a living wage that takes into account the rising cost of living and current economic reality. “This welfare package must address the poor working conditions of police, military, and civilian workers. We do not trust the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission in its present constitution to do justice to this issue, hence, we are calling for a Wage Committee constituted by rank and file workers and police, pro-labour organisations as well as community representatives to work out a living wage and better working conditions for workers, rank and file police and military officers.”
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) demands an independent probe panel made up of elected representatives of workers, youths, pro-labour organisations, professional bodies, etc, to look into the killings of Nigerians and other issues.
SPN further demands the withdrawal of the military from the streets and call on military and police officers to decline orders to shoot and attack peaceful protesters. We also call on the communities to set up multi-ethnic and religious defense committees to protect the communities from attacks, killings, looting and arson.