Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/484/2343

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 April 2007

Nigerian elections - a dangerous farce

EVEN BY the standards of Nigeria's previous elections this April's state and national elections were a complete farce.

Robert Bechert, Committee for a Workers' International

Right from the outset the current ruling clique were determined that their faction would retain control of the Nigerian state and thereby maintain their ability to loot the country's massive oil and gas revenues.

The rigging began last year with the preparation of the so-called Voters' Register. Widespread fraud was reported as the register was compiled. The chairperson of the electoral commission, INEC, said in October 2006 that it expected to register 98 million voters, but in the end only 61 million names were registered and many of those were false.

Simultaneously INEC was used by the government to hinder the preparations of opposition parties, whether by using accusations of corruption as a justification for removing candidates or simply replacing candidates.

This is what happened in Lagos State where INEC replaced Lanre Arogundade, a member of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM, CWI in Nigeria) who had been elected as the National Conscience Party's (NCP) candidate for State Governor, with a candidate who was not an NCP member and actually lives in the USA!

By the time it came to the voting in the 14 April state and 21 April national elections the rigging machine was in full motion. From across Nigeria came reports of millions denied the right to vote, shortages of ballot papers, ballot papers filled in before the election, voters being openly bribed and polling stations that opened late or not at all. Usually the officially declared results were works of fiction.

While most of this rigging was done by the ruling People's Democratic Party, in the states run by opposition parties they used exactly the same methods to retain their local grip.

Although turnout was low, in some areas there were protests at the rigging, (particularly over the shortages of ballot papers), but these were met by sharp repression from the state and armed gangs. The European Union's election observers reported that 200 had been killed around these elections they generally described as "not credible".

No difference

However, despite the fear of repression and the working masses' understanding that all the main rival candidates represented different bands of looters and oppressors, this election has opened up a new and potentially unstable period in Nigeria. If and when the new president, Umaru Yar'Adua, takes office he will lead a weak government with no popular legitimacy.

Significantly, while Western governments have criticised the elections they are not calling for their cancellation. Imperialism, fearing popular movements, wants 'stability' in Nigeria, Africa's biggest country with a quarter of the continent's population and the world's eighth largest oil exports. So Washington, in effect, tells the Nigerian people that they have to accept a rigged election in the interests of stability.

The tragedy in this election was that there was no voice for the mass of Nigerians, especially workers and the urban and rural poor. There was no party that represented them or that had not effectively been bought by one of the big robber gangs.

This may mean that there is no immediate response to this stolen election, but it does not mean a long period of stability.

Between 2000 and 2005 the country was swept by repeated waves of protests and general strikes. Unfortunately these did not result in fundamental change because the trade union leaders were not willing to confront the ruling elite.

But the open rigging of April's elections means that the question of democratic rights will join the vital economic and social issues in the front rank of working peoples' demands.

The Democratic Socialist Movement played an important role in the protests between 2000 and 2005 and is today calling on the trade union and opposition leaders to call national protests not just against the election rigging but to "end the rule by all usurpers at all levels of governance". This, the DSM argues, requires "a conscious strategy to build and organise majority support, especially by showing that it aims for a fundamental change in society not simply exchanging one gang of looters for another."

This is why the DSM is not only calling for cancellation of April's elections but for the building of a working people's alternative, a mass force that can break the looters' grip and begin socialist planning to use Nigeria's huge resources in the interests of the overwhelming majority of its population.

For more information look at DSM's website: http://www.socialistnigeria.org

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 26 April 2007:

Blair's legacy... war, cuts & privatisation

Civil servants' union May Day strike

Free Arrested activists now


Socialist Students

Join the campaign to defeat fees

No victimisation - support Deeside college lecturers

Campaign to Defeat Fees National Meeting


Socialist Party election analysis

New Labour - lowest poll ratings since 1983

Come to the Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference

Support for Labour falling in Scotland

Campaigning for socialist ideas in South Wales

Huddersfield: Fighting against NHS cuts and closures

Coventry socialists fight Post Office closure

Southampton: Save our Services!

Brighton: Stop privatisation

Merseyside: Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Bootle has a real socialist alternative

Manchester Wythenshawe: NHS cuts threaten lives

Donate to fund a socialist alternative

Socialist solidarity on May Day


International socialist news and analysis

Socialist wins court battle in Kazakhstan

France: Record turnout sees Royal and Sarkozy go through to second round

Yeltsin's real record - 'wild capitalism' in Russia

US mass shooting horror

Nigerian elections - a dangerous farce


Socialist Party workplace news

Support the Sunvic strikers

UNISON Delegates demand action


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 April 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Election:

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangleCorbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

triangleUS: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

triangleUS: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

Nigeria:

triangleNigeria: Ruling party crumbles in historic election

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: How socialists view terrorism

Oil:

triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

triangleHurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleTories and Blairites in pockets of big business: kick them out!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2