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The Socialist 12 June 2004 |
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Obituary - Rotimi Ewebiyi (1963-2004)
Leading Nigerian socialist dies
THE COMMITTEE for a Workers' International (CWI) deeply
regrets to announce the death, at the age of 41, of Rotimi Ewebiyi, a leader
of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) in Nigeria and a member of the
CWI's International Executive Committee (IEC).
Rotimi died on 6 June after a brief struggle with cancer,
tragically both his wife and youngest child died earlier this year.
Rotimi had been a socialist activist since his student
days and was one of the earliest members of the CWI in Nigeria, joining in the
1980s. He played an important role both in many struggles and as an organiser
of the socialist movement.
Rotimi started working full-time as a political organiser
for what would become the DSM in 1990. This was during the period of the
Babangida military dictatorship that had, in 1989, detained without trial the
editor of our Nigerian comrades' newspaper, then called Labour Militant.
Rotimi was a full time activist in the illegal struggle
against both the Babangida and Abacha military dictatorships. He was the DSM's
national organiser when it was launched as a public organisation in 1998, a
time when Abacha was still in power, and played a vital part in building what
is now the second largest party in the CWI. Rotimi was widely admired and
respected by all who worked with him for his combination of personal warmth,
humanity and attention to detail.
Internationally Rotimi was well known as a member of the
CWI International Executive Committee and was frequently a member of the
Presidium at CWI Congresses and IEC meetings.
The CWI sends its deepest sympathy to Rotimi's three
surviving children and all members of the DSM. Rotimi lived and died as a
socialist fighter, convinced that only the overthrowing of capitalism could
offer a future to humanity in Nigeria, Africa and throughout the world. Our
biggest tribute to him will be to redouble our efforts to realise that goal.