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Fall-out of the Elections in Nigeria Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Jide Keye, Nigeria May 21, 2003
Human Rights  



The fall-out of the 2003 general elections top national debate is occuring presently. It is so due to massive rigging of the processes, besides the importance of transition. We beleive that every aggrieved party or contestant has a right to protest against the results by legitimate means, including the option of mass action.

Attempts must not be made to demonise mass action as a medium of expression of grievances under the guise of democracy. This so-called democracy itself is a product of mass action. Recently, more than 30 million people took to streets of major cities in the world including Washington, London, Paris, Rome, etc. to register their anger against US led war in Iraq. Zimbabwe has witnessed several instances of mass action (in fact there is build/up for another one already) organised by the opposition protesting against the poll robbery by Mugabe in the
manner Obasanjo and PDP have done in Nigeria.

However, we have strong reservation to this mass action being championed by Buhari and Ojukwu only because the duo do not represent the genuine interests and aspiration of the masses they are calling out for action. They did not call for masses action when Obasanjo and INEC refused to register more political parties, when universities were closed down (and are still) due to nonchalance of Obasanjo and the attack of his government on education, when there was, and is still, the longest fuel crisis in history as a deliberate result of under-utilisation of the nation refineries as well as the self-seeking agenda of importers licensed by Obasanjo began to sell our common heritage through the policy of privatisation, to mention but few. But now when they were out-rigged by Obasanjo and the PDP and could not realise their ambition.

We call on the people to rally round the party or parties whose programmes are genuinely pro-people and vote out the looters represented by PDP and other money bag parties like ANPP, AD, APGA, etc. and protect their votes, in the future elections. Only a party that is committed to adequate funding of education and other
social services as well against privatisation and other IMF/World Bank inspired policies, should be supported by the students, workers and masses. Ultimately,there is need for the genuine people party that has to be rested on the strength, financially and numerically, of the working class, imcorporates other pro-people parties. INEC is far from being independent, as it is presently constituted. We call for representation of all political parties in the commission.

Youths, students and masses in general must be prepared to protest against the planned privatisation of our refineries and NEPA and resist the increase in pump price of petroleum products, which Obasanjo promised in his campaigns.

The Nigeria Labour Congress must be ready to defend the interests of workers whose jobs are now on line as a result of the 12.5% par rise. Obasanjo has said that something would give way to the increase. The labour leadership leaves the victims of the 2000 minimum wage struggle to rot in lurch till date.

We call on the other world youth action group to join more hands of freindship in protesting against this babaric government.




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