Bestman Michael

On 2nd  January 2022, the Movement for A Socialist Alternative, (MSA)  Ajegunle Branch, held its first public meeting of the year.
The meeting, initially scheduled to close activities for 2021 had to be moved to a later date due to unforeseen circumstances. However, it was an inspiring meeting having in attendance 15 persons among which 6 are attending for the first time.
The topic for discussion was “2022 & What Lies Ahead?”  Dagga gave the lead-off while Tunde moderated the meeting. The lead speaker began by analyzing Buhari’s new year speech on January 1st, 2022, and how, fundamentally, nothing has changed if one draws all of the historical reflections from the pre-colonial period up to the present era. 

For the lead speaker, the situations are far worsened and the crises of capitalism and the neo-liberal policies of the government have rendered virtually all sectors of the economy in a degenerated state. And this shows the relevance of organization as MSA and why there is no better alternative than a socialist revolution. 
In highlighting this position, the lead speaker touched on the rottenness that has long existed in the health and education sectors, the economy, and generally, the polity of the Nigerian Government vis-a-vis the 2023 elections. This is in addition to how this, in one way or the other, has created more crises for the working masses and even led to brain drain and a series of strikes in the health sector.

A cross-section of MSA members holding a meeting in Ajegunle

In that direction, comrades were reminded that the Buhari-led regime came into power with a slogan centered around insecurity, economy, and fight against corruption.
Yet, after 6 and a half years, the economy is worse in all indices and parameters.  The price of commodities is on the high side, added with a higher inflation rate leading to an increase of food items to 100%.
Prices of gas, the fuel pump price, and the ethnic tensions and insecurity in the North are among the challenges been faced by the working people. Added to this, more than “90 million” Nigerians are living in poverty. 
With all the given analysis and statistics, the leadoff concluded by explaining why there is no better time than now but to organize, struggle and ultimately build a political alternative to organize society in socialist planned management. History, according to the leadoff is there for us to draw aspirations from. 

The 2021 Endsars protest was used as a classic example of the youth movements and what is possible as the 10th anniversary of the Occupy Nigeria movement i.e its understanding,  successes, and failures. 
However, key political lessons — then and now — were laid around the need for a revolutionary method and leadership that is willing to take up and play the role of advancing and organizing movements. 
In that light, comrades and contacts present were encouraged never to give up. Politically, they shouldn’t see 2022 differently from other years.
Rather, as an organization, we should be ready to play the necessary historical role in organizing, building, and taking an active part in the series of protests or movements that may be breaking out, subsequently. Starting with the recent call for National Protest by the NLC on January 27th, 2022. 
Afterward, there were contributions and questions around the Topic. Persons who contributed like AY Lera added the historic significance of mass movements since the first republic in 1964 and more recently, the supposedly general strike meant to take place September 28th, 2020, before the ENDSARS protest emerged.
Meanwhile, Muyideen, a worker and resident in the community, asked about the state and future of revolutionary movements especially drawing instances with religion and consciousness? He also asked the question of how do we avert such cases of violence as seen during and even after peaceful assembly or demonstration.
Toheeb, a student and contact, asked about press freedom and why so many things within the environment end up not being reported on the media. 

Comrade Dagga Tolar addressing members

Ify commented on the need of understanding the correct revolutionary method and its application in the class struggle. Others like Davy and  Adams discussed the 2022 budget,  unemployment rise, and the government plan to hike the pump price anytime soon.  
The question around building consciousness, political alternative, and ultimately scientific socialism was part of their conclusions. After one hour and forty-five minutes of discussing politics, the question of task and what to do afterward was resolved. 
The branch agreed to hold regular meetings fortnightly. Added to its year 2022 plans, the building of cadres, intervening with the paper, and reporting labour and community Interventions are all proposed plans presented at the public meeting. 

Politically, the branch also included in their year 2022 plan activities to take active participation in the January 27 plan NLC protest when it is called. This is to mobilize people in the community against these anti-people policies.
Comrades and contacts present were urged to join in the action when it start and also the MSA. 
The Marxist literatures were introduced to the contacts who are students to read and understand what socialism and class struggles are all about. The purpose is to build consciousness and cadres to play an active role in the MSA. Another cheering result from the meeting is the struggle fund of N3, 220 raised.