By Daniel Akande

The Movement for a Socialist Alternative (MSA) expresses displeasure over the unfortunate attack at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State by unknown gunmen on Sunday, June 5, 2022. We wholeheartedly condemn this attack and put the blames directly on the Federal government for the failure to protect the life of the citizens. We express our condolences to the families of those that lost their loved ones and to those who sustained injury during the course of the said attack.

The gunmen had attacked the Catholic Church killing 40 worshippers. With the high level of insecurity in the country and no effort in that regard to stop the despicable act, it is obvious that the Buhari capitalist regime has no solution to this challenge. So unfortunate that the FG is quick to link the attack to the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) without any attempt to arrest the killers after about 3-weeks. This is not strange, since the over 50 people kidnapped by so-called Bandits, who attacked the Kaduna –Abuja train have not been rescued. 

Just like the previous governments, the Buhari government has shown to be totally unjust and indifferent to the daily killings either of murderous pastoralists, terrorist attacks or kidnappings by unidentified robbers and armed gunmen. The inability of the government to bring anyone in relation to over 200 different terrorist attacks which have happened over the period of 7 years of Buhari to book is completely disheartening to the working masses who placed their hope on Buhari and voted him into power.

At the time of filing this report, no single person had been arrested about this attack. We hereby demand an immediate investigation to expose and bring out the perpetrators of this tragic event and ensure their speedy arrest so they can face the wrought of law.

So sad, no part of the capitalist ruling class or regimes formed by it can be relied upon to conduct serious and diligent investigations, because they are the very epitome of ethnic and religious chauvinism. The secularity of the state has been completely eroded. State funds are indiscriminately plunged to fund religion, which is in turn employed to breed intolerance, and divide the working masses against themselves so that at no time will the working masses be able to coordinate a united action against the ruling elites. 

The state apparatus like the police and the army is merely the central body of the armed state agents, which are the first line to defend the interest of anything that disturbs the public order of capitalism, rather than defending the interest of the mass of the working people and the common man on the street.

Despite the huge budgetary allocations to the security sector and the billions of naira of the security vote given to the executives, the life of millions of Nigerians still remains unsafe. The highways with several potholes are now a haven for kidnappers, and the attack on the railroad from Abuja to Kaduna demonstrates how unsafe any form of travel is in the country.

With the 2023 General Elections around the corner, the attention of the Nigerian Police and other security apparatuses is now on who wins political power comes 2023. They are busy escorting the thieving politicians around the country, securing them, so as to have their share of the largesse the ruling elites will be throwing all around in this electoral season. And ultimately will be aiding them to procure their mandate and sustain them in power to keep the exploitative agenda of the capitalists and the big businesses running beyond 2023. Such security operatives cannot be trusted to defend the lives and properties of the working people and poor. 

We hereby, call on both NLC and the TUC to lead a coordinated mass action of rank and file working people, students and youths to protest the failure of the Government to Protect the Lives and Properties of Nigerian Citizens and also, take up the initiative of compelling the Nigerian Police to begin an immediate investigation and also, employ a democratic means in the investigation process.

We call for the inclusion of the elected representative of the community members (religious congregation, workers, farmers, youth and students) to be actively involved in the investigation process, so as to ensure that this attack is not swept under the carpet and so that those behind the attack can be exposed and the perpetrators are brought to book.

We call on the President Buhari-led Federal government and the Ondo State government to provide free and adequate medical care for all those injured and also, to provide adequate compensation to families of the deceased. Putting into consideration that the 2023 general election is fast approaching, things might even get worse if there is no urgent intervention of the labour movement and mass strike actions to reverse all growing levels of inequality, joblessness, racial and ethnic-religion tension and insecurity in the nation.

The Labour Movement should be an epicentre for rallying all the oppressed strata and the poor Nigerians into the arena of struggle, taking into cognizance that it is their historical responsibility (as against their current alignment with the enemies of the working masses) to coordinate the mass of the working people to take over power and uses the power to better improve the Social-economic conditions of the working people and the poor Nigerians in communities.

In the quest for a permanent solution to the insecurity, ethnic and religious crisis in the country, the need to overthrow capitalism must be brought to the fore of the agenda. The MSA calls out the working masses to end their support for all manners of capitalist politicians and join in the building of a mass revolutionary organization that aims to accomplish a socialist revolution in Nigeria. 

In the interim, we call for the right to procure arms for self-defence, the right of all working-class communities to organise a self-defence militia under their democratic control, free from all forms of sectarianism and division along religion or ethnic bias to protect themselves from any new attack. The existing vigilante groups cannot assume this position of a self-defence militia for the whole of the community, if they do not break from the control of the state, and are not democratically controlled by the rank and file members of the community (workers, farmers, youth and student) through all of their organization.

While noting that there will be increasing agitation for state police and Amotekun to bear arms. We in the MSA will continue to insist that the states like the FG are organs of the bourgeoise and ultimately are only interested in defending the interest of those in the corridors of power and that it is only a question of time that this would be made clear, the working masses, can only rely on themselves to offer themselves security, through organizing themselves to bear arms subject to their own democratic control. This right cannot be granted to any state organ, so long as the state itself is not organised and politically controlled by the working masses. 

Finally, we call for the united front of all the left organizations and the trade unions to jointly work together in building a mass workers’ party where a pro-worker’s political agenda and programmes based on a socialist perspective can be better put forward. This will ensure that the commanding height of the Nigerian economy is placed under the control and management of the mass of the working people, who can then use it to better protect lives and properties and the advancement of the social-economic status of the mass majority as against the current realities.