We are aware of the crisis within the ruling class in Rivers State and their counterpart at Abuja and the assaults of the said crisis on our collective sensibilities. Also, we are aware of a plan by some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to hold protest in Port Harcourt in the name of Niger Delta Civil Society Organizations in support of the embattled ruling class member against his erstwhile colleagues and co-conspirators in Abuja. The said protest has been scheduled to hold on Tuesday, July 30, 2013.
The planned protest is part of their efforts towards defending a ruling class member as he faces his fellow oppressors in his on-going political conflict with his fellow ruling class members. It is important to clarify that the political actors fighting among themselves, no matter the camp they belong, have never had the interest of the toiling masses at heart. They oppress the masses whenever they deem it profitable for their class interest and fight themselves when their fractional interest clashes.
Furthermore, our living experience indicates that, for long, our citizens’ organizations have been susceptible to the vices of this rampaging ruling class; the political landscape is littered with many of these organizations that have been raped by these Vagabonds-in-Power (VIPs). Indeed, not a few of these citizens’ organizations, have been driven to destructive armed insurgencies by members of the Nigerian ruling class. The Nigerian ruling class now compete among themselves using fascist stomp troopers and armed insurgents. We must not place our citizens’ organizations anywhere near the vice-grip of this mindless, all-parasitic ruling class.
Now then, we strongly feel that this is the time, the critical moment for any activist or citizens’ organization that is worth its onions to route for the toiling masses, to start speaking for the embattled masses, to start interrogating the very society that can throw up such ignoble charlatans and miscreants that we are now witnessing.
This is not the time to defend one oppressor against the other, rather this is the critical period to energize our mobilization efforts to encourage the poor masses to break the absolute fetter, on life and living, that this suffocating social system called Nigeria, has become. Our volunteered time and energy should be in the service of Nigerian toiling masses not in defending any member of the ruling class, whether within or outside the ruling party.
Aso Rock and Brick House are fractions of a rotten whole. They have both participated, in an ongoing basis, in oppressing and dehumanizing the masses. For instance, during the petrol price uprising, they all worked together, not only to justify the oppressive policy, but actually worked together to frustrate our efforts to challenge the evil policy. The governor used labour to frustrate the protest in Port Harcourt, while the presidency unleashed fascistic stomp troopers on peaceful protesters on Port Harcourt streets.
The Amaechi’s administration presided over the demolition of communities, such as Njemanze, Abonnema wharf road and Zor-sogho in khana LGA of Rivers State, while the presidency has presided over the demolition of poor people’s houses and communities in Abuja. To show how heartless the Nigerian ruling class is, the ACN governor of Lagos State visited the same barbarism on a section of poor masses of Lagos State.
Recently, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) chairman and some of the members of the Rivers State University of Science & Technology (UST) chapter of the union have been subjected to all manner of intimidations, victimization, police brutalities and all forms of degrading treatments, just because they tried to resist the imposition of a Vice Chancellor on the school without following due process. ASUU chairman, Dr Felix Igwe, was even kidnapped at gun point and later dumped along Airport road, Igwuruta just because they gathered to hold a meeting of the Union. Governor Amaechi has stifled academic freedom in UST, Port Harcourt. Presently, ASUU at the national level is on strike because of the insensitivities of the Presidency. No doubt our ruling class abhors education.
Evidently, the choice before the Nigerian masses is not located within one fraction or the other of the Nigerian ruling class both within and outside the ruling party. Currently, the choice before them is between barbarism, represented by the ruling class and social progress, which can only be achieved when the present suffocating system, foisted on us by the decadent ruling class is liquidated. Let’s support the masses, let’s work with them on this historical task.
Sequel to all of the above, we therefore dissociate ourselves and our organizations from the planned protest which has been planned in support of certain elements and fractions of the ruling class in rivers state. Our allegiance and partisanship is for the assaulted, violated and oppressed Nigerian toiling masses.
By this Press Statement, we have this day reframed the question being posed! The Abuja seat of Power (Aso Rock) and Port Harcourt Seat of Power (Brick House) are not the only options before us. We have decided to route for the toiling masses in their effort to extricate themselves from the matrix of social decay which an avaricious ruling class has enmeshed them in.
Solidarity to the toiling masses of Rivers State!
Solidarity to the toiling masses of Nigeria!
Down with the Reign of Impunity and Corruption!
Down with the Social System that threw-up Vagabonds in Power (VIPs)!
Down with the Social System that transforms Citizens’ Organizations into Fascist Stomp Troopers and Destructive Armed Insurgents!
Styvn Obodoekwe, United Action for Democracy (UAD) Rivers State
Vivian Bellonwu, Social Action
Emen Okon, Kebetkache
Constance Meju, CEMEDEC
Orike Didi, Socialist Workers’ Movement
Godwin Frank, Chikoko Movement
Kentebe Ebiaridor, Oil Watch Africa
Livingstone Wechie, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Rivers State branch
Sotonye George, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Rivers State branch
Karl Chinedu Uchegbu, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, South South zone.
Michael Gbarale, Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, CEHRD
Solomon Clifford Christopher, Students Environmental Assembly, SEA, UST.
Issued, this July 28, 2013