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Socialist Movement, DSM Declares Support For AAC Presidential Candidate, Sowore, Says Only His Programmes Favour Poor Nigerians

February 7, 2023

The group said from all indications, the 2023 general elections will most certainly produce the very same gangs of looters as leaders of a new government, noting that it means that the suffering of the masses will continue.

A pro-democracy group, Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) on Tuesday accused some candidates and political parties in Nigeria of supporting anti-poor policies like deregulation, privatisation, fuel subsidy removal and underfunding of public education, healthcare and social services.

The group said from all indications, the 2023 general elections will most certainly produce the very same gangs of looters as leaders of a new government, noting that it means that the suffering of the masses will continue.

This was contained in a statement signed by Peluola Adewale, the group’s Organising Secretary.

He said there is a need to build a mass movement to resist the current hardship and suffering, and which would also be prepared to always organise and mobilise to challenge and fight against all anti-poor capitalist attacks that will be implemented in the aftermath of the 2023 general elections.


DSM explained that the only solution to Nigeria’s problems is a socialist revolution beginning with putting an end to the rule of the capitalist gangsters.

It noted that “genuine change-seeking elements cannot lend support to pro-capitalist parties like the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party), APC (All Progressives Congress), ANPP (All Nigeria Peoples Party), APGA (All Progressives Grand Alliance), ADC (African Democratic Congress) and their candidates who are part and parcel of the problems of this country and whose policies when they emerge would be a continuation of the current disastrous policy of the (Muhammadu) Buhari regime".


The group, however, called for support for the presidential candidate of the African Action Alliance (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, lauding his "ideas and programmes" and saying the party has identified itself as an "anti-imperialist, Pan-African, and Eco-socialist party".


The statement reads, "Hence, the DSM calls for no support for capitalist presidential candidates such as Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, Kwakwanso of the NNPP etc. Each of these candidates support anti-poor policies like deregulation, privatization, removal of fuel subsidy and underfunding of public education, healthcare and social services.


"However, in the campaigns for the forthcoming 2023 general elections, noticeable shifts can be seen in Sowore’s ideas and programmes. For example, the AAC has publicly identified itself as 'an anti-imperialist, Pan-African, and Eco-socialist party'. In the party’s 2023 election document titled 'A Peoples Manifesto for Total Liberation – AAC Program for Revolutionary Transformation of Nigeria 2022', the party declares:


“The Nigerian economy has been working for a handful of people who benefit from patronage, with little concern for investment in productive activities that result in gainful employment for the many and lifting people out of poverty…When we come to power, development will be driven by, and primarily for the benefit of, the poor working people. We will make the economy work for the many and not the few. Our economic policies will also go beyond “growth” and the building of a strong productive base.


"They will include environmental safeguards, to mitigate the climate crises and avoid environmental catastrophe. We will ensure a balance of the web of life between people and nature. We will promote system change and not climate change, as an integral element of our developmental strides (


"Similarly, at the launch of his campaign in Kano, Sowore publicly pledged to form 'a socialist government focusing on workers’ welfare, free education, job creation, and pension reforms'. In the same document, Sowore affirms that under an AAC government 'the right of nationalities to self-determination, up to the right of secession will be recognized and protected'. We firmly believe that people cannot be coerced into a federation, and there will be lasting peace and development.


"We also believe that a united Nigeria under a focused revolutionary leadership that we will provide will be stronger and all its peoples, and Africa as a whole, will benefit immensely. We will thus consistently advocate for the unity of the poor masses of all nationalities in Nigeria, based on mutual respect and shared values for a better world.


"Furthermore, the manifesto declares: 'We will pursue the renegotiation of Nigeria in the interests of the poor working people, through a bottom-up process that will lead to the popular formulation of a People’s Constitution, which will herald the economic, social, political, and national restructuring of Nigeria on the basis of justice and equality for all.'


"The manifesto also pledges the following: 'Our foreign policy, as AAC, will be aimed at breaking the chains of imperialism on our development. We will resist imperialist domination over the economic and political affairs of African and other Global South countries. We will establish relationships with countries and peoples which are based on solidarity, mutual respect, reciprocity, and the building of a new ecologically, economically and politically sustainable world.'

"Furthermore, an AAC government will 'Promote international relations based on fostering the global struggle and solidarity of working-class people to defeat imperialist domination and win the total liberation of the exploited and oppressed people across the length and breadth of the world'.


"Clearly, all these mark a crucial departure from Sowore’s previous campaign which then appeared focused on reforming capitalism. However from a Socialist point of view, there are a number of political limitations in Sowore’s programme some of which we endeavor to enumerate below.


"Despite the above programmatic and political limitations of Sowore, the DSM nonetheless believes that Sowore’s candidacy is the only one that merits the support and votes of change-seeking elements in Nigeria today. In our view, Sowore’s programme though limited can serve as a starting point for conversations about what Socialism is all about and how a movement and party that stand for the programmes of Socialism can be built.


"We hereby declare our critical support for the candidacy of Omoyele Sowore while urging all change-seeking elements who want to use the forthcoming election to take a stand and reject all capitalist and anti-poor parties/candidates to cast their vote for Omoyele Sowore.

"By critical support, it means that while supporting Sowore, we shall not refrain from openly and frankly raising our disagreements with some aspects of his programme and politics through discussions as well as our publications, with the aim of engaging in fruitful comradely debate and hopefully reaching common understanding on the key issues."