We are living in times of great peril nationally, continentally and globally, in the midst of a deepening social, economic and political crisis, with grave consequences for the conditions of living and existence of working peoples and the poor all over the world.
Yet, as more and more people are thrown into poverty, as the level of hardship intensifies in scale and in scope, fewer and fewer people are seeing their personal wealth increase and having greater and growing proportions of the world’s wealth in their own hands.
In the midst of these global crises of existential proportions, we are seeing the rise of extremist far right ideology and groups, further threatening the existence of humanity with their ultra-nationalist determination to cause chaos. Here at home in our country in Nigeria, the deepening crisis of capitalism, has produced not only intensifying levels of hardships, but just as globally, it is also producing a response among the masses who are the most impacted by the crises.
This existential and potentially catastrophic crisis engulfing and consuming the ruling class and its component factions and fractions, that led to the historic implosion of the PDP as its hitherto national consensus platform, and which is engendering the permanent crisis of instability of its new and emergent national ruling class consensus platform – the APC; are all clearly indicative of the classical characteristic of a situation where ‘the ruling class can no longer rule in the old ways’.
On the other hand, the immense scale, scope and intensity of the January Uprising of 2012, coupled with the subsequent deepening of the politicization of popular dissent and radicalization of a new generation of activists which culminated in the watershed electoral earthquake of the 2015 general elections; is also a comprehensive, if not yet self-conscious manifestation of the second classical fact of a context where ‘the popular masses are no longer willing to be ruled in the old ways’.
The combination of these two phenomena – the ruling class no longer being able to rule in the old ways, and the exploited classes no longer willing to be ruled in the old ways -, together make it possible to correctly describe and interpret this period in our history as a transitional moment, pregnant with both revolution and counter revolution, both repression and resistance. A moment of societal convulsions pregnant with possibilities, which can be revolutionary or counter revolutionary; that can lead to a re-establishment of a firm ruling class hegemony and re-consolidation of bourgeois rule; or that can lead to the establishment of a new popular hegemony, and supplanting of bourgeois kleptocratic rule.
But the response of the masses has not been uniform as it is to be expected; And they have gravitated in their anguished and fervent responses towards any organised and or apparently organised alternative that have been able to offer them leadership, through offering them answers presented as ways and means of getting out of their excruciating conditions of living and existence.
These platforms, sometimes organised and sometimes amorphous, in the absence of a coherent left, radical, revolutionary and transformative alternative are becoming beacons of hope for the embattled masses.
In our country since the epochal social convulsions of the January Uprising of 2012, and as a direct result of the poisonous climate of mutual suspicions and mutual distrust produced by the way and manner the struggle was conducted and concluded, there have been a political organising vacuum. A Vacuum that has made the present disoriented mass resistance possible.
Yet that experience of January 2012, that Popular Mass Uprising not only demonstrated the immense potential of an awakened politically conscious and organised popular consciousness and Mass Political Action, it also represented for the younger generation of emerging and emergent activists and active citizens, the defining political experience that has helped to shape them as well as shaped our struggles since then.
Unfortunately, however, the vacuum created by the collapse of the Labour-Civil Society platform, led to the brake and abrupt interruption in the march towards rebuilding the mass movement, overcoming our sectarian differences, replenishing the movement through the admission of newly radicalised and radicalising activists and groups, and building a Mass Left leaning, working people based political platform and party as an alternative.
Furthermore, as the history of human experience has shown repeatedly, every revolutionary situation is also conversely a counter revolutionary situation. As such the process of radicalisation in the context of a vacuum where there is the absence of genuine left and revolutionary alternative can oftentimes lead to right wing extremism, which is dangerous and which undermines solidarity and the collective human project as is already happening across the globe. To put it simply, the process of radically does not only automatically lead in a leftward revolutionary direction, it can also, in the absence of viable progressive alternative, lead in a rightward counter revolutionary direction.
We are therefore clear that the process of radicalisation needs to be appropriately directed and channelled, and that it behoves on us to provide this direction.
The ensuing vacuum has also led to the present situation where because of increasing hardship, there is a renewed spirit of resistance emerging among the people, and yet there is not available a viable organising center, that is not only tested, but is also trusted and cohesive enough to provide strategic direction and leadership for the emergent protest movement and reviving mass resistance.
If we must make the most from the present moment, we must reorganise and restrategise in a manner not only to provide the needed strategic leadership and direction, but also in a manner to attract the emerging and emergent activists, active citizens, and the popular masses towards the process of building a Mass Political platform and Left Party that will not only provide an alternative to the present morass of the incompetent and inept ruling class, but that will also be able to organise and lead the mass of our impoverished working people in the contestation for and eventual winning of political power in our country.
To be able to achieve this, we need to rebuild and reenergise our movements and platforms, we need to eschew sectarianism, and we need in general to build a new Organised Political Mass Movement, a new coalition for struggle; as well as in particular, build a new Mass Left and Revolutionary Political Party, as a living and organic expression of our United Front on the political terrain.
This is the most important lesson that we can, and should draw from our history. We were successful in waging the Anti-Military and Pro-Democracy struggle because we built Fighting Mass Coalitions and United Platforms of struggle [Campaign For Democracy (CD), United Action For Democracy (UAD) and Joint Action Congress [JACON]; and we were victorious because of this.
However we failed to position strategically to fill the political void emerging because of the hurried return of the military to the barracks. We failed to convert and harness the energy of the Mass Political struggle towards the goal of political contestation for power.
It is in this sense and context that we the undersigned are reaching out to you all, to each and every active citizen and activist, extending our honest and open hands of fellowship and comradeship, and asking that you join with us on this new phase of our collective journey towards the Revolutionary Social transformation of our society and the upliftment of our people and nation.
We publicly make our commitment to this process, and publicly encourage you to join with us so that together we can make a new beginning and offer not only leadership, but also a coherent and viable alternative to our people in their moment on reawakening.
This is perhaps the most auspicious period in a generation for conscious, popular, left and revolutionary forces to successfully launch a mass popular and political revolutionary intervention platform, and to consequently mount a successful challenge for power that while capitalizing on the deepening ferment in society and the increasing instability within the ruling class, can help to facilitate a process that will culminate in the popular democratic replacement of the ruling class and its supplanting by the popular forces and exploited classes of society.
It is against this momentous backdrop, and within this potentially liberating context that WE issue this urgent appeal, and make this OPEN CALL TO ACTION to every activist and every active citizen, who are not only deeply concerned about the fate of our beloved country; but who are also equally convinced that enough is enough, and share our view of the necessity to take urgent and immediate action to come and join with us in this Popular Liberating step towards a Radical National Salvation effort.
We urge each and every one who is in support of this clarion call to action, to publicly endorse this statement, and take immediate steps to massively disseminate this call, while proactively reaching out to others and establishing National Salvation Committees/Popular Organising Committeesin their localities and neighbourhoods.
In the course of time representative meetings of these National Salvation Committees/Popular Organising Committees shall be convened to articulate the next significant steps forward and coordinate the Radical National Salvation effort to build a viable, mass and popular political platform with the capacity to decisively intervene in the unfolding national crisis of existential proportions, and assume responsibility and leadership for national rebirth and rebuilding of our society. A platform that will not only be able to organise effective resistance to abuse of power and the current hardship, but that will also be able to mount an effective challenge to take political power and assume responsibility for governance.
We believe that where tradition is lacking or as in our case, waning, a striking example becomes paramount!
If you agree with us, there are a few immediate and important steps you can take:
• First; endorse this statement
• Second; help to massively disseminate this statement and canvass others to endorse it
• Third; you can take responsibility to organise others who are sympathetic to this call around you, where you live, where you work. Take responsibility to organise and establish a National Salvation Committee/Popular Action Organising Committee in your area.
• Fourth; get in touch with us through the contacts provided, indicating your interest to take responsibility to organise.
• Fifth; Search and like our Facebook Page [OPEN CALL TO ACTION] and Follow our Twitter handle – @OpenCall2Action & make use of the Hashtag – #OpenCallToAction. Leave your contact details on our FaceBook Page.
This Open Call To Action has been issued by:
1. JAYE GASKIA
2. Y Z YAU
3. Ezenwa Nwagwu
4. Auwal Musa Rafsanjani
5. Tunde Aremu
6. Uche Wisdom Durueke
7. Abiola Akiode-Afolabi
8. Lanre Arogundade
9. Emma Ugboaja
10. Zikirullahi Ibrahim
11. Babatunde Oluajo Sankara
12. Don Wale Salami
13. Yushau Sani Yankuzo
14. Kenn Henshaw
15. Abiodun Ayansiji Castro
16. Anthony Kola Olusanya
17. Okechukwu Nwagunma
18. Godwin Frank
19. Uche Wisedom Durueke
20. Abubakar Muazu
21. Kenneth Okoineme
22. Botti Isaac
23. Alex Ogbu Unekwu
24. Kemi Tella
25. Okon Emem
26. Constance Meju
27. Morris Alagoa
28. Patrick Naagbanton
29. Annie Morru
30. Dumo Sokari Dearson
31. Blessing Ogbu
32. Ebiaridor Kentebe