Monday, January 16, 2012


(The following declarations were adopted at the General Assembly of the Occupy Port Harcourt Movement held on 16th day of January 2012)

We, Occupy Port Harcourt (Oil City, Niger Delta) make this declaration to:
·      the aroused poor masses of Nigeria- south, north, west and east – who have decided that the Nigerian ruining/ruling class and its allies in International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank cannot continue to ruin them the way they used to do;
·      the masses organised in Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), for their historic total strikes, rallies and occupation;
·      the citizens’ organisations (civil society organizations) and activists for their marches, rallies and occupations nationwide and;
·       Nigerians in diaspora and other world citizens, especially World Occupy Movement, who have demonstrated solidarity to the Nigerian poor masses at Nigerian embassy locations and elsewhere.

This declaration is our immediate response to the policy of divide-and-rule, name-calling-and-criminalisation, atomising-and-weakening, as well as, isolating-and-obliterating, by the ruining Nigerian ruling class, which is dangerously playing out now in Port Harcourt, in particular and the south-south geopolitical zone in general. We are very clear that this divisive policy of the Nigerian ruling class is a direct response to the open intervention of the exploited, oppressed and marginalized masses, in the arena of Nigerian politics. No doubt, the Nigerian over-fattened exploiter class, which constitute one-percent of the Nigerian population, is threatened by the festival of the oppressed Ninety-nine per cent!

We recall that the current situation started with what we will call a national debate on what was then a current fuel price regime in 2011. Having realised that it has lost the debate, the ruling class, coalesced around the current ruling fraction in Abuja, ambushed the masses by increasing the price of fuel by over 120% on the 2012 new year day, as against the publicly declared promise that it will not effect any changes until April 1, 2012, when the 2012 national budget will become operative. The Nigerian masses responded on this assault on their survival by open intervention in the arena of politics through strikes, street marches, rallies and occupations. The ruining class responded by renting groups of crowd, hiring spin-doctors and voodoo economists, and spreading fear of Armageddon.  The ground swell of the festival of the oppressed emboldened the masses, swallowed and blunted the voice of their rented crowds, demystified their voodoo economists, and spun their spin-doctors into stupor. In response to these and as a last ditch position, the ruining class has now sent out its foot soldiers, shock troops and agent provocateurs.  Some of these agent provocateurs were seen on Port Harcourt streets effective from Friday, January 13, 2012.

We hereby respond to the invasion of the Oil City (Port Harcourt) by the foot soldiers/shock troops of the Nigerian exploiters and the threatening of the Oil Workers, especially Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigerian (PENGASSAN) members and citizens’ organisations and activists in a manner designed to provoke violence.  We note that they arrived from Abuja in their customised T-shirts and Face-caps and took over some Port Harcourt Streets ‘spitting fire and brimstone’. While we recognise individual and group rights to dissent, we abhor issuing of threats and ethnic jingoism in defence of a ruining / ruling class, coalesced around the current ruling fraction in Abuja. While the Nigerian masses are ruined, we say the poor masses of the minority ethnic groups, especially of the Niger Delta areas, are doubly ruined; first as members of an exploited strata and secondly as members of a marginalised ethnic group.  Our allegiance as partisans of the poor masses and the doubly ruined masses of the Niger Delta (Oron, Ijaw, Ikwerre, Urhobo, Ogoni, Ogba, etc, etc) is to the poor masses, this is particularly true when we are fighting a common cause. This is because we are fighting for the same destiny which is freedom from penury and ruin. Also, because we are being ruined by an unholy alliance of exploiters from different ethnic groups, including fractions from our minority ethnic groups in the Niger Delta.

The allegiance/loyalty of the doubly ruined poor masses of the Niger Delta should never be to a ruining / ruling class, coalesced around the current ruling fraction in Abuja, even if members of that fraction are from our minority ethnic groups. This truth runs through our peoples’ declarations and Bill of Rights: the Ogoni Bill of Rights, the Kaiama declaration of Ijaw people, the Oron Bill of Rights, the Ikwerre Rescue Charter of demands, the Aklaka Declaration of Egi, the first Urhobo economic summit report, etc.  Specifically, we take pride in the Kaiama Declaration which in part proclaimed that the Ijaw People offer a hand of friendship and comradeship to their neighbors and will promote the principle of peaceful coexistence with them. Also, the declaration extends it hands of solidarity to the Nigerian oil workers, as well as, solidarity with all peoples’ organisations in Nigeria.

We declare that we stand shoulder to shoulder with the aroused poor masses in other parts of Nigeria;

We pay tributes to the commendable examples of Occupy Kano for its resilience, to Occupy Lagos for its Massiveness, and to Occupy Abuja for its daringness;

We pay glowing tributes to the martyrs of the masses in Ilorin, Kano, Lagos and elsewhere in the country.

We are excited by the Nigerian citizens organised in NLC and TUC for this historic workers unity and strikes, which has surpassed any workers action in the history of Nigeria; we note that Niger Delta citizens – Urhobo, Ijaw, Ogoni, Ikwerre, Ibibio, Ogba, etc, etc, - that are members of NLC and TUC are participating massively in the workers’ actions;

We are proud of the patriotic roles our sons and daughters (from the Niger Delta) are playing in the current festival of the oppressed, in the NLC, TUC and in citizens’ organizations. In this instance, this patriotic role is epitomized by the pro-masses voices like comrade Owei Lakemfa, Professor Kimse Okoko, Professor J P Clark, Professor Tam David-West, etc, etc.

That the ruining class has unleashed its foot soldiers/shock troops on the oil city, with a script to issue threats, provoke and to make ethnic divisive proclamations, is a pointer that the ruining class is ready to dive to the pit of hell to unleash barbarism in order to maintain the status quo that is being challenged by the poor masses. As we take in the developing events, we can’t but ask, are these opening moments of fascism in Nigeria?

Therefore, while the reversal of fuel price hike to N65/litre and zero tolerance to corruption remain our twin indicator demand, we call on the aroused masses of Nigeria to continue to strengthen their resolve and begin to broaden and deepen their demands. Towards this end, we make the following demands:

1.      That Abuja should immediately withdraw all its foot soldiers/shock troops that invaded parts of the Niger Delta (particularly Port Harcourt) effective Friday 13, January 2012 and started threatening violence. At this juncture, it should be noted that we are currently carrying out documentation of these threats and should in case mayhem is unleashed on striking workers and peaceful protesters, we shall take the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC)  for crime against humanity
2.      Immediately embark on a 3 three-year strategic plan to overhaul the energy sector. Ensure adequate domestic refining capacity during this period, gradually reduce the importation of refined products as domestic refining.g capacity will increase, maintain petroleum products prices at current rate (N65/ltr) over the three year period, back the three year intervention plan  with viable legislation , punishment for breach and plug all leakages, loopholes and wastages in resource generation, allocation (with particular focus on 2012 budget proposals) and distribution. Certainly this should not be too difficult for any resourceful government to undertake.
3.      That Abuja should implement the Academic Staff Union of Universities /Federal Government (ASUU/FG) agreement of 2009 to prevent further damage to the already battered educational sector in Nigeria
4.      That governments at all levels should implement without delay the provisions of the minimum wage act of 2011.
5.      That those involved in the killing of peaceful protesters in Ilorin, Kano, Lagos and elsewhere in the country, must be fished out and procecuted.

We urge all the striking, rallying, occupying forces of Nigerian masses to organize and mobilize into a United Action for true Democracy and New Nigeria, where class oppression, ethnic marginalisation and gender discrimination will be eradicated on a permanent basis; and where socio-economic justice, unity and sustainable peace will reign supreme. Note that our historically tested tactics remain: strikes, rallies and occupations, and other peaceful forms of resistance to unjust government policies, laws and programmes.

We are forwarding this proclamation to the UN secretary General and all branches of Occupy Nigeria, home and abroad, NLC, TUC, JAF, UAD, World Occupy Movement, local and international human rights organizations, etc.

Issued this 16th day of January 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment