It is not controversial to say that, like Nigeria itself, the Socialist community in the country is limping too, especially in theoretical assuredness and in innovative practices. But it still retains the capacity for flashes of brilliance in certain crucial areas such as successfully running an ideological school named after one of the most extraordinary figures in creative application of Marxism in Africa – Amilcar Cabral. As early as the late 1960s, he was already shifting the centre of gravity in Marxism in Africa to culture. The school named after him, its emergence and activities at its arrival at its 14th year of existence is the subject of this statement by Comrade Abiodun Aremu, the tireless Coordinator, titled The Necessity for Socialist Re-orientation in Building a New Humanity in Nigeria and Africa -Intervention
By Abiodun Aremu
The leadership and members of the Amilcar Cabral Ideological School (ACIS-M) Movement, on the occasion of our 14th Anniversary today July 16, 2019 salute the working people and oppressed poor masses in Nigeria and the African people across the global Pan-African territories in the North, South, Latin Americas and the Caribbean.
We started the Amilcar Cabral Ideological School (ACIS) on July 16, 2005 with clearly defined short and long term goals. 28 persons attended the inaugural weekly class and the numbers grew to an average of 40 attendances and held continuously every Saturday from 10am to 1pm, without a break for almost a year, before it was decentralised into two locations, in order to accommodate the increasing rate of participants.
First, the challenge was to focus ‘comrades’ who were active in the popular struggle in the country on the ideological context of struggle with the primary task of “building revolutionary cadres – ideological clarity, sound moral values, organisational discipline and commitment to selflessness, lofty ideals and sacrifices”. In December 2014, ACIS transformed into the ACIS-M as – “a scientific Pan-Africanist, scientific socialist and revolutionary movement” and defined “Humanism the Goal! (i.e. transformation of the Human person) and Socialism as our vehicle!”
The 14th Anniversary
In marking the 14th Anniversary, two branches of ACIS-M (Oyo and Edo states) will simultaneously hold public symposia today with the theme – “THE NECESSITY FOR SOCIALIST REORIENTATION IN BUILDING A NEW HUMANITY”. This event will be followed by the ANNIVERSARY LEADERSHIP RETREAT that we have scheduled to hold in Ilorin, Kwara State from July 19 – 21. The Retreat will draw members from 12-States (Rivers, Edo, Kwara, Jigawa, Kano, Niger, Plateau, Abuja, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun).
The goal of the Anniversary Retreat is to build cadres with capacity for ideological clarity, mass organisation of people, organisational discipline, unwavering commitment to selfless struggle, collective spirit for voluntary communal work and culture of solidarity at the local and international levels.
OUR POSITION ON THE THEME: The Necessity for Socialist Reorientation in Building a New Humanity in Nigeria and Africa!
As students of Amilcar Cabral, we always proceed, in understanding our society, from the concrete socio-economic realities. We are today in Nigeria and Africa being consumed by distorted realities which have imposed false consciousness on the masses of our people, thereby undermining our appreciation of the fundamental basis of our existence as human beings.
The choice of theme derived from our 2018 END OF YEAR RETREAT (December 14 – 17) where we resolved that:
We should prepare the people beyond the 2019 General elections, because the ruling class parties of money-bag politicians have failed the country since the 1960 independence and that so long as they are keeping the people in a state of perpetual slavery without an Alternative model for socio-economic progress and development of our country; A MASS REVOLT BECOMES INEVITABLE!
Without socialist reconstruction of Nigeria, the problems of massive and ever increasing unemployment and unproductiveness cannot be resolved.
We need a lot of work on mass mobilisation of the suffering people in order to build mass consciousness on socialist ideas.
We should fight injustices wherever we are and propagate socialist ideas at all time.
The theme speaks to the necessity for the unity and organisation of the exploited social class forces who have become the eternal victims of the unjust system of capitalism.
Capitalism (neoliberalism, globalisation, or whatever it is called) is an international socio-economic, political and ideological unjust system. Its idea or ideology is about greed, selfish accumulation and inhumanity. It confronts us in every facets of our life – education, health, commodity production, commodity exchange, labour relations, housing, environment, democracy and elections, etc.
In any polity driven by capitalism, dependent nation-states such as Nigeria lack independent system of production. That is why we depend on foreign countries for all we need. Capitalism is therefore, evil, it is unemployment, and it is lack of fundamental access to education, health, housing and basic necessities of life. It is foreign debt enslavement and it is the looting of our common patrimony using the tools of – privatisation, deregulation, concessions, etc.
The more Nigeria and other African nation-states embrace prescriptions of capitalism, the more the crises of insecurity, the more the criminal acts of ethnic and religion divisiveness (Boko Haram, herdsmen attack, hostage taking, kidnapping, etc.) created by the wicked ruling politicians.
Therefore, we are not interested in merely speaking against the crises created by capitalism, neither are we interested in sloganeering against it nor do we believe that ideological posturing will bring capitalism to destruction, but we believe the present challenge is to arouse the consciousness of the masses of the exploited people to understand the depth of their concrete realities and the alternative of Socialism, in order to redeem humanity in our part of the World.
Our position on socialist reorientation is to let the working people and the poor masses understand the connection of the specific realities of their existence to the possibilities offered humanity by a new system of production and political arrangement under socialism.
Socialism offers us the Alternative to restructure our Material Existence. It is not about the fiscal federalism cum ethnic nationalities’ restructuring agenda driven by acquisitive interests of capitalism (that is, creating new territories of capitalist exploitation). What to restructure, if we have a proper understanding of Ernesto Che Guevara and Cabral’s contributions to Humanity, is our ideological and material relations between the few exploiters and the majority exploited – the haves and the haves-not!
We can only redeem our society based on struggle and engagement in politics that connect with the concrete material realities of the people in the direction of political power by all forces – working people, unemployed, students and youth, academic, women, traders, farmers, professionals, etc. THIS IS OUR STAND!
In our crusade for socialist reorientation, we should be conscious of what Cabral said, ”We are not going to eliminate imperialism by shouting insults against it. For us, the best or worst shout against imperialism, whatever its form, is to take up arms and fight. This is what we are doing, and this is what we will go on doing until all foreign domination of our African homelands has been totally eliminated! There are only two possible paths for an independent nation: to return to imperialist domination (neo-colonialism, capitalism, state capitalism), or to take the way of socialism!”