Monday, 29 September 2014

Free Abdulmalik Sa’idu and Fejiro Oliver Now:

Stop attacks on democratic rights

Press Statement

The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) demands immediate end to the savage attacks on democratic rights of Citizens Abdulmalik Saidu and Fejiro Oliver. The former is currently languishing in detention for posting comments on the Facebook, which purportedly "insults" the person of Kastina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema. The latter is a journalist who is in the custody of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) for reports purportedly "malign" the person of the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Muhammed Aliyu.

According to media reports, the health of Abdulmalik Sa'idu, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) student who was indefinitely detained on the orders of Kastina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema has deteriorated after being kept in a “dingy solitary cell.” Media reports confirm that Abdulmalik was arrested and detained at the Batagarawa Police Station after he received a call on August 28 instructing him to come to the government house for a message. On getting to the government house, he was promptly arrested, handcuffed and taken to Batagarawa Police Station just outside the state capital, Katsina, and detained on the orders of Mr. Shema’s aide-de-camp, Shehu Koko, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP.

It is in the same breath of breach of democratic rights that the DSS Niger State Command paraded Mr. Tega Sampson Oghenedoro (aka Fejiro Oliver) for allegedly blackmailing the Niger state government and others.
Fejiro Oliver was invited by the Secretary to State Government (SSG) Niger state and was subsequently arrested by the SSS on September 19, at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja via Asaba Airport.

According to media reports Sampson was arrested because he was in possession of a document on corrupt practices against Niger state government over accessed funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and had wanted to confirm from the government before going to press.

We demand the immediate release of these two ordinary Nigerians as well as adequate compensation for their unlawful detention. However, this incident has further underscored the need for trade unions and working people organizations to step up the fight for democratic rights as well as working towards a mass working peoples’ political alternative against the anti-poor neo-liberal capitalist government at all levels.

Chinedu Bosah
Publicity Secretary 



*Trade union and civil society organizations must step up mass actions to further  press for the immediate release of the panel’s report as well as reversal of all draconian measures under which workers in the institute groan *

The Oyo State Chapter of Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) expresses its dissatisfaction and worries over the delay in the report of Presidential Panel of Inquiry set up by the Federal Government to investigate range of industrial disputes that have engulfed Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan for the past 10 months.

At the same time, we call on trade unions, civil society organizations and well meaning Nigerians to join the campaign for immediate and unconditional reversal of all forms of anti-workers policies like proscription of union activities, non-payment of salaries etc., holding sway in the institute as well as reinstatement of the 95 workers whom were also arbitrarily sacked by the Prof. Malacky Akoroda, the Executive Director of the institute.

It is important to state that following series of mass actions and programmes like protest to media houses, press conferences; rallies; public distribution and circulation of leaflets organized by CDWR, Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and trade unions like Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) along the committee of the sacked 95 CRIN workers, the Federal Government through the office of  the Secretary to the Federal Government  sometime around March 2014, set up a Presidential penal of inquiry to investigate the root cause of crisis in CRIN and recommend ways through which peace and orderliness could be restored in the institute.

Between Wednesday 9th and 11th Friday, July, 2014, this committee which used Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, as the venue of its operation received thousands of petitions from various categories of CRIN workers and management staff.  As a matter of fact, representatives of all the existing trade unions in CRIN, sacked workers even members of the community in which the instituted is situated made verbal presentation before the panel.

Unfortunately, since that time till now, nothing has been heard in terms of recommendation or report of the panel let alone the implementation. As a result of the continuous delay of this recommendation Prof. Malacky Akoroda has been unduly emboldened to the extent that no fewer than fifty apartments belonging to some of the sacked workers who reside in the staff quarters within the institute have been sealed up.

Right now, CRIN has been turned to a banana republic where workers are arbitrarily issued query for not greeting the “Almighty Executive Director”. Civil Defense officers are permanently stationed in the institute to be intimidating workers. Also, there have been instances where workers were reportedly slapped and beaten by Civil defense corps. The height of this draconian measure is that workers salaries are not regularly paid

As an organization with age-long history of defending and advancing the democratic right and aspiration of workers and all oppressed strata in the society, CDWR is demanding the release and implementation of the report of the panel while calling on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), civil society organizations and well meaning Nigerians to join CDWR, SPN and Committee of Sacked CRIN workers in a joint struggle to ensure a total reversal of  all forms of draconian measure under which workers in the institutes presently groan.

Abbey Trotsky
Coordinator CDWR, Oyo State Chapter

Wednesday, 30 July 2014



Press Statement

We of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers' Rights (CDWR) support the ongoing strike action of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria with the demand on the state governments to obey the judgment delivered by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which ordered the states to comply with financial independence of the state judiciary. We call on all state governments to comply as the demand of the union is part of the working class struggle to deepen democracy.

We condemn in the strongest terms the pillaging of financial resources meant for the state judiciary by the state Governors and call for independent running of the state judiciary under the democratic control of all interest groups in the judiciary including representatives of judicial workers. We commend the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for extending solidarity to the union.

The judgment of the court delivered by Honorable Justice A.F.A Ademola of the Federal High Court in January 2014 directed that funds meant for state judiciary as allocations from the Federation/Consolidated Revenue Fund should be paid directly to heads of the state courts. The court also declared as unconstitutional, null and void the piece-meal payments/allocations of funds through the Ministries of Finance in the states to the state judiciary at the pleasure of state Governors.

However, the financial autonomy of the judiciary will mean fundamentally nothing if it does not translate into improved welfare and conditions of the judicial workers. We therefore call on the leadership of the union to link the demand of the strike to the living standards of their rank and file members to include such demands on wages, pension, study leave, among others. The fact that the strike enjoys nationwide support of the rank and file of the union including the federal court workers further shows the need to widen the demands.

Also importantly, the union leadership must carefully explain the basis for the demand of the strike to the wider public and establish its link with wider access to justice for all. This approach in addition to organizing mass sensitisation rallies will help the strike to win the demands.

However, given the current lopsided capitalist system, the judiciary cannot be truly independent to protect the fundamental interests of the working masses without a conscious struggle to bring out a social revolution under which the working people can democratically control the judiciary. This is why we of the CDWR advocate that the trade unions build a genuine working people's political alternative to fight for a working class socialist solution and strategy for the proper running of society

Chinedu Bosah

Publicity Secretary

Wednesday, 9 July 2014



We of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemn in strong terms the burning of mass transit buses by soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Lagos on Friday, July 4, 2014. We see this barbaric action as the continuation of attacks on democratic rights by security operatives. In the last few months we have witnessed brutal repression of press and protesters as well as killing of innocent citizens by soldiers and police officers with impunity.

According to media reports, all hell was let loose when the soldiers were protesting the killing of their colleague, one Matthew Ishaya by a BRT bus driver. Scores of the BRT buses were burnt and many people were left injured. We consider appalling the unashamed denial of the involvement of soldiers in this mayhem by the army authorities in spite of overwhelming evidence. The CDWR calls for the identification of the soldiers responsible for this madness and their immediate prosecution.

We also condemn reckless driving by some BRT drivers who have caused many injuries and deaths. We however blame this on the law enforcement agents like Police and the Lagos state owned LASTMA who usually turn a blind eye to the infraction of traffic rules by some BRT drivers. We note that these enforcement agents readily pounce, albeit in most cases for self-serving purpose, on private motorists and commercial bus drivers for offences of even lesser degree than what some BRT drivers commit with impunity.      
We equally condemn the attack by these uncouth, rampaging soldiers on journalists and curious citizens taking photographs of the arson. We consider this as an attack on the democratic rights of the working people.

We call on labour leadership not only to condemn this barbarism but also begin to build mass resistance against the growing relapse into military brutality and despotism.

Chinedu Bosah
Publicity Secretary