Biodun Olamosu

The socio-economic and political situation in the recent period has gone from bad to worse for most people. This is characterised by lack of basic things of life – food, clothing, shelter, water, electricity, good roads. But also unemployment, social inequality, disease, illiteracy, poor funding of education and health care systems, increased crime and criminality, climate change, religious and ethnic tensions, corruption and looting, electoral fraud, police brutality, etc. 

The class nature of successive governments has been exposed by how they made this situation worse through their anti-poor neoliberal economic policies. This has made the rich much richer and the poor working people poorer.  

There are an avalanche of tendencies among the ruling elite to interprete the situation and find their way out. Notable among these are the break-up of the country, while some advocated for restructuring or ethnic balancing – what they call true federalism.  Some others stood for Islamisation of the country. The latter is personified by the Boko Haram insurgency that has caused serious havoc in Northern parts of the country.

The ruling elite with their divergent opinions on politics and governance have a common ground on the issue of the economy as they all subscribe to neoliberal economic policies. 

There is also other category of the people influenced by the philosophy of the ruling elite. They see the way out, not against the system, but in how they can cheat the system in order to make a living for themselves. With the preponderance of youth unemployment without any solution in sight, not a few youths have also taken into crime.

But the real thieves are members of the ruling elite that use their positions in power to loot the national treasury. This has made many less privileged people embrace the world of criminality in order to survive as survival is the first law of nature. According to Karl Marx’s friend, Fredrich Engels, the anti-social causes of crime have to be fought to get rid of crime and criminality. So the struggle against crime and criminality can best be approached by fighting against economic injustice rather than just punishing those that turn to crime.

The way society is constituted and organised in a capitalist setting allows the bulk of the wealth to favour the rich.  It is the ruling class’s possession of capital that ensures everything works in their favour. This is how majority are languishing in poverty while few are living a life of luxury.

The system of capitalism at the same time created the class of the working people with its attendant poor working conditions; that is going to be the grave digger of the system of capitalism. The role of the working people becomes handy here as it is the only class that can effectively challenge the ruling class. As much as the working class are challenging the bosses in the working places for better working conditions, at times workers also engage in solidarity with other workers in struggle. There is also the need for the working class to engage in politics with the aim of fighting for political power in order to emancipate themselves and their kinds permanently from the hands of exploiters and oppressors. When this is achieved, it shall be the beginning of the end to exploitation and oppression; and the start of reorganisation of society for common good – socialism.


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