10th Anniversary of ACIS
(July 16, 2005 – July 16, 2015)
WELCOME REMARKS by ACIS’ Central Coordinator – Comrade ABIOLA DABIRI
We welcome you all on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of our organisation – Amilcar Cabral Ideological School (ACIS). We salute, first, our brothers from our homes in Ghana, Republic of Benin and Guinea Bissau who have come to honour us with their presence and to share with us the experience of this Anniversary in the spirit of a united Africa and with commitment to international solidarity of movements of the exploited and oppressed people across the world. We salute our brothers and sisters in Nigeria from the constituencies of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, the National Union Airport Transport Employees (NUATE), in particular the NUATE Women Committee, the leadership of the Joint Action Front (JAF), the Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), the leadership of the National Conscience Party (NCP), our compatriots in other organisations who share with us solidarity with the Cuban people in Nigeria, and our comrades from other organisations who are present in this hall and have always participated in our programme. Also, we salute the panels of speakers, discussants, rapporteurs and media compatriots here present.
Tomorrow, July 16 will be exactly 10 years we started the ACIS’ journey on Saturday July 16 2005. Today’s event, which is a COLLOQUIUM is the hallmark of our Anniversary events that started yesterday with visitation to the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) – the repository of the legacies the 2nd World Black Festival of Arts and Cultures held in Nigeria in 1977, popularly acclaimed as “FESTAC 77”. We rounded up the day with the screening of a documentary on the invaluable revolutionary contribution of Commandante Ernesto Che Guevara.
ACIS started in 2005 with a clear goal of short and long term objectives. First, was to focus comrades in popular struggle in Nigeria on the ideological context of struggle. This became necessary then in view of the ascendancy of neo-liberal thoughts dictated by the imperialist funders’ interest, thereby undermining struggle in the country that are based on class interest.
This situation is yet to change, increasingly as “new generations of activists” have come to see struggle as a “meal ticket”. Through the weekly ideological classes that held on every Saturday since 2005, we developed a new generation of highly inspired and wiling-to-learn comrades that were later instrumental to the popular agitations of the United Action for Democracy (UAD) between 2005 and 2009. Those of them who have remained with ACIS are participating actively in all the struggles by JAF and its labour partners – Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) from 2005 till date.
Some have left ACIS, having attended few ACIS’ classes, while some others are inactive and wavering, probably for fear of applying themselves to the complexities and challenge of class struggle. Despite the setbacks of losing most comrades that went through the ACIS classes to the temptation of opportunism and individualism, we have quite scores of formidable comrades who remain ever consistent.
We moved to the stage of cadreship building for the birth of a Vanguard, which started in 2011 with specially organised Retreats in 2012, 2013 and still ongoing.
Our present stage took effect in December 2014 with the formation out of ACIS the ACIS-M on the political line of struggle for a socialist Nigeria and a united socialist Africa. This is the most critical challenge of organisation in which the 10th Anniversary met us as we are set to begin ideological education and organising the people on mass constituencies for the tasks of revolutionary openings in order to struggle for seizure of political power. Creating revolutionary openings should not be confused with the ripening of the objective situations. Without developing the subject forces of the revolution, i.e. a higher level of organisation and discipline, it is impossible to create a revolutionary opening.
We need to create an organisation of cadres and people with capacity for ideological clarity (class interest and class struggle), unwavering commitment to solidarity, selflessness and spirit of voluntary work for there to exist a revolutionary opening which can then take advantage of the objective situations. We are glad we are working with the NUATE women and some women of other trade unions on working class education and struggle and this have become evident in the way NUATE women are playing frontal role in the struggle for unionisation in the Aviation Sector. Much of such struggles are required by the trade unions in our various nation-states in Africa to defeat the policies of privatisation, deregulation, etc. CLP, NATA,
Also, we have benefitted immensely from the support and solidarity of the National Union of Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers since we started with our first Solidarity Lecture in January 2010 to begin a conscious programme of organising Nigerians for a resurgence of class and anti-imperialist consciousness. With the Textile Union’s leadership role in the “Industrial-All”, we are committed to struggle with the platform to combat the precarious working conditions, and ensure a strategic partnership on working class education with all the unions under the platform.
Why “ideological” in the name ACIS? Why Cabral and not any of the other African legends? These are questions we are always confronted with since inception. We chose “ideological” consciously because the new generation of the 90s and successive ones have been disadvantaged by the latest de-ideologising education of capitalist ideology called globalisation. The capitalist ideology deceptively teaches the “death of ideology” to successive generations with implications for mental and neo-colonial enslavement. Mere naming the school “Cabral School” shows this is a political movement founded on the ideas of Cabral and what inspired him. What inspired Cabral – Marxism, Socialism, Pan-Africanism, National Liberation struggle, Total Independence, Identity and Culture, etc.
Our country and all parts of Africa need a political alternative. Western Sahara is still under colonial occupation. We must struggle to free Western Sahara. This is the path ACIS desires for the nation-states in Africa. This is the reason we have decided to hold this Colloquium to further deepen the ideas of Pan-Africanism, Socialism and the struggle for socialist revolution as the alternative international political alternative the global humanity should embrace.
We salute you all for your solidarity with us on this day.
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