STATEMENT ON MAY DAY
On this day marking International Workers’ Day, the West Africa Peoples Organization (WAPO) conveys its fraternal greetings to all working peoples of West Africa, and their various labour organizations and movements.
Brothers and Sisters, the commemoration of Ist of May an “International Workers’ Day” began in 1889 to memorialize the bitter struggles waged by the workers of the United States for an eight-hour working day. On this important day, we join you as comrades-in-struggle to celebrate working class militancy and solidarity throughout the world. We salute all workers joined in the struggle towards building of a better society which ensures social justice, equality and healthier living conditions. Together we stand; divided we fall. Victoria et certe!
Comrades, this year’s May Day is being celebrated against a backdrop of international economic meltdown, increased casualization of labour and high unemployment marked by two crises: the COVID 19 health crisis and the war in Ukraine. Everywhere, the working people are under attack from soaring prices, inflation that erodes all purchasing power. Most of our nations are permanently debt-stricken; a reflection of the failure of neo-liberal policies implemented by our neocolonial elites who refuse to confront the problems of hunger and poverty. Now, the elites of the neocolonial States have begun forming a beeline to the International Monetary Fund for bailouts. As members of the working class, we can expect, at the least, further strangulations of our economies and retreat of our various governments from the provisions of additional social housing, improved public health and education as well as in increased imposition of draconian taxes, freezes in future real remunerations and unbridled loss of employment.
Brothers, sisters, and comrades, West Africa has become one of the most unstable regions of continental Africa with many parts caught up in low-intensity civil wars, recurring armed conflicts, disastrous impacts of climate change, joblessness, economic hardships and endemic poverty. This region is subject to daily imperialist aggression under various pretexts and expressions, including insecurity. Now Imperialism is preparing to forcibly smash the kind of local and nationalist resistance that is driving France out of our Region. The West also seeks to militarily exclude strategic rivals that it cannot compete with commercially or technologically.
French military bases crisscross the region in Cape Verde (Senegal), Port-Bouët (Côte d’Ivoire), etc. Our countries from Niger through Senegal to Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria have become hostages to several large foreign military bases and platforms. At Agadez in Niger is located the world’s largest drone base and in Ghana, the United States military has established a forward base system. Slowly but surely, the imperialists have perniciously surrounded us and today we have become integrated into the rear base of NATO”. At the last count, there are over twenty of such foreign military bases leading our sub region to become hotbeds of geopolitical rivalry, tension and competition.
There is no doubt that these devastating conditions, in which our working peoples find themselves, are the direct impact and vestiges of neo-colonialism and imperialism. The West Africa Peoples Organization (WAPO) is firmly convinced that the path to developments of our various countries lies in collective self-reliance around the banner of Pan-African Unity and Socialism.
As you would be aware, the progressive peoples of West Africa in December 2023 came together to reignite the struggle for a broader cooperation and ultimate union of the peoples of Africa. We recognize the central role that the trade unions must play in forging this Pan-African Unity. We therefore urge the leadership and entire membership to come together and define the class character of this struggle. It is our anti-capitalist positions which will unify us and we must organize ourselves around that.
On this special occasion, WAPO extends its unwavering solidarity to all the workers’ movements throughout the world. We salute all the forces of national liberation and independence and express our camaraderie with the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Palestine, and Sahraoui Arab Democratic Republic who are engaged in ardent struggles against imperialist aggression, occupations and sanctions. We hereby demand and call for sovereign equality of all countries.
À Luta Continua!!!