Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fake Anti-Igbo Song


I doubt the authenticity of the song circulating online that calls for genocide against the Igbo in Nigeria. To say that I doubt the authenticity does not mean that it should not be taken seriously, otherwise why bother commenting? Even fake news and fake songs can have devastating consequences if gullible people swallow the propaganda and act it out. Correct me if I am wrong but I think that Africans should not believe everything they hear on the internet. We should engage in more critical thinking.

I doubt if Hausa/Fulani warlords would authorize a genocidal war song and rely on women to sing it for the men to act upon. The Hausa/Fulani are very patriarchal in their culture and although they have had warrior queens like Queen Amina of Zaria and the Boko Haram used women as suicide bombers, it is very unlikely that they would use the voices of women to declare war. Women may ululate to celebrate victory by their men but it is unauthentic for women to be the ones calling for the rape and genocide of Igbo women, children and men by Hausa/Fulani men.

I doubt the authenticity of the song also because the accent is not a native Hausa speaker accent. Although I do not speak Hausa (Ba na ji Awusa), the pronunciation of the genocidist term Nyamiri in the song as Nyamuri is an indication that the singers were not native speakers but agents provocateur trying to egg the Hausa/Fulani youth into a genocidal frenzy against the Igbo who have never done them any wrong, contrary to genocidist propaganda that the Igbo killed northern leaders in the past when the Igbo did no such thing.

Western Nigerian officers (including some Western Igbo) led the first bloody coup in the country to free their leader, Awolowo, from prison and impose him as the Prime Minister. They later blamed it on Eastern officers who actually foiled the coup. Then Western Nigerian and Middle Belt Christian officers led the genocidal war against the Christian Easterners and blamed it on the Muslim Northerners to ignite an endless religious war but the Igbo have managed to avoid buying this trap. Yet the hatred of the Igbo remains the major thing that unites all other Nigerians, according to Achebe.

The authenticity of the anti-Igbo song is also raised by the fact that the song made an exception for the Yoruba, calling for them to be spared in the genocide against the Igbo. Yet it will not be easy to tell who is Igbo and who is Yoruba in the absence of tribal marks that are no longer common among the Yoruba. When the rain falls, it will not fall on one man’s house top.

I doubt the authenticity of the song furthermore because the beat is not the traditional Hausa beat with traditional instruments. Rather it is a computerized disco beat that is actually danceable and I doubt that genocidists would prefer to use disco beats to issue genocidist calls even if their target audience is the Hip-Hop loving generation of today. Dem go de Pose, is what Baba Fryo called such a pretense.

I call on all Africans to disavow songs of hatred and proclaim the fact that the Igbo are not ‘a curse to Nigeria’ but a blessing to Africa. All Nigerians should reject genocidist propaganda and add their voices to the defense of those who are targeted by haters, no matter their ethnic groups. Choose roses than rape, choose Ubuntu than Ubulani, urges the people’s poet, Mzwakhe Mbuli.


Dr. Biko Agozino is a Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Friday, June 16, 2017

IGBOPHOBIA AS A LAMENTATION FOR HELP

By Biko Agozino

Since the colonial era, a phobia has been haunting Nigeria: the phobia of Igbo domination. All over Nigeria, there is fear and suspicion by all ethnic groups and they blame it mostly on the Igbo scapegoats while some of the Igbo blame their own leaders. Lamentations for help from the marginalized, exploited and oppressed masses echo all over the land. Sometimes the wailing is disguised as cries of anger against other suffering Nigerians, sometimes they come across as cries of hatred against innocent people who are falsely blamed for all the woes, and sometimes they come across as braggadocio with threats against fellow citizens. There is no mistaking the din from the wailing masses even when it is disguised as a mocking nervous laughter at the presumed foolishness , meanness, or madness of others.

When Arewa youths issued threats to the Igbo to quit the north or risk being ethnically cleansed by force, were they not crying out for help? The northern youth were most likely raised with the supremacist ideology that the rest of Nigeria was conquered by their fathers for them to rule uninterrupted. They obviously see the Igbo as the only group that challenged this mythology of Arewa supremacy through their individual efforts to rise from pogroms and genocides to continue to better themselves without fear. The Igbo are in every nook and cranny of the country helping to provide services that may be hard to access if they were to leave.

The Igbo communities of Kano and Kaduna have already stated that the Igbo were there to stay with the support of the elders of the North, the governors of northern states and the federal government; no matter what some misguided youth groups and individual elders may say. Misadvised governors of the South East states offered to hire luxury buses to evacuate the Igbo from the North as if those who want to target the Igbo could not hunt them down to the East and attack them there as they did before and continue to do in collaboration with youth from the Middle Belt and the Western regions and with the sabotage of some South South youth who did not support Biafra.

Arewa youth cry out perhaps because the very people their fathers tell them that they defeated  in a genocidal war appear to be dominant in all aspects of life except the presidency of the country and in the armed forces. Arewa youth appear to cry out for help with Igbophobia because they really want to be successful like the Igbo youth with their excellence in academic achievement, illustrious commercial ventures, star performance in sports, literature, music and filmmaking and with the confidence to move to any part of Africa and thrive no matter who is the president and commander in chief of the armed forces. Why do Arewa youth continue to perform poorly in education, why are they disease-ridden and impoverished, why do the children go about begging for food with which to support their teachers, why are their sisters forced into marriage as children, and why do waves of terrorist militants kill and main across the north from time to time even while northerners dominate the armed forces and the presidency? Surely, it is not the fault of the Igbo who have not done anything wrong to provoke the terroristic threats of Igbophobia that they continue to face.

Arewa youth presumably want to know how the Igbo could go from losing more than three million lives in 30 months in Biafra, losing all their savings and their buildings in other parts of Nigeria and yet bounce back gallantly in record time despite continuing marginalization of the South East by successive federal governments. When southern politicians like Michael Imoudu, Chinua Achebe, Sam Ikoku, Arthur Nweankwo, Eskor Toyo, and Wole Soyinka joined hands to build the Peoples Redemption Party with Malam Aminu Kano, Balarabe Musa, Abubakar Rimi, Balla Muhamad, and Bala Usman to try and answer the cries of Nigerian masses, the inferiority complex of people like Barkin Zuwo scuttled the efforts by accusing the southerners of wanting to ruin ‘our’ northern party. In the colonial days, Northern Youth joined hands with Southern youth to organize the militant Zikist Movement and this resulted in the first Mayor of Enugu being a Fulani man who served from 1952 to 1958 after beating the candidate preferred by Azikiwe. Ojukwu’s uncle, Okonkwo Kano, was also elected to the Northern Regional Legislative Council and Azikiwe was elected to the Western Regional Assembly just as two Igbo legislators were recently elected to represent Lagos in the House of Representative.

Some Northern elites continue to justify their hatred of the Igbo by saying that it was a deserved punishment for the Igbo officers who led the first coup that killed northern leaders but spared Igbo leaders in the first republic. Some of the northern leaders brag that the Igbo have been punished enough for their foolishness but some other leaders warn that the Igbo have not learned their lessons given that they continue to migrate to other parts of the country in large numbers in spite of open threats. Hausa-Fulani also migrate to other parts of the country but other than the misguided proclamation of the Gideon Orkar coup (from North Central) against General Babangida, no one has ever issued a threat to any other ethnic group (except the Igbo) quit from the south or face genocide.

The Igbo admit that it was abominably wrong for four Igbo officers to participate in the killing of the leaders of other regions in the first coup when they claimed that they wanted to bring out Obafemi Awolowo, a Yoruba leader, from prison and make him Head of State. Others point out that the coup plotters were mostly from the old Western region, that troops from all regions participated in the killings and that it was Igbo officers who foiled the coup and arrested the plotters for trial. Yet the counter coup singled out Igbo officers for massacre and singled out Igbo civilians for genocide. Other coups have since taken place in Nigeria but the ethnic groups from which the coup plotters came were not subjected to genocide the way that innocent Igbo were targeted. The Igbo were already being targeted for genocidal killing even before the first coup in the country. The ongoing Igbo genocide arose due to Igbophobia against alleged Igbo domination that was used by the British colonizers to divide and weaken the struggle for the restoration of independence which was led mainly by Igbo elites.

A governor from the North East was recently recorded in a telephone conversation with a governor from the South West plotting how to drive the Igbo away from Nigeria or how to drown them in the lagoon. The governor envied the Igbo for owning four out of every six shops in the country and boasted that the north had all the food in the country while the West had developed factories to live on but the Easterners could go and drink their oil if that was what they wanted. This echoed the treasonable threat of Arewa youth that they were ready to divide the country along regional lines in their proclamation of Igbophobia. Leaders of the Indigenous People of Biafra proclaimed their support for the splitting of the country and urged the Igbo in the North to return to their home region as warned to avoid the repeat of the pogrom in the north that led to the declaration of Biafra. The Igbo in the North will remain in the North and prosper there simply because returning to the marginalized East would not safeguard them from the crisis of neocolonialism that grips every part of the country. No matter what they say, come what may, the Igbo have proved that they are everywhere to stay, to paraphrase Linton Kwesi Johnson on black people in England. ‘Them ah tire fe see we face, can’t get we out of the race, and so you play bad card’, as Bob Marley cautioned.

Even if the country is split into two, three, four, five or six regional autonomous countries, the Igbo will continue to travel to other regions in the United States of Africa to trade, study, work, run for office, marry, and serve as they have always done. Thus, the Igbophobic threat for the Igbo to leave the North or the threat by the Oba of Lagos to drown them in the lagoon if they failed to vote a certain way is doomed to failure because the Igbo are all over Africa and all over the world just as people from all over the world are in Igboland. Northerners and Westerners are also all over West Africa, including Igboland, and there is no quit notice against them because there is no alternative to multiculturalism in a globalizing world.

Other Nigerians should stop hating the Igbo and join them in venturing outside their own home regions democratically because that is what is expected in a modern society. The genocide against the Igbo before, during and after the declaration of Biafra did not involve only northerners. There is evidence that the genocide was led by Yoruba and Middle Belt military officers and executed by predominantly Christian soldiers. The government should live up to its responsibilities and protect Igbo lives and property against the threats of Igbophobia or the Igbo should bring law suits against the government for reparations and for negligence. If Nigerians do not want the Igbo to be a part of their federation, then call a referendum to allow the Easterners to restore Biafra peacefully. Other regions that want to restore their independence could also vote in a referendum to do so but the referendum could also result in a no vote to remain united as was the case in Scotland recently before Britain narrowly voted for Brexit.

The Boko Haram are fighting a war of secession in the North East, the Afrewa Youth have called for secession by threatening the Igbo in the North West, Oduduwa Peoples Congress have called for Oduduwa Republic in the South West and the Niger Delta militants fight for resource control. The South East appears to be the only region going about the agitation for self-determination peacefully by, for example, staying home to honour the heroes that they lost during the genocide in Biafra and to commemorate the youth recently killed extra judicially. How come the most peaceful Nigerians, the Igbo, are the ones being threatened with genocide again and again as a result of Igbophobia whereas the Igbo have never threatened any group or participated in the mass killing of other Nigerians?

The Nigerian government should issue an apology to the Igbo for the genocide that was visited on them and call for the referendum on self-determination. Other Nigerian groups from the Western region and from North Central who participated massively in leading the genocide against the Igbo should also render an unconditional apology to the Igbo and vote in the referendum to let the Igbo go if they are unwanted in Nigeria. Before or after the referendum, the Nigerian government and the British and Russian orchestrators of the genocide against the Igbo should offer huge reparations to the Igbo for the losses of millions of lives and property in Biafra and for the continuing marginalization of the South East. Otherwise, the Igbo should sue the foreign governments, the Nigerian government and individual genocidist Nigerians and all should support the Igbo in the spirit of fairness because injustice to some is injustice to all.

The Igbo should also look beyond their own wounds and offer support to those who suffer more than them today. The poor masses of the North who are purposely denied educational opportunities can be offered lessons in academic achievement and in commercial success if they allow the Igbo to do so. The Igbo should raise funds and send relief supplies to the North East and to South Sudan to support those who are facing starvation there the way that foreigners rallied to support the Igbo when ‘starvation was used as a legitimate weapon of war’ in Biafra.

All Nigerians should commend the Igbo for their resilience in the face of genocide and the governors of the South Eastern states should pool their resources together to fund a coordinated industrial revolution in the region rather than make the symbolic gesture of hiring buses with unaccountable budgets to evacuate citizens from their own country. African masses should stop agonizing about their collective marginalization by neocolonial regimes and start organizing for the Peoples Republic of Africa in which undemocratic traditional rulers will be replaced with elected town mayors and town councils; allowing internal borders to wither away for a free movement of people, goods and services.


Dr. Agozino is a Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

‘Trump and the Trumpists’

By Biko Agozino

I was invited by editors to respond to Wolfgang Streeck’s synthesis of Marxist analysis of Bonapartism with Weberian Status Group pluralism. Although this response was not selected for publication due to a high volume of responses, the publishers offered to pay me for my time and I asked them to donate it to an NGO that works to prevent mass starvation. Below is my response to the essay:

Du Bois and Azikiwe

The essay by Streeck provided an intriguing perspective on the emergence of politicians that he characterized as ‘Trumpists’. However, his critical essay is in need of more thorough conceptual clarifications to address some theoretical inadequacies and empirical untenabilities that threaten the validity of his analysis and the policy efficacy of the implications.

The author uncritically presented a rehash of Marx and Weber to suggest a hegemonic crisis characterized by the ‘death of the center-left’ that created a void to be filled with ‘class, status and party’ in a US supposedly dichotomized between the cities in apparent resentful polar opposition against the hinterlands. From this he concluded that the governmentality of Trumpism is potentially ungovernable and predicted that Trump may be forced to resign before the end of his term.

Streeck nearly ruined his essay from the start with the cyborg premise that ‘strange personalities’ can be identified by the atavistic stigmata of ‘extravagant dress, inflated rhetoric, and show of sexual power’ – gangster rap stereotypes that Trump evidently lacks given that his corporate suit is far from being extravagant, his rhetoric is monosyllabic, and he engaged Marco Rubio in size-of-hand envy.

The joke that the US had lost every foreign war since the defeat in Vietnam risks becoming an iatrogenic war-mongering capable of goading the most powerful military in the world (as if more excuses are needed) into the search for a face-saving winnable war.

Instead of jeering at Americans that they have 11 million illegal immigrants despite their ‘elaborate immigration policies’, Streeck should have asked what fortress Europe could learn from American pragmatism regarding the inevitability of immigration and the need to pursue increased diversity while providing a path to citizenship as part of comprehensive immigration reforms.

On Bonarpatism, Streeck invoked The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte by Marx to remind us that Trump is not the first figure to come to power and seek to rule as an absolute monarch to the disadvantage of the masses of peasants who supported Bonaparte simply because they liked his ideas. Streeck neglected to inform the readers that Marx did not intend this concrete historical example to be overgeneralized for he counted the instances of Bonapartism on two fingers of one hand. The concrete example was used by Marx to show that sometimes, the infrastructural mode of production is less of a determinant of historic outcomes than the superstructural ideology of his much-abused architectural metaphor.

Of course, Trump is no emperor and even if he wanted to rule the US the way that Bonaparte ruled France, Trump has to get past the Congress with anxious eyes on the 2018 Mid Term elections, past the courts that block his CEO style of orders, past the critical press that reveal scoops to force sacks from the government, and past the energized electorate ready to call his bluff from one ill-advised Executive Order to another dead-on-arrival attempt to replace Obamacare with Donaldon’tcare. Streeck repeated the Orwellian fact that Trump ‘won’ the election but failed to add that he actually lost the popular votes by nearly three million.

If Streeck had looked beyond German Sociology in his search for a suitable theoretical framework for the US, he could have stumbled on the theories of Thatcherism and Authoritarian Populism by Stuart Hall or Intersectionality by Kimberley Crenshaw as a more suitable paradigm for the analysis of the politics of race-c;lass-gender articulation, disarticulation and rearticulation in societies structured in dominance.

Another major weakness in the essay is the uncritical adoption of Weberian Status Group theory to explain the election of Donald Trump despite the fact that every status group was split between the two candidates. The error in Weberian pluralism is that it tends to underestimate the enormous power that is held by the military-industrial ruling elites as C.W. Mills demonstrated in The Power Elite.

Weber traveled to the US to interview German immigrants for his influential book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism but scandalously ended up not noticing that capitalism had more to do with hundreds of years of the enslavement of millions of Africans as Marx, Du Bois, Eric Williams, and C.L.R. James proved.

The pitfalls of nationalist sociological preferences may have marred the essay beyond redemption when Streeck asserted that ‘Trumps seem to emerge easily in countries with a colonial past –‘. He conveniently failed to add Germany to the list of imperialist countries despite the savage plunder by imperialist Germany in Africa, according to Du Bois, Azikiwe, Nkrumah, Fanon, Rodney and Cesaire. Nazism emerged from this track record as the logical conclusion to the Weberian Enlightenment longing for rational modernization without compassion in the administrative quest for domination, according to Zygmunt Bauman.

Streeck erred by concluding that only groups that wanted to use the bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identity were interested in bathroom birther laws. On the contrary, many Americans opposed prejudiced laws that picked on other groups because history teaches that such authoritarianism eventually escalated violence in society to the detriment of all. When they came for the Jews, many said nothing because they were not Jews, then, finally  …


Biko Agozino, Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, Virginia Tech, author of Counter-Colonial Criminology: A Critique of Imperialist Reason and writer of ‘Trumpism and Authoritarian Populism’ in C-Theory.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Draft Platform of Africana Mass Party

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Africa needs a democratic revolution led by the working people. For that to happen, the united peoples of Africa must start their own socialist party whose primary goal is to take over state power from the neocolonial bourgeoisie and their imperialist allies. Once in power, the party must embark on a revolutionary programme of actualizing Africa’s unfinished liberation.
The revolutionary situation in Africa today can be analyzed concretely and strategically under the following themes and categories as a guide to the resolution of activists committed to launching a platform for a social democratic revolution across Africa under the ideological leadership of the working people and revolutionary intellectuals in alliance with the peasantry, following Lenin closely (1):
The articulation of race-ethnic-gender-class politics
The old neocolonial regimes across Africa have been thoroughly discredited and have lost the hegemonic struggles for legitimacy before the people. They represent the less than one percent of the class of phantom bourgeoisie, a parasitic class that lacks any of the productive capacities usually associated with a capitalist ruling class, according to Fanon. The rulers use clientilism to buy the services of the workers in the state machineries of the army, police and the bureaucracy as the state apparatuses for oppressive and exploitative rule over the masses. They are in alignment with archaic monarchical rulers who should have been abolished throughout Africa and replaced with elected Town Mayors checked by Town Councils. The African comprador bourgeoisie are maintained in office with the support of the foreign bourgeoisie who are only interested in the expropriation of surpluses from our hard-working people and in the extraction of natural resources.
In some African states, power has shifted to reformist regimes that frequently prove incapable of transforming the structural contradictions that condemn more than one billion talented Africans to a life of insecurity in the midst of abundance. Some of these neoliberal regimes try to legitimate themselves in office by obsessing about the recovery of public funds stolen by past regimes while the elements in the current regimes rarely get caught until they are out from office and their bourgeois rivals try to recover stolen loots from them, to be stolen by the incumbents in turn.
None of the neoliberal reformist regimes in Africa has shown interest in convening the constitutional conference of all Africans to chart a new course of state formation that would benefit all Africans at home and in the Diaspora with emphasis on class-race-ethnic-gender justice articulation or intersectionality. All the ministerial appointments are given to lackeys of the bourgeoisie and the vast majority of them are masculinists and ethnic triumphalists without room for gender parity despite the immense talents of African women and their enormous contributions to the decolonization struggles and despite the symbolic gender parity in the African Union parliament.
Given the above conditions, no bourgeois regime deserves the loyalty of African activists, workers and peasants. It is up to us as scholar-activists to ally with workers and peasants and build an alternative platform for the masses and boldly campaign to win power democratically and thereby end the misrule of our people by a parasitic gang of exploiters and oppressors.
The foreign policy of Africana Mass Party
The Africana Mass Party must avoid being boxed into the colonial boundaries imposed on Africans by imperialists. Already, opportunist groups are laying claim to the name of parties circumscribed by the boundaries of individual neocolonial states in Africa. Let us leave them with their discredited ideologies of bourgeois nationalism and let us avoid what Fanon identified as the pitfalls of national consciousness.
Let us boldly call our party the Africana Mass Party with a manifesto to organize in every African state. Instead of regarding Africa as the center of our foreign policy, let us smash the colonial boundaries that the masses have disdainfully disregarded. Africa should be the center of our domestic policy and the working people should be mobilized to erase the crippling colonial boundaries and allow our mighty people to rise and be counted as citizens of the 21st Century.
In alliance with imperialism, the ruling classes across African states have intensified the war of maneuvers and war of positions against our people by colluding to arm terrorist groups and the genocidal states as the excuse for foreign aggression in Africa (4). The reformist regimes run around the imperialist countries begging for more arms with which to wage war against our people and simply hide the huge military aid funding that they receive annually from imperialists in foreign bank accounts while committing genocide against our people with crude fetishes of militarism. They divide the masses by inciting the lumpen proletariat to rise up and attack fellow Africans whose languages are mocked as incomprehensible Makwerekwere (2).
The Africana Mass Party in Africa will abolish the importation of arms from any foreign suppliers and will concentrate on building social security by investing in agricultural, educational, health, scientific, and technological revolutions that will also enable Africans to develop and produce all the means necessary for the defense of our people. Since the armies, police and bureaucracies across the states in Africa have shown no interest in fighting against the enemies of Africans but only specialize in committing genocide against our people, let us commit ourselves to the abolition of the armies of occupation and the repressive police forces that the imperialists imposed to keep our people under oppression eternally.
The need for dual power now
The Africana Mass Party must organize a dual power now even before we win any state office. We must have organs for the education of our people, for health research, for agricultural experiments and outreach for cooperative economics, for media and cultural work and for the security of the workers and peasants without waiting for the discredited phantom bourgeoisie to offer leadership to Africans. This will enable the Africana Mass Party to counter the dictatorship of the phantom bourgeoisie with the democracy of the working people across Africa.
Let us plan our local party branches in every ward and in every state across Africa and in every diaspora African majority state that commits to our program to enable us to hold our annual congresses as soon as possible. With the trust that we are bound to enjoy among the majority of Africans at home and abroad, if only one-third of Africans are able to sign up as card-carrying members of our party it will be one of the biggest mass parties in history.
As a revolutionary party, the masses of our people will be attracted to our party and will rapidly swell our ranks. We had better be ready to lead this massive awakening in our people lest petty bourgeois ideologues hijack them and deceitfully use them to shore up the discredited system of neocolonialism. Let the bourgeois parties go to the people against the Africana Mass Party and let us see who would more quickly organize and mobilize our people across the ridiculous colonial boundaries that our people have always transgressed in their search for survival.
The tactics of the Africana Mass Party
We must concern ourselves with objective conditions and not with any ideas in the heads of any individuals. Our work is carved out for us by Frantz Fanon, Kwame Nkrumah, Claudia Jones, WEB Du Bois, Pierre Mulele, Amilcar Cabral, Walter Rodney, CLR James, Samora and Justina Machel, Ruth First, Joe Slovo, Kwame Toure, Chris Hani, A.M. Babu, Samir Amin, Edwin and Bene Madunagu, to mention but a few, as that of the merciless practical critique of the pitfalls of national consciousness with which the phantom bourgeoisie has been dividing and dominating our people (3).
As Steve Biko observed, the most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressors is the minds of the oppressed. If we allow our people to be seduced permanently by the ideology of nationalism, sexism and ethnicity, they will continue to refer to the comprador bourgeois dictatorships across Africa as ‘our national leaders’ whereas the working people have no nations yet, all we have is Africa full of oppressed and exploited working people yearning to be mobilized and united to free ourselves from oppression and exploitation democratically.
The bourgeoisie maintains its domination over the masses in Africa through the exercise of hegemony or intellectual and moral leadership sold to the people, not by force but not without force or the threat of force, but through coerced consent engineered through ‘deception, flattery, fine phrases, promises by the million, petty sops, and concessions of the unessential while retaining the essential’, as Lenin put it (1), followed by Slovo and by Madunagu in the defense of national democratic revolution strategy as a step towards revolutionary internationalism (3).
To counter the bourgeois propaganda and threat or use of force, we need to launch our newspaper as an essential tool in the mobilization and re-education of our people across Africa. The availability of Internet and information technologies means that we have no reason to postpone this crucial decision any further except the lethargy that Eskor Toyo railed against. Even before the party is launched, let us constitute the party organ and start reaching out to the people on a daily basis (5).
Petty bourgeois defense of the nation
Given the threat of wars and terrorism across Africa today, it is common to observe petty bourgeois intellectuals calling for the defense of the fatherland by all patriots. This is a way to deceive the masses by making them believe that their interests are the same as those of the bourgeois dictatorship and their imperialist partners. The defeat of terrorism is sold to the masses as a task for all the people but the propagandists have never offered any example where terrorism was ever defeated militarily even by the mighty militaries of imperialism. Instead, wherever the imperialist forces have intervened militarily to defeat terrorism, they have managed to make matters worse for the poor masses who are routinely destroyed by the imperialists as collateral damage while being simultaneously targeted by the terrorists for kidnapping and suicide bombing.
Down with militarism and up with education of the masses as a way to eliminate the oppressive conditions of mass impoverishment that breed terrorism. Down with national consciousness that seeks to divide and weaken Africans and up with internationalism among African states to leverage our immense resources for a peaceful and democratic development of our societies. Down with sexism and sectarianism!
How can war be ended in Africa?
The wars raging across African communities cannot be ended with mere slogans. The wars cannot be ended merely by appealing to the working people of Africa to declare their will and preference for peace. The wars are raging across Africa not because the bourgeoisie is an evil class bent on the complete destruction of the people; although bourgeois war-mongers definitely benefit from the wars.
The wars raging across African communities are the result of 1000 years of underdevelopment that stripped Africans of our indigenous philosophy of non-violence and imposed the rapacious ideology of capitalist greed as the means of achieving societal goals via selfish profits. To end the tendency to wage wars across Africa, we must overthrow the system of capitalism and replace it with socialism.
When the working people take over control of state power across Africa, there will no longer be any need for the workers’ state to wage war against the working people. The Peoples Republic of Africa will be too busy providing the social security needs of Africans and will not have the time or resources to devote to war-mongering internally or externally. With the unity of the working people across Africa as citizens of a democracy of scale, no internal or external ants would ever be tempted to attempt to swallow the African elephant again by force or by fraud.
The Mass Party will usher in a new type of state in Africa
The dual power structures built by the party now will lay the foundation for a new type of state across Africa through which the people shall govern their own lives. The bourgeois states imposed on Africans by imperialism and retained by the comprador classes rely on the monopoly over legitimate force to keep the people under domination.
The Africana Mass Party will abolish the capitalist state of militarism as soon as we achieve state power, the proletarian state would cease to be a bourgeois state for the oppression of other classes by the bourgeoisie. The standing army and the police state would be abolished and replaced by the masses of the people armed with knowledge and technologies of the self to defend their rights and maintain their wellness democratically and non-violently.
The Africana Mass Party is not an anarchist party because we recognize the need to win state power and use the power to smash the exploitative structures of capitalism before allowing the state to wither away when there is no longer any need for the state to be an instrument for the oppression of other classes by the ruling classes. We will prevent the restoration of the police force by organizing community watch committees across Africa and by relying on restorative justice models as opposed to retributive justice.
The agrarian and national program of the Africana Mass Party
Currently, there are agrarian and nationalist crises all over Africa. Nomadic cattle herders are frequently in conflict with sedentary peasant farmers because somebody’s cattle ate somebody’s crops and somebody is always trying to steal somebody’s cattle, resulting in armed conflict in which massacres are common.
The cattle herders should be commended for single-handedly supplying the beef that has fed our people for more than 100 years and the peasant farmers must be commended for growing most of our staple food items. The current crises arose from the fact that the mode of production lags behind the means of production and we must revolutionize both the mode of production and the ownership of the means of production in the agrarian sector and in the industrial sector.
Instead of relying on the archaic medieval methods of herding cattle for hundreds of miles in search of pasture and water, we must develop cattle ranches where the cattle must be kept and feeds are brought to them instead. This will create sources of livelihood for the youth who may specialize in cutting grass and supplying to the ranches while the ranches would help to improve nutrition by supplying milk to school children.
Moreover the youth who are employed by wealthy absentee owners of the herds would finally have the ample opportunity to go to school with their peers. Some of the peasant farmers may team up and start their own cooperative ranches too with the support of grants from the Peoples Republic of Africa.
With the threat of desertification intensifying and forcing ethnic nationalities to encroach on the land of their neighbors, the Africana Mass Party will nationalize all land in Africa and allocate land to all who need it to avoid a situation where a few capitalist farmers own all the fertile land while the masses of the people are reduced to unemployed landless farm workers. We will support the conservation of forests by developing wind and solar power generators for cooking and electricity across Africa. We will launch a program of planting trees for each African citizen every year to help us to sequester the carbon emission in the atmosphere.
The Africana Mass Party seeks to defeat those who are bent of dividing the people along ethnic lines. We will build a larger state to encompass the whole of Africa as an alternative to unviable multiplication of sovereign state structures that imperialism mushroomed across Africa for the obvious purpose of underdeveloping the divided and weakened Africa, as Rodney observed.
However, the unification of Africa will not be attempted by the Africana Mass Party through militarism and violence but through the democratic unification of the people. The more democratic the Peoples Republic of Africa, the more confident the Africana Mass Party will be in guaranteeing the right to self-determination for all ethnic nationalities, and the right to secession from the Peoples Republic of Africa.
Africana Mass Party and Africana womanism
The Africana Mass Party recognizes the undeniable contributions of African women to the liberation struggle. As Samora Machel stated, we do not regard the liberation of women as an act of charity for which the men expect to be patted on the back. Rather, we regard the liberation of women from sexism as inextricably intersected or articulated with the struggle against imperialism and racism; it is the precondition for the revolution (3). Accordingly, all elected or appointed offices of the Africana Mass Party, all offices of the Peoples Republic of Africa and all employment opportunities in industries will be filled on the basis of gender parity.
We will enforce compulsory education for all our people, including women and men. We will enforce equal pay for equal work. We will legalize the right of women to choose abortion and we will legalize sex work. We will legalize same sex relationships and provide comprehensive health coverage for all Africans. Women and men will have equal access to land and equal human rights in the Peoples Republic of Africa where oppressive widowhood practices will be outlawed.
The need for a new international socialist alliance
Socialists are not nationalists; we are internationalists. Thus, the Peoples Republic of Africa will offer citizenship to the African Diaspora internationally and to working people globally who wish to join us in building the People’s Republic. As the crises of late imperialism force poor people to risk their lives in their attempts to migrate, the peoples republic of Africa will be welcoming poor refugees and migrants who seek to come to Africa in search of peaceful coexistence, irrespective of race-class-gender.
We will ally with socialist parties in other parts of the world and collaborate in the innovation of policies that will advance socialism worldwide for the benefit of the working people of the world. For this purpose, the Africana Mass Party will convene an international conference of all socialist parties in the world to be held in Africa for the first time. We must declare to the world that the Africana Mass Party is active in the new Socialist International without waiting for an international congress and that we are ready to advocate for all oppressed nationalities anywhere in the world.
Our internationalism starts right here in Africa by abolishing the ridiculous colonial boundaries that imperialism imposed on us. Our internationalism is extended to the African Diaspora all over the world who have a right to return as citizens of the Peoples Republic of Africa united democratically, while Diaspora states that wish to join the Peoples Republic of Africa will be welcomed with open arms.
What should we call our party?
We must call our party simply the Africana Mass Party without limiting the organization to the colonial boundaries of any African state or to the continental Africa, excluding the Diaspora. We must reach out and organize branches of our party across Africa and the African Diaspora and avoid the lethargy of nationalist parties.  As Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem used to scream: Do Not Agonize! Organize! (6)
* Biko Agozino is Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, Virginia Tech.

Further readings and references
1.  V. Lenin (1963) ‘The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution: Draft Platform for the Revolutionary Party’, in Selected Works, Vol. 2, Moscow, Progress.
2.  B. Agozino (2016) ‘Series Editor’s Preface’ in David Matsinhe, Apartheid Vertigo: Discrimination Against Africans in South Africa, Aldershot, Ashgate.
3.  See Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, New York, Grove Press, 1963; Kwame Nkrumah, Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, London Thomas Nelson, 1965; Claudia Jones, Carol Boyce Davies, Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of a Black Communist Claudia Jones, Durham, Duke University Press; WEB Du Bois, ‘The Pan-African Congresses: The Story of a Growing Movement’ in W.E.B. Du Bois: A Reader, David L. Lewis, ed., New York, Owl Books, 1995); Pierre Mulele, Ludo Martens, The People’s Uprising in the Congo (Kinshasha) 1954-1968: The Way of Patrice Lumumba and Pierre Mulele, Brussels, Labour Party of Belgium; Amilcar Cabral, Unity and Struggle: Speeches and Writings of Amilcar Cabral, New York, Monthly Review Press, 1979; Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, London, Bogle l’Ouverture, 1972; CLR James, A History of Pan-African Revolt, Washington, D.C., Drum and Spear Press, 1969; Samora and Justina Machel (Ian Christie, Machel of Mozambique, Harare, Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1988); Ruth First (The Barrel of a Gun: Political Power in Africa and the Coup d’Etat, London, Allen Lane, 1970); Joe Slovo (The South African Working Class and the National Democratic Revolution, SACP, 1988); Kwame Ture (Ready for the Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael, London, Simon & Schuster, 2003); Chris Hani (My Life: An Autobiography Written in 1991, Johannesburg, SACP); A.M. Babu (African Socialism or Socialist Africa?, London, Zed Press, 1981);  Samir Amin (Ending the Crisis of Capitalism or ending capitalism?, Oxford, Pambazuka Press, 2010); Edwin Madunagu (Problems of Socialism: The Nigerian Example, London, Bogle l’Ouverture, 1982); Bene Madunagu, (Women’s Health and Empowerment: Speeches, Essays and Lectures, 1995-2006, edited by Edwin Madunagu and Akpan John, Calabar, Clear Lines Publications, 2007).
4.  A. Gramsci (1971) Selections From the Prison Notebooks. London, Lawrence and Wishart
5.  Eskor Toyo (1989) The Working Class and the Third Republic, Calabar, Directorate for Literacy.
6.  Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Pan-Africnism: Politics, Economy, and Social Change in the Twenty-First Century, New York, New York University Press, 1996.
First published by Pambazuka News May 11, 2017.