IKEJA LAGOS, 22ND JULY 1983
“Much thanks not only for the regular copy of HANKALI you do send to me but for your commendable efforts in establishing a workers-oriented Newsletter, attempting to educate workers and the common people on their rights. This I believe is a significant step in the potentially long, bitter but decisive struggle to free us from deadly, dehumanizing, and exploitative capitalism. You can always count on my full support in any endeavour geared towards the emancipation of the toiling masses.
“Over the years, the level and extent of awareness has widened as more people get educated but what kind of education do they give us? Evidently, our rulers(or looters) have very much succeeded in giving us what amounts to mass brainwashing, a sort that will ensure that the majority of the masses remain as perpetual underdogs in an economy largely created, nurtured, and sustained by these same masses. Our tragedy, to me, has always been the gluttony, callousness, and self-centredness of these pot-bellied looters manouvered into power by imperialists and neo-colonialists for the purpose of being their fronts, their vanguard, at our expense.
“That is why, we remain a dumping ground not only for goods but for education. Our educational system like the country itself is a junk house. What of Yugoslavs, Chinese, British, American, Pakistani, and Indian, teachers? It only reminds me of a sort of taxi cab called FOPAWON in Ijebu-Ode. which normally carries the body of FORD CORTINA but with Bedford, Peugeot, Opel, Volkswagen, etc. parts and shakes along like everything will fall to pieces anytime it is in motion. It is sad, sad for the masses, for the masses, for us in this country.
“It is thus a bit of a relief to see such an endeavour like HAKALI, dedicated to the enlightenment, advancemnt and defense of the masses.
I hope from here we face the problem of organising the ill-educated, ill-informed, battered, brainwashed people of this great nation. squarely and courageously. It is a task All of us are committed to the great task of total emancipation of workers and the generality of our people. from the clutching shackles of the evil called capitalism have to be involved in physically and mentally. B.O”.
ILORIN, Nov. 11 1983,
“For the first time since I have been receiving copies of HANKALI, I wish to acknowledge the receipt of past copies mailed to me, most especially the last ones which crept into my hands a few days ago i.e. July/August and September 1983 copies. Bravo! More grease to your elbow’
“Reading through these latest copies, the answers to the readers’ questions calumn have lured me to keenly fall for HANKALI than before.
It has thrown lights to any darkness surrounding your ‘peoples organisation’. I therefore strongly believe that many other recipients of the labour bulletin, must have now taken it serious, like me. Be that as it is, such serious thinking readers must also be wondering how the cost of producing the bulletin, is being financed.
“The appeal contained in the edition of September of HANKALI for voluntary donors towards the continuity of HANKALI is viewed reasonable by me and others like me. My humble suggestion in support of your appeal, is that names of all registered comrades on your dispatch book need be compiled, and numbered. Everybody on the list must be circularised for their responses, asking for individual views on a proposal to charge annual subscription of say N5.00 Pa. Replies from readers will go a long way in deciding whether or not to charge members, and what to do in the alternative.
“Sincerely you need some fund, however small, to keep the continuity of HANKALI. Long live HANKALI, Long live the toiling population of Nigeria I Long live Nigeria !!
Your partner in Progress, B.O.
Comrade B.O’s letter raises serious issues about the financing and hence the continuity of your journal HANKALI. It had been our view all along that it is you, the working people who own, and therefore should finance HANKALI. It is in that light that we have been making series of appeals to you to send us postage stamps to cover the cost of sending you regular copies. We need to emphasise that your support becomes even more crucial as we enter the new year, when it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to muster enough funds to purchase the required number of papers for our monthly copies,or when the closure of paper mills in the country is making papers scarcer to come by. It is our hope that you would take definite and positive steps, in line with comrade B.O’s suggestion, to ensure the survival of HANKALI.
**MINNA, NIGER STATE
20TH OCTOBER 1983
“Thank you for sending me … HANKALI. I congratulate you for the good attempts towards enlightening of Nigerian workers. The articles… are quite ‘eye-openers’.
“I seize this opportunity to let you know that I am a comrade in the combined efforts of Nigerian workers in getting fair deal: as far as their constitutional rights are concerned. I am also ready to contribute my own ‘widow’s mite’ in that direction.
“… it may be necessary for me to however make my stand known in terms of politics. I am not, in any way, contributing towards Communism or Marxism as I dont have faith in it. My stand is ‘give unto ceasar what is Ceasar’s. In other words, ‘give unto workers what is(or are) workers!
This does not mean I am no more interssted in your subsequent publications. I would like to have more and more of them….” I.A., FoJ.
” The question is not what this or that proletarian (i.e working man), or even the whole proletariat (i.e. the whole working class) at the moment CONSIDERS as its aim. The question is WHAT THE PROLETARIAT IS, and what, consequent on that BEING, it will be compelled to do. Its aim and hintorical action is irrevocably and obviously demonstrated in its own life situation as well as in the whole organisation of bourgeois (i.e. capitalist) society today” -~~ KARL MARX
We have decided to open our response to your letter with that quote from Karl Marx, because it seems to us to really sum up our attitude in a general way, to the issues you raised concerning Marxism.
The appalling conditions of the working class and other toilers of our country, are the direct and indirect results of capitalist exploitation. This is a statement of fact.
What needs to be asked is what are these constitutional rights of workers, that you want us to be fighting for? Who wrote that constitution, and in whose interest was it written? Can the working class and other working people ever be ‘given’ what is theirs, under the present system, based as it is on exploitation, injustice, oppression, etc., even if their is a good-will? We believe the answer is NO?
It is because of this stark reality of life under this man-eat-man society, that the working class is obliged to STRUGGLE! In the words of Lenin: “…the proletariat is NOT ONLY a suffering class; that it is, in fact, the disgraceful economic condition of the proletariat that drives it irresistibly forward and compels it to fight for its ultimate emancipation. And the fighting proletariat WILL HELP ITSELF. The political movement of the workins class will inevitably lead the workers to realise that their only salvation lies in socialism.On the other hand, socialism will become a force only when it becomes the aim of the POLITICAL struggle of the working CLASS”. It is to this that we are dedicated, because it represents the only historically correct and sane way.
It is the only sane way because in capitalist society the working class has but one alternative: either submit to fate and be a “good worker”, act “faithfully” in the interest of the capitalist and be reduced to animals, OR resist and defend our dignity-which can only be done if we take up the battle. Our situation in Nigeria, does not permit us of an alternative to struggle, dear comrade.
(MORE LETTERS WILL BE PUBLISHED IN SUBSEQUENT EDITIONS).
HANKALI will be one year old in January 1984. Could you send us letters describing what your views are about the publication, so far, indicating what you have found most interesting about the journal, and improvements you wish to see? SAVE YOUR JOURNAL, SEND US POSTAGE STAMPS •
– EDITORIAL WORKERS.