Democratic Socialist Movement (Nigeria)

The Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) is a Trotskyist political party in Nigeria. It is affiliated to the Committee for a Workers' International, of which it is the second largest section.[1]

Democratic Socialist Movement
General SecretarySegun Sango
HeadquartersLagos, Nigeria
NewspaperSocialist Democracy
Political positionFar-left
National affiliationSocialist Party of Nigeria
International affiliationCommittee for a Workers' International (2019)


The Democratic Socialist Movement was founded in 1986 at a conference of labour and student socialist activists. Due to the ongoing military dictatorship the organisation only operated in a semi-open manner and was identified mainly by the name of its newspaper, Labour Militant (1987–1994) and Militant (1994–1998).[2] Following the death of junta leader Sani Abacha in June 1998 and the impending end of military rule, the DSM launched as an open organisation in July of that year.[2]


During the first 13 years of the section's existence they were heavily involved in fighting against the dictatorship in Nigeria at that time. Since then they have continued to fight for full democratic rights, but also for the rights of workers. This campaigning has led to the arrest several times of leading DSM activists.[3][4][5] More recently, the DSM played a leading role in the general strike of June 2007 against high fuel prices.[6]

The DSM launched the Education Rights Campaign, mobilised for a national day of action on education and jobs on 19 June 2013.[7][8]

Members of the DSM protested at the South African High Commission in Lagos against the Marikana massacre in Lonmin, in which 34 miners were killed.[9]


The DSM has argued since the 1980s for the formation of a mass working people's party and participated in the briefly lived Nigerian Labour Party in 1989. They argue that such a party should be wholly opposed to neo-liberalism and privatisation.[10]

National Conscience PartyEdit

In 1994 the DSM joined in the founding by Gani Fawehinmi of the National Conscience Party.[2] In the 2003 elections, the DSM stood as candidates for the NCP and achieved some of the party's highest votes.[2] However, in 2007 DSM members democratically elected at a Statewide NCP conference were bureaucratically replaced as NCP candidates in Lagos State by the current NCP leadership, leading local members to withdraw their candidates from the elections.[11] Since then, Lagos State NCP has quit the National Conscience Party.[12]

Socialist Party of NigeriaEdit

The DSM launched an initiative for the Socialist Party of Nigeria which was inaugurated on 16 November 2013 in Lagos.[13]


Echoing a split in the Committee for a Workers' International the previous year, in June 2020 a minority of the DSM left to found the Movement for a Socialist Alternative, which is aligned with the International Socialist Alternative, while DSM has aligned itself with the refounded Committee for a Workers' International.[14]


  1. ^ A Socialist World is Possible: the History of the CWI Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Postscript - Building the CWI (1998-2004)
  2. ^ a b c d About Us - DSM
  3. ^ Arrests of Oluremi Kehinde and Alexander Amaujor, Frontline, 26 May 2000.
  4. ^ Arrest of Ayodele Akele, Frontline, 6 July 2000.
  5. ^ The Labour Movement and the Nigerian condition, Vanguard, 9 May 2013.
  6. ^ General strike brings country to a standstill, Democratic Socialist Movement, 20 June 2007.
  7. ^ NIGERIA: JUNE 19 NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION Pambazuka News, 9 May 2013.
  8. ^ 19 June, National Day of Action Archived 10 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nigeria News Day, 9 May 2013.
  9. ^ Nigerian Activists Protest Marikana Massacre Of Lonmin Miners, Sahara Reporters, 6 September 2012.
  10. ^ Leftists Reject Neo-liberal Policies, Daily Independent.
  11. ^ Lagos NCP Withdraws Election Candidates, Democratic Socialist Movement, 20 March 2007.
  12. ^ Lagos Chapter Quits NCP, Democratic Socialist Movement, 8 August 2007.
  13. ^ In search of working class political party Archived 27 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Daily Independent, 26 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Introducing Movement for a Socialist Alternative". International Socialist Alternative. 16 June 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2020.

External linksEdit