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Help Build Baba Ọmọjọlá Socialist Memorial Library

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Hello everyone! My name is Fatai, and I am an organizer with the Movement for African Emancipation (MAE), a Pan-African socialist organization that is based in Lagos, Nigeria. On behalf of my comrade Ṣàngó, and the MAE as a whole, I am organizing this GoFundMe to help build the Baba Ọmọjọlá Memorial Library and socialist/Pan-Africanist Centre.

TheMovement for African Emancipation (MAE)(https://movementforafricanemancipation.org/) is launching an appeal for funding to start a library and pan Africanist centre located in Lagos, Nigeria. The library aims to memorialize the father of one of the leaders of MAE, Baba Omojola, who was a leading socialist and pan-Africanist involved in struggles across the continent from the late 1950s to 2013, when he passed away. He left behind a strong collection of revolutionary books and pamphlets which will form the core of material in the library, although we will also call for donations of revolutionary literature. He stands as a giant of the Nigerian left, who can serve as a fulcrum to mobilize interest in socialism and revolutionary pan Africanism. He died about 10 years ago, on October 19th, 2013, so this is a good time to build a memorial library to honor his memory.

The MAE Pan Africanist Centre, which will be associated with the library, and sited in the same location, aims to be a focus point for pan Africanist activists and members of the pubic to access revolutionary literate and to partake in regular group discussions and related activities. To maintain regular funding for the library, we also aim to operate a business centre and graphics design clinic.

About Baba Omojola: In his own words: “I had partaken of undertakings in some struggles round a bit of Africa: Algeria, Nigeria, and Southern Africa to be precise.... I am in revulsion of Western Civilization’s romance with individualistic human rights. Communal well being supersedes for me as an African. I consider myself a humanist. Yet I am an advocate of the excellence of Yoruba ethics rooted in Ifa, the epistemology of the Yoruba. ... The heartbeat of my being is the combination of indigenous African music with the essence of community aboriginal life. This is what I believe is responsible for me and most of my countrymen remaining aloft despite deprivations wrought by the Arab and transatlantic slave traders plus the pillage of the black neocolonialist brigands who now rule our region.”

Baba, an internationalist, was an essential link with Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara in the African liberation struggles in Algeria, Congo-Zaire, and Southern Africa. Also, he was a revolutionary confidant and combatant to Ahmed Ben Bella who became the first President of Algeria after the defeat of French colonialism (for which he was honored by Ahmed Ben Bella), a revolutionary worker with Winnie Mandela following the establishment of the Mandela House in London as a coordinating center of the international phase of the African National Congress struggle against Apartheid South Africa. He was a reliable linkman between such great leaders and their organizations such as Osagyefo Kwameh Nkrumah, South Africa’s Oliver Tambo, Thabo Mbeki, Winnie Mandela, Steve Biko, General Kasongo of former Zaire, Odinga Odinga of Kenya, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, as well as the Nigerian flank of the movement. Comrade Baba, who equally functioned as the revolutionary confidant-courier between Kwame Nkrumah and Nigerian Labour Leader No. 1 – Michael Imoudu, was a foremost (but unassuming) African political economist.

In Nigeria, he was active in the labour movement as private secretary to Pa Michael Imoudu, known as Labour Leader No.1, and was put on treason trial along with Imoudu in 1964. He was also close to Aminu Kano, who led the working masses of the North in a movement for socialism. He was active in all major struggles against the repressive capitalist ruling clique in Nigeria ((along with close colleagues Ola Oni, Aka Bashorun, and Eskor Toyo), but also continually active throughout the continent. He was the leader of the Socialist Revolutionary Vanguard until he died on October 13th, 2013. Veteran of numerous and precise underground revolutionary struggles on the African scene, Comrade Baba played host and provided cover for most African freedom fighters who were in Nigeria clandestinely at one time or the others in the 1960s to early 80s, including Thabo Mbeki who later became the 2nd President of independent South Africa. In the Nigerian social movement, Baba was a key and silent organizer and strategist at various levels of organization including Movement for Popular Democracy in Nigeria (MPD) 1976, People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Socialist Revolutionary Vanguard (SRV), National Consultative Forum NCF(that organized the 1990 National Conference that was aborted by the IBB dictatorship), Campaign for Democracy, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Socialist Conferences in Nigeria between 1960s-2000s, All-Nigerian Socialist Alliance (ANSA),Pro-National Conference Organisations (PRONACO), the Joint Action Committee of Nigeria, Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), June 12 Movement,etc.

He was actively involved in mobilizing for and organizing Nigerian socialist conferences and meetings between 1960 until his death. An archivist, editor of several journals in popular struggle (e.g. Mass Line) and custodian of the most extensive materials on labour struggle and social movement in Nigeria from which he authored – Part 1 of the Imoudu Biography – a political history of Nigeria 1939-50. Baba Omojola translated the Communist Manifesto into Yoruba (which we will be reprinting soon). Other works include: People’s Democracy, Dynamics of a Developing Economy: The Korean Example, Process of Primitive Accumulation of Capital in Nigeria.

The Budget for the Memorial Library is as follows: (Nigerian Naira “N”/ USD “$”)
  • Rent (N1,800,000/ $2117.65)
  • Library/centre clerk(s) (N1,200,000/ $1,411.76)
  • Furniture (shelves, tables, chairs) (N300,000/ $353.94)
  • Computers (2 for soft copy books, 3 for use in the pan-African centre) (N600,000/ $705.88
  • Printer/photocopier (N200,000/ $235.29)
  • Library/Archivist consultation (N150,000/ $176.47)
  • Buying and securing new book donations (N500,000/ $588.24)
  • Total = N4,750,000/ $5,588*

*(These figures are based on the exchange rate of N850 to $1, and are subject to change).

On behalf of the Movement for African Emancipation, I’d like to thank everyone for their time and support, and I hope we get to see this memorial Library/Pan-African centre come to life.
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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Diana Zhang
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Prudence Iticka
    • $35 
    • 3 mos
  • Damilola Ojikutu
    • $10 
    • 4 mos
  • Danette Adekoya
    • $150 
    • 5 mos
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Organizer

Fatai Williams
Organizer
Landover, MD

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