ST. PETERSBURG, FL – In a move that shocked the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and the membership of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), in January of this year, Ivory Sobukwe-Sodaye tendered her resignation as president of InPDUM.
Citing an inability to lead the organization because of a number of contradictions that included “financial limitations that make it necessary for me to work for Uncle Sam 10 hours a day that contribute to inadequate time given to the movement and the organization” and sharp differences with the leadership of the APSP, Comrade Ivory’s resignation was effective as of January 9, the day the resignation was made to the Party’s leadership.
Comrade Ivory’s resignation was a shock because it came just four months after InPDUM’s successful convention in St. Petersburg, Florida during which Ivory was reappointed leader of the organization by Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the Party’s Central Committee as required by InPDUM’s constitution as an organization of the African People’s Socialist Party. It was also a shock because there had been no suggestion by Comrade Ivory that she was experiencing differences with the Party and difficulties with the work that challenged her ability to carry out the work that had been assigned her by the Party and that she had agreed to carry out.
Comrade Ivory had become a popular leader within the Uhuru Movement and was also a member of the Central Committee of the African People’s Socialist Party — a position that allowed the Party’s Central Committee to exercise leadership of InPDUM although InPDUM’s leading body also contained other leaders that were elected by the convention delegates.
She was just four months into her second term as president. The Party held Comrade Ivory as an example to young Africans and to women, political constituencies that are too often left without representation in the political terrain of the revolutionary movement.
With the resignation of Comrade Ivory, the Party called on Chimurenga Waller to complete Ivory’s term as president. Chimurenga Waller is a longtime member of the Uhuru Movement and the Party, having joined the movement as a 17-year-old in the 1960s. The Party has also sent a response to Comrade Ivory’s resignation after concluding the resignation letter was disingenuous and really brought to the surface profound differences in ideology and political line that were harbored by Comrade Ivory.
The Party has also expelled Comrade Ivory from our ranks, not because of a disagreement, but because her resignation constituted a desertion of her assigned post and an attack on the fundamental organizational principle of the African People’s Socialist Party, democratic centralism. Democratic centralism is the principle that locks the Party in a single trajectory of unity of will and unity of action. Democratic centralism is the principle upon which the voluntary discipline of the Party relies for the victory of our class.
Chimurenga Waller, who will be completing Ivory’s term, preceded Ivory Sobukwe-Sodaye as InPDUM president, a responsibility he held for more than 10 years as a faithful servant of the African working class and a dedicated member of the African People’s Socialist Party. Comrade Chimurenga has never refused to answer the call to service and has always held up the organizational principle of democratic centralism.
While the Party is disappointed in the fact that Comrade Ivory was unable to fulfill her revolutionary responsibility, we are determined not to allow this failure to undermine the Party’s intent to grow our leadership and rank and file with more and more women and young Africans. We will face other disappointments in the pursuit of new and young leadership, but that is how the struggle develops: One step forward; two steps backwards. We will continue to try new leaders and each success will make the failures increasingly less consequential.
High Discipline! High Morale!
Izwe Lethu I Afrika!