On February 8, 2017 I tweeted about joining the NLC on their walk for good governance. I was startled at the kinds of responses I got from fellow frustrated Nigerians: My people just dey query me as per how somebody like me go come gum body with NLC “Fake” people like that .
For starters, let me make this clear; If the devil like make him hold rally, I go appear to use that platform to send my message to my fellow frustrated Naijas . Until I posted a tweet about marching with NLC in Lagos, I didn’t realize that most Nigerians had lost respect/trust for the union. In fact one of the feedbacks I received blaming the compromised NLC for the death of a family member really evoked some strange feelings in me.
The late Dr. Oghenetega Umukoro battled diabetes for 20 years. His condition, however, became particularly difficult in 2014 because he was an employee of a state in this country owing workers 6 months salary. He had been solely dependent on various degrees of loans to not just manage the sickness but also manage his family – A Beautiful family of three boys and a girl. He lost his wife Elizabeth in 2011 due to complications from childbirth.
His miserable life of Sickness; Struggling to pay Tuition fees for his children’s education, poor feeding and debilitating cost of general upkeep for the family, led to further complications medically and he died a few months ago. His Corpse has been in the Mortuary for well over 4 months now, his children are all alone and have no idea what the future holds. The brief story of late Dr. Oghenetega Umukoro of Blessed Memory is the story of the Nigerian Public and Private Sector Worker and Workforce.
It’s on record that President Buhari first gave a N350billion Salary Stimulus pack to 27 States Government – The first in the History of this Country. And the president has continually given bailouts and support to every state of the Federation totaling over four bailouts and budget support. Recently every State of the Federation got on the Average N10billion-14.5Billion from the Paris Club Debt Refunds and it is on record that President Muhammadu Buhari Impressed it on State Governors to do the right thing because he is constitutionally handicap to enforce Financial Fiscal Discipline at the state level.
Clearly, the President gave out these Bailouts, totaling about N3 trillion as a result of his desire to cushion the suffering of workers. Sadly, most Governors squandered the Bailout and did not pay the workers that the funds were meant for – and Labour Siddon dey Look like mumu .
NLC/TUC and organized Labour leaders were silent, complacent and I believe illegally benefitted from those bailouts that was dedicated to the suffering ordinary civil servants. They did not and could not mobilize to fight the roguish governors and for the workers because the suffering of the labor force had become abstract to the leadership of labor. “Organized Labour” is an enemy of the Nigerian people. From the National Health Insurance Scheme; To various housing scheme of government; to Programs for the reduction in pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths, the leadership of “Organized Labour” in Nigeria has been ineffective and compromised in the battles for workers’ rights. They are insensitive and play no noticeable and viable role in the monitoring and investigation of the frauds of government and governance on behalf of the Nigerian people. NLC and TUC were in this country when PDP and most especially GEJ over the last decade destroyed this country monumentally. They were silent, incoherent, undisciplined, selfish, greedy and destructive, to say the least. NLC and TUC have been at the forefront of the corruption of the Nigerian Workforce and the destruction of their moral values in this country. The leadership of organized labor has come to symbolize what has been wrong with our collective being in this country. Oh! How I wish the labor leadership of old can be resurrected.
What I got from people’s negative responses to this rally is that the NLC and TUC are alone in their battle against the President. And this is purportedly so because the NLC were silent when Nigerians were buying PMS at over N200/litre when it was officially N86.50/Litre; they were silent when workers were not paid salaries for months in different states and were silent when the suffering people needed them the most. Even state governors owe workers up to 6months salary. I swear,
Na God go punish all the bad people amongst us after the masses deal with them very soon.
I was the one who mobilized Lagos in those days for NLC under the leadership of the funny character called Adams Oshiomole. That one had a habit of calling off strikes, doing different James Bond on even me. I backed out when I discovered the man no get head.
The NLC and TUC Leadership have continually ignored the criminality and looting by the National Assembly over the past decade. The hypocrisy of Organized Labour leadership is blatantly open for all Nigerians to see. They have been fighting the wrong battles under the guise of fighting for the people, forgetting that the people must own a battle for the people.
I may have marched with them on Thursday, but their ways I will not tolerate. I dey hope say dem go change and begin answer their true calling or else, I will lead fellow frustrated Nigerians to occupy their headquarters until sanity is restored again.