Opinion: The Immediate Past National Leadership Of NLC: A Misfit To The Nation



By Comrade Ojo Akinyemi 07038374883

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has been a formidable platform for the Nigerian people to query government policies, action and inaction, not only for the Nigerian working class, but the entire Nigerian people. Such policies include: privatization and commercialization of public institutions and services, incessant fuel hikes, to mention but a few.

A trade Union is an association of workers whose fulcrum is to primarily fight for better conditions of services and wellbeing of its members and the entire Nigerians by extension.

This is not all trade unions are preoccupied with, however, when they become class conscious, trade unions are a veritable means of capturing political power to ensure workers’ total control over where they work and what they produce, for the defense of common interest.

Trade unionism therefore at the initial stage, is the collective act of improving and protecting the living conditions of all those who sell their labour power for livelihood, that is, wage earners or employees.

It is thereby not undecipherable that, the immediate past national leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) absolutely replaced commitment to agitations for the common good with cupidity and duplicity, especially in the recent time. This is overly abhorrible.

It is not also incorrect to accentuate that, masses are awash with overhope and presumption in this leadership. Where else do Nigerian masses place our hope? Or should it be synopsized that our trust has been utterly misplaced? Why did you sit impotent in the face of tyranny, maladministration, economic morass, social malaise, political imbroglio, excessive use of power by the doyens of the country and their indifferent attitude to the sufferings of ordinary Nigerians? Could there be any justification for your muteness? Must you abandon your subjects in continuous excruciating pains? Are you embracing modus tollendo ponens argument? (This is illumined thus; (1) Either A or B. (2) non-A. (3) Therefore, B. Where A stands for protection of impeccable welfare of the masses and B stands for avarice). Must we have instinctual cravings for materialism in place of idealism? Is it difficult, if not cumbersome for National Labour Congress (NLC) leaders to place premium on the import of REASON over that of EMOTION in their leadership?

The distillate of this piece is to distill the seamless mandate given to these leaders and critically assess it in order to unearth the level of their irresponsibilities to their members and the entire masses of the nation.

It therefore suffices to limpidly disambiguate the gamut of my wrangling against the muteness of the muckety mucks of Nigeria Labour Congress, despite the level at which our political grand poobahs are unjustifiably amercing the Nigerian masses in the following patterns.

    It is no gainsay that Nigerians are exasperatingly languishing in anguish and acute agony for the past couple of months, due to exponential rise in the price and hoarding of Petrol, also known as Premium Motor Spirits (PMS).

This artificial scarcity created by mammonists have immeasurably immersed vast majority of Nigerians in penury and intense famine epidemic. The fuel hike is really taking toll on food and other sensational necessities of life. It is indeed a chain reaction.

Recall that in January 2012, when the miniature of this nature of challenge emerged during Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s regime, National Leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) hit out immediately and various corrective measures were taken by those at the helms of affairs within few days. Those leaders are unceasingly heroic, whose names and their good deeds would never be forgotten. They are real gold for the masses.

Contrariwise, the cavalier attitude of these immediate past leaders to the present situation is profusely irksome, and the generation yet unborn will never forgive your laissez faire and egoistic leadership style.

    There is no opacity in the averral that, monetary policy is the prerogative of Central Bank of Nigeria with a view to fostering economic growth and development. The recent introduction of new naira notes is unarguably a veritable tool to stem the tide of some seemingly insurmountable crimes in the Country, provided all hands are on deck to make it work.

However, it is not unsafe to say that, the goings-on on the new naira notes are anathemas and albatrosses to the wellbeing of the masses, as it has given the Bankers and Point of Sale (POS) operators the latitude to absurdly extort their innocent customers nation-wide.

Putting it rightly, Nigerians have also been advertently impoverished and dragged into acute hunger. Hence, its liabilities challenge its assets. This is highly detestable.

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) persistently lays claim to the superfluity of naira notes in the circulation, while the commercial banks’ officials disconfirm this position and continue to swindle their customers. WHO IS DECEIVING WHO?.

Nigerians are now buying naira with naira, while Banks have now turned to Armageddon. This is an assertion that brooks no nonsense.

Annoyingly, the advice of the doyen of the immediate past leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on fuel hike and sparseness of new naira notes was replete with implausibility and nihilistic jibber-jabber. It signaled high level of impudence, derision and mortification.

May we not have the likes of these leaders again in Nigeria. Amen

    There is no disguising the fact that, salary is the touchstone for workers’ livelihood, as moola is a summun bonum for human existence. Simply put, salary is not negatively correlated to labourers’ standard of living in all facets of life. Amazingly, some employers of labour, especially the state governments, owed her workers outrageous salaries, ranging from one (1) to fifteen (15) months, and still unburdened by the excruciating pains these workers are facing. They have turned workers to beggarsome citizens, indigents, and emotional cripples.

This, in a great deal, culminated in wishy-washy and namby-pamby living condition of majority of Nigerian workers, yet the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliates refused to wake up from their slumber and actuate cacophonous whinge, if not strike action, towards extricating their members from the perpectual state of despair and despondency, but busy themselves with the enjoyments of paraphernalia of office in Abuja. What a chutzpah!

This has, in no small measure, attenuated the vim and pizzazz of Union leaders at the local branches, as most of the local agitations do not usually receive their stuts. This is overt lack of conscience and sanctity of humanity.

    The rate at which electricity bills increase in the recent time is quite outrageous and alarming.

Dismayingly, the supply of this service is abysmally iniquitous to the wellbeing of ordinary Nigerians, while its parasitic symbiosis on National growth and development is contagiously pernicious and deleterious.

Yet, the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress pulled away their shoulders from the pangs and whines of innocent citizens. This is dolefully worrisome.

    It is not implausible to say that, the Thirty Thousand Naira (#30,000.00) minimum wage, which the immediate past leadership may claim to be part its laurels is highly beggarly and paltry, compared to the economic stature of the nation.

Worse still, it is unevenly and inequitably implemented by most of the State Governors in the Country. To majority of Nigerian workers, minimum wage is a mirage, illusion and complete sophistry.

Possibly speaking, the muteness of the immediate past leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) may not be unconnected with the fear of unknown, such as, intimidation, victimization, lynching and arson. Note that, the beauty of life does not lie in its longevity but in positive effects created while one lives.

Others may be silent because of the locuplete proclivity (kickbacks) from the governments, at the detriment of innocent Nigerian workers. Our leaders have now equilibrated themselves with the political kingpins, whose targets are not elusive of wealth accumulation and self-centeredness. This is overly unwholesome and brutish.

    It is not anachronistic to cast a glance back at the mental, emotional and economic debris, which the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) passed on to Nigerians during its eight (8)-month old industrial action.

It is not also a hyperbole or misstatement to affirm that, this Union engaged in just brawl with the Federal Government, considering the cerebral analysis of its last struggle, which spanned from February 2022 to October 2022.

It is quite dismayed that the big enchiladas of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) merely paid a lip service to the circumagitations of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which inevitably led to the dearth of sap and vivacity of the Union.

It is quite worrisome that, Federal Government still rebuffs to pay salaries of those months of struggle. The question here is, can the leaders of National Labour Congress (NLC) acquiesce to this untoward policy of the Federal Government? That is, NO WORK NO PAY POLICY. To say the least, well-meaning Nigerians are extremely exasperated and choleric with this ugly development.

    It is not incongruous to avow that the security architecture of Nigeria is at its critical low ebb. The sanctity of human life has been diametrically objectified and disvalued, to the extent that extra judicial killings, kidnapping, abduction, banditry, arson, insurgence, assassination, day light robbery, duels between innocent farmers and herdsmen, dreadful wield of power by the security agents, to mention but a few, have now taken preponderance over the ideal affairs of the nation.

In fact, security challenges have grown in leaps and bounds, while our political head honchos are unable to stem the tide, if not total extermination, of insecurity in the Country up to now. To those who strived hard to beef up security architecture in the Country, I beclap you.

I quite admit that I have not yet succeeded in bewraying the multifaceted menaces bedeviling the Country, but it is obvious that those pinpointed above are some of the indubitable cankerworms that are still seriously spilling the fabric of national development.

Aggressively, our political leaders in various capacities are atavistically amercing ordinary Nigerians, while those who are saddled with the responsibility of manumitting the masses from the logjam foisted on us, have replaced common good and the principle of altruism by double-dealing, dissimulation and greed.

However, to those who emplace probity, moral propriety and spirit of otherness in their governance, I say a big THANK YOU for your altruistic leadership style.

Nigerian masses have been straight-jacketed and seriously suffering from precarity and hunkerism. Without more ado, we are living in a critical nadir. The immediate past leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) perpetually remains slothful and inept. We have abruptly become profligates in the hands of our leaders. All these are alien to humanness and Africa concept of Ubuntu, which are necessary sine qua non for near pristine society.

It is irrefutable evidence that, the eight (8) years of just concluded administration of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was a complete failure.
Whatever the administration may believe to have gifted us was a mere whit, compared to the mandate Nigerian workers bequeathed to it.

Afterwards, I thought it incumbent on me to beseech the new leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to atone to the viceties of their predecessors. Nigerians are really flaming and profusely throwing a fit against them.

I vehemently urge the purveyors of moral turpitude, economic quandary, social disvalue and political higgledy-piggledy in the Country to recoil from every act of draconianism and cataclysm.

It is important for us to let the wind of change take its foot in the parlance of ethics. It is not also out of place to exhort our leaders to substitute “ME-FEELING for WE-FEELING. Bad leadership which necessarily dovetails into bad governance must be put into extinction in Nigerian political system.

It is unalterable truth that, we all cognize incontrovertibly that, everybody is a religious carrier, either Islamic, Christianity or Traditional religion, which usually informs pattern of oath taking in the swearing-in ceremony of any leader, (political or union), in any given society.

I hereby wish to make a clarion call to all the new leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as well as political big wheels in the nation to heed the dictate of oaths of office taken before assumption of office.

More importantly, the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) should not be oblivious of the fact that, Nigerian masses have started taking their actometry right from the day they took the mantle of leadership. They should not also forget in a hurry that any act of deviance from these oaths has its inherent piseogs, imprecations and wraths of God. This position is lucidly validated by the major scriptural books in Nigeria.

I therefore humbly entreat our leaders and those still aspiring for the position of leadership to painstakingly pore the following scriptural dictates, in order to illuminate their opaqueness and avert purblind understanding, regarding authority and responsibility.

The holy book of Islam, Surah Sad 38 verse 26, Sahih Muslim-Volume 9, Book 89, Hdith-Al-Tirmidhi 3741,(narrated Abdullah ibn Abu Awfa). The holy book of Bible, Jeremiah 23:1-4, Colossians 3:23-25, Ezekiel 3:16-4:17. The Ifa literary Corpus (Odu Ifa) also throws weight behind the foregoing in Okanran-‘rosun, Owonrin meji, and Ejiogbe.

Deducible from the above, I most humbly hunker myself to the task of harping on the utmost need for our leaders in various capacities to immediately dethrone injustice, inequity, naked greed, tyranny, authoritarianism, totalitarianism and much else in the discharge of their responsibity . They should not be weary in their flag-waving towards liberating the masses from any snarl. This is grossly rewarding and anastrophic, as whatever we sow, we shall definitely reap.

Much that I have delved into biting criticism on the utter neglect of our leaders’ responsibility, which in no small measure, embroiled the poor masses into the current excruciating sufferings and hotchpotch of panaceas to their misdeeds, it is an imperative for me to underscore the importance of, we the followers in nation building. We are neither homo insipient nor simpletonish but very sapient.

Taken on this score, let us exert our fecund ideas towards moving the Country forward, as we are not entirely flawless in the debilitating condition in which we found ourselves, especially, through sales of votes to the highest bidder(s). We must purge ourselves of all illicit acts that are capable of truncating the peace of the society. Votes selling and buying should be seen as a cancer to our political system. Therefore, we must not be allowed to be baited into eternal underdevelopment. We need to reject staggering into another dispensation with this same Sisyphean burden. The precepts of conscencism should not be debased before, during and after 2023 elections. We have to save Nigeria from total annihilation.

It remains for me to pithily aver that, the nub of this piece is not to calumny or adumbrate any personality but to unravel the misery behind our seemingly unending catastrophe in the Country. It is not also the case that I am a niggler, but I refuse to take shelter in silence, while my dear nation is tilting towards perdition and eternal damnation.

Therefore, I will continue to crescendo the crusade for justice, equity, fairness, egalitarianism, humanness and tie of brotherhood.

Thank you and God bless.


Comrade Ojo Akinyemi is the Secretary of SSANIP, RUGIPO chapter. He can be contacted on 07038374883.

Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of Precision Online Newspaper.

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