When on Friday 2nd, 2023 the NLC led by Joe Ajaero told Nigerians that his Congress had decided to embark on strike if the government would not revert to the old price of petrol, I just could not but wondered what the NLC had turned into or was turning into.
The Nigeria Labour Congress I witnessed under Comrade Adams Oshiomole was one which sent shivers down the spine of government and governors anytime it roared. It was one that enjoyed the full loyalty, backing and support of all and sundry except the government who was at the receiving end. Why was this so? The Congress under Oshiomole was calculative, sagacious and apolitical. Can we say this of the Ajaero led NLC? This is a *CAPITAL NO*.
Although it is the right of the NLC to go on strike if it feels the rights of his workers are being infringed or their welfare is affected or will be affected by an action taken by a government or an employer but caution and common sense should also prevail while fighting that cause which are what the present NLC seems to be lacking.
Since President Tinubu made that broadcast on his inauguration day that ‘subsidy is gone’, I am still amazed by how majority of Nigerians have embraced this idea. From the fuel marketers to the manufacturers even to the market women and the illiterates on the streets, the support has been in unison. One now wonders why the NLC will be the major antagonist of this policy.
It is reasonable if it says it is not in tandem with the timing but calling workers out on strike is rather just too illogical bearing in mind that the Congress was well aware that this was part of the election campaigns of the parties even most of the presidential candidates said they would phase it out immediately so why is the NLC now trying to play to the gallery?
Towing the path of Bayo Onanuga, is Joe Ajaero sure he is not trying to fight a political war by proxy? Is he sure he is not doing the biddings of Peter Obi and the Labour Party?
It is on record that in a resolution letter dated February 21st, 2023 the NLC’s Political Commission which is an arm that represents the Political voice of the Congress urged Nigerians to come out enmasse and exercise their civic duties by voting massively for Peter Obi.
We are living witnesses to how this same Ajaero threatened to put the judges handling the President Election Petitions in Hall of shame should they not do the needful! When did Ajaero become the spokesperson of the Nigerian people???
Where was the NLC when our children wasted 8 months at home courtesy of the ASUU strike? Where was Ajaero when Emefiele nearly sent us to the great beyond?
Comrade Ajaero will really try hard to convince Nigerians that he is not turning the Congress into a political movement especially now that he and his Secretary General, Emmanuel Ugboaja are from a particular zone of the country.
When electing people into position of authority, I will implore the NLC to scrutinise very well the person they are giving the mantle to.
I do not know how they are quick to forget his involvement in the splitting of the NLC with the formation of the United Labour Congress in December 18, 2016 which later collapsed. The ULC later rejoined the NLC in July 2020 with Ajaero becoming the Vice President.
I will advise Comrade Ajaero to rather than calling out a strike that will end up in disgrace sit down with the government and get a better deal for his workers. He should pressure them into getting a solid palliative intervention that will ameliorate the sufferings the masses might experience.
It is not too late for Comrade Joe to retrace his steps and call off this impending strike in order to avert the image-denting trip they are embarking on.