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How Organized Labour Deceived NigeriansbyReuben Abati



How Organized Labour Deceived Nigerians
Reuben Abati

I was very skeptical when the current leadership of Organized Labour in Nigeria objected to the decision of the Federal Government to withdraw fuel subsidy and hand over the pump price of petrol to the forces of demand and supply, also known as market forces. Labour, represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and their affiliates and privies in civil society, further threatened that they were opposed to the hike in electricity tariffs. They issued a statement in which they railed against neo-liberal policies, bad timing, and the insensitivity of government. They made heavy weather out of the hardship that COVID-19 has imposed on the people and why any form of additional taxation that could pressurize the people would be utterly unacceptable. Deregulation of the downstream sector is not a new subject in Nigeria. Removal of fuel subsidy is an old subject. Only the dumb and the deaf would deny being aware of the persistent argument that a functioning electricity sector in Nigeria would unleash the country’s energy and potentials, through the values derivable therefrom: saving of costs, creation of jobs, a value-added SME, an improved manufacturing sector and a happier, more productive citizenry.

In 2012, when the Jonathan administration announced a full deregulation of the downstream sector and removal of fuel subsidy, Organized Labour aligned with opposition politicians and turned the argument on its head. They called out their troops and a thoroughly hypnotized political class, and workers’ community, fostered tension and instability in the system. In 2016, the party that succeeded the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that is the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its leaders who had lied to Nigerians that there was no fuel subsidy in the country, but unconscionable theft, and that the Jonathan government was wrong, promptly increased fuel prices. They argued that a fuel subsidy regime was not sustainable: the same argument that they opposed in 2012.

Their conspirators at the time in Organized Labour kept mute. In 2020, with COVID-19 disrupting everything in the world including relationships, with Nigeria suffering a debt and revenue crisis, the collapse of fiscal buffers, and sheer adversity, the Federal Government decided to pull the plugs. It blamed all of these factors and chose to announce a removal of fuel subsidy. Pump price of fuel, benchmarked to the spot price of crude oil in the international market jumped through the roof. Nigerians groaned. The Federal Government argued that it was not left with any other option. Everyone expected that Organized Labour would intervene. But Labour didn’t quite do so. Groups in civil society had to picket the Abuja Headquarters of the Nigeria Labour Congress to protest that the NLC should speak up and call the people out on the streets, because life had become harsh and hard for the average Nigerian.

After being pushed, a combined team of the NLC and TUC finally announced that they would call out Labour on strike and shut down the country. They gave the Federal Government stringent conditions: a complete reversal of the hike in fuel price and electricity tariffs. Or else, Nigeria would be shut down indefinitely beginning from September 28, 2020. I was not impressed. I questioned Labour’s sincerity of purpose. I felt they were just playing a game. The biggest tragedy that has befallen Organized Labour in Nigeria is the thinking since 1999, that the leadership of Labour can be used as a stepping stone to a bigger role in Nigeria. Labour leaders use their positions to negotiate big benefits. They mouth progressive slogans and parrot aggressive rhetoric but it is all a lie.

Under the military, there was a man called Paschal Bafyau who used the ladder of Labour leadership to gain prominence. Matthew Hassan Kukah in his book – Democracy and Civil Society In Nigeria (Ibadan: Spectrum, 1999) considers him “a sell-out”. With the return to democracy in 1999, the new Labour hero was Adams Oshiomhole of the Textile Garments and Tailoring Union. He was a thorn in the flesh of the Obasanjo administration. He could talk, dance and make Communist-style speeches. He captured the public imagination. He would soon make a leap from being Labour leader into partisan politics. He became Governor of Edo State for two terms. He later became Chairman of Nigeria’s ruling party. He also became a Godfather of Nigerian politics. Something tells me every Labour leader after Oshiomhole wants to be like him. They too want to ride SUVs, and enjoy unfettered access to the seat of power. They also want to be Godfathers in Nigerian politics. The danger here is that this transmogrification of Labour Leadership in Nigeria, sighted first with Paschal Bafyau and raised to another level with Oshiomhole, created a new brand of Labour activism that contradicts norm, culture and tradition in the Nigerian Left. This new generation of opportunistic Labour leaders have devalued the heroism of the likes of Labour Leader No 1, Michael Imoudu, Herbert Macaulay, Eskor Toyo, Wahab Goodluck, the Sunmonu brothers and Frank Kokori. A compromised Labour leadership is a disgrace to the Revolution. I find no better exemplification than the current Labour Movement in Nigeria led by Comrade Aliyu Wabba, and the incompetent and hypocritical response to Labour issues in the country.

In my view, the NLC and the TUC had no business calling out anybody on strike. When they reluctantly did so, they were playing politics and trying to appear concerned about workers’ welfare. This new set of Labour leaders don’t care about the people. They are partisan politicians. Civil society organizations continue to make the mistake…… Click link >> to continue reading

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Domestic violence is a violence or other abuse in a marriage.
Domestic violence could involve any body but I’m looking at it in a family setting between a man and his wife.

Domestic violence includes

  • Physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religion reproductive and sexual abuse.

Many people are going through a lot in marriages today, some Christan homes inclusive. This has caused a lot of harms in homes, churches and the society at large. So many women have lost their lives in the process,men inclusive but women are mostly at the receiving end. And they endure mostly even to the point of loosing their lives. This they do because of:

  1. The love they have for their spouse
  2. Because of their children
  3. What the society will say about them
  4. Because of their faith and religion.

Please when beating and sexual molestation becomes the case in your home, there’s need for separation.

Now in as much as the Bible frowns at divorce, I don’t think it’ll be reasonable for one to remain in an abusive marriage where his/her life is a stake. The same children you think about will still be maltreated, neglected and will be forced to face horrible situations the moment you are gone. The same society you are thinking of what they will say will still blame you for not speaking out on time. Your making heaven is even very slim because I don’t think your heart is clean in that condition. Your bad thoughts, unforgiveness and bitterness is enough to send you to hell. And instead of you to commit murder, I think you should separate if that’s the only option left.

Many women are going through alot. When a domestic violence involves life threatening abuses, there’s need for you to seek for help.

Many women have died in this process. Pls being born again doesn’t mean your brain should be suspended. Yes divorce is a sin but you shouldn’t die either because you are married. You are being asked to keep praying often times, yes but you could do that also while away. Many women are dying silently. Women please speak out in such conditions, don’t keep quiet. Make sure the problem is not from you. Make sure you are not the cause of it.

I have seen a woman beating blue black by her husband. Not once not twice. Infact the man always use cane,belt etc on her. And she’s asked to keep praying. What if she die one day? What if she couldn’t take it any longer and tries to defend herself and kill her partner in the process, what will be her lot?

Women should take the necessary steps the moment they see that things are getting out of hand.

Try to see how you could save the situation by involving your spiritual leaders, your both families,the people your partner respects so much and if there’s no changes please take a break while you pray and take the necessary steps to save your marriage.

Pls note that your being away is for the mean time. Even while away you are to remain and keep your body. It’s not a time to go about messing up. If you do that you are commenting sin. You are to maintain sexual purity. Even when your partner is doing otherwise. The only time remarriage is possible is when one partner is dead. See Romans 7:2,1cor.7:39.

Neighbors should as well look out for their fellow women/men. Please speak out for them. Some of them are in a tight corner and can’t help themselves.

Stay tuned for the next post on this same topic!

Say no to domestic violence.

What’s your take on this? Share your opinion.
Will you allow your daughter, sister, brother,son go through domestic violence?
What will you have them do;the abused?

By Chika Helen Nwabueze’

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By Oladimeji Ramon

A group, the Federal Social Democrats, says the credibility and integrity of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have been diminished by the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20.

According to the group, the Lekki incident has eroded the admiration that Sanwo-Olu won with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group, in statement on Sunday signed on its behalf by Olutola Mobolurin, also condemned the harassment of #EndSARS protest leaders through the freezing of their bank accounts and stopping them from travelling outside the country.

The FSD’s statement was titled, ‘Statement by the Federal Social Democrats On the #EndSARS Movement and Violence in the Wake of Lekki Shootings.’

The group said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu, who before now has been credited with responsible and energetic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has by this one act lost his credibility and integrity for many. He has a big task in regaining the confidence of the public and youths; his credibility gap surrounding what happened at the Lekki Toll Plaza is not helped by the insensitive bluster of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the governor’s residence stating that those who were injured and presumably those who died had questions to answer.”

Though the group condemned the destruction of public assets and looting that trailed the shootings at the Lekki tollgate, it said the mayhem pointed to the alienation of a large number of youths from society by government.

It said, “The so-called hoodlums are the youths that have been denied any stake in society by the self-dealing and state capture that have characterised governance over the last 30 years. Millions of our youths have been uneducated, unemployable and with no meaningful social safety net. Even for the millions who are educated and skilled, long-term unemployment has been their experience in the Nigerian prebendal political economy that serves primarily the interests of public office holders and their cronies.

“Some of the ‘hoodlums’ responsible for the trashing of Lagos are the youths and ‘the toughies’ that many politicians have over the years employed to subvert the democratic process through intimidation of voters and perpetration of violence during elections.”

The group said the organisers of the #EndSARS protests deserved commendation for the resourcefulness, transparency and accountability which they demonstrated.

The group condemned “the growing reports of compilation of names of the assumed leaders and facilitators of the protests for government reprisals.”

It said, “Those that are being targeted are reportedly being prevented from travelling outside Nigeria while accounts of some have been frozen. This is hardly the hallmark of a democratic government that is interested in dialoguing with the youths or learning positive lessons from the #EndSARS protests. It is also a violation of the spirit of government’s acceptance of the 5 for 5 agenda. The President should stop all these acts of witch-hunt.”

The FSD solicited support for the Lagos State Government to rebuild and replace the vandalised public assets.

  • PunchNg

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• Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had been expected to be confirmed as leader on Monday

By Richard Partington

The race to find a new leader of the World Trade Organization has been thrown into renewed uncertainty after the cancellation of a key appointment meeting following the US presidential election.

The Geneva-based WTO, which acts as an international arbiter for trading disputes, said it had put off a meeting scheduled for Monday that had been called to appoint Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its next director general.

Donald Trump’s administration opposed her selection in one of its final acts before the US election, despite the former Nigerian finance minister securing the overwhelming backing of the WTO’s 164 members.

The special meeting of the trade body’s general council had been convened to take a formal decision on the appointment. Officials had been set to put forward Dr Okonjo-Iweala as the candidate most likely to attract a majority, after most countries expressed a preference for her over South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

Okonjo-Iweala had moved a step closer to becoming the first woman and the first African to be director of the global trade watchdog after securing backing from the EU, China, Japan and Australia. Liam Fox, the leading Brexiter and former international trade secretary, had run as the UK government’s preferred candidate but failed to win enough support from other countries to reach the last two in the process.

Trade experts said Joe Biden defeating Trump in last week’s election may have led to countries calling for a delay in the WTO leadership race, with the aim of securing the Biden White House’s backing for Okonjo-Iweala after he takes charge in January.

The delay in selecting a new WTO director general comes at a fragile moment for the world economy amid the second wave of Covid-19, and after years of criticism of the WTO and calls for reform from Trump.

The WTO said the meeting would be postponed until further notice, during which time the organisation would continue undertaking consultations with delegations from countries around the world to pick a new leader.

It said in a statement: “For reasons including the health situation and current events, delegations will not be in a position to take a formal decision on 9 November.”

  • TheGuardian

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

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