By Farooq Kperogi
The Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) has been the outpost of nakedly mercenary and treacherous intrigues at least since Adams Oshiomhole became its leader.
I know for a fact that in the early 2000s, every petrol price hike used to be preceded by negotiations with, and eye-watering palm-greasing to, debauched labor aristocrats led by Oshiomhole.
If the price of petrol was, say, N10 per liter and the government planned to raise it to, say, N20, it would increase it to N30. Compromised and coopted labor bureaucrats would be encouraged to talk tough and go on strike to “protest” the hike. After “negotiations” and other theatrics, government would “back down” and agree to “reduce” the price to N20.
Both the government and labor aristocrats would win, and the masses would lose. Nonetheless, the masses would be thrilled that they didn’t have to pay N30 for a liter of petrol.
Unsuspecting citizens would praise the labor leaders for “fighting” for them—and the government also got brownie points for being a “listening government.” And everything went back to normal. Until the next hike. And the same chicanery would play out.
But post-Oshiomhole labor leaders, particularly the current ones, neither have Oshiomhole’s criminally effective wiles nor his swaggering gutsiness. They’re simply farouche, unthinking, mercenary know-nothings whose dewy-eyed eagerness for financial inducement from the government caused them to botch an amateur theater.
Of course, the current regime doesn’t even respect them enough to plot the sort of carefully choreographed histrionics that previous governments hatched with Oshiomhole and his gang of depraved underlings.
That anyone even thought the barely literate mercantile scammers masquerading as labor leaders would lead a strike against the government’s unpopular policies shows that many Nigerians know awfully very little about the crying moral poverty of the NLC—and its evil twin TUC.
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