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Started by JiboNura, January 29, 2004, 10:16:33 PM

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Jibo Nura

? ? ?With due respect to your exalted office sir, I am writing in response to some NLC reports, which made the front pages of two outstanding newspapers. First, was the caption NLC begins mobilizing for strike, Daily Trust, Monday December 8th 2003. Second, was Deregulation: we don't want your strike, its belated Nigerians tell NLC, New Nigerian Saturday, December 6th 2003.

From what was contained therein the said reports, it appears that the Nigerian Labour congress, has generated a lot of reactions and mixed feelings among Nigerians, as the agitation for the warm up of another nationwide strike on deregulating the down stream sectors has left majority of workers, especially the masses to question the credibility of NLC's call for such.

Perhaps, the reasons for that could be due to the following:

One: ? ? ?That from 1999 to date, the federal government has successfully but painstakingly increased the fuel price without a serious challenge from the NLC. Then you could only threaten a one-week strike, after which the matter died down. The government also introduced the controversial privatization and deregulation myths; whereby most of the Nigerians had expected a lot from your office, especially when you were spotted on television, together with the human rights crusader  chief Gani Fawehinmi, raising placards on the road with the inscription No to privatization! No to deregulation! ?During that period, the thinking among workers and masses in particular was that the messiah has come to save them some dosage of problems from the governments privatization imbroglio. In fact, you went a long way in trying to make us believe that you can make it not to happen completely. We therefore applauded you, as that was what is expected of a close companion. However, as the going gets tougher, - Mr. President, you just decided to lie low until almost all the public properties and/or assets have been subjected to the most influential private hands. When NITEL, NIGER DOCK, NICON HILTON, and Benue cement, have been let to vocal few individuals due to either their position or influence in the scheme of things, you were completely silent. Though, we could only understand your plight when the ASUU chairman, Dr. Oladipo Fashina briefed us at the outskirt of the Kaduna state high court after the ASUU vs. Federal government preliminary hearing on privatization held on 2002, that he went and seeked for your support in order to challenge the privatization policy, but you were bold enough to tell that you could not join because there seems to be some sense in it. But the question here is how far have you gone in trying to secure a share for your workers, what effort have you made about the privatization share purchase loan scheme forms that were trickily distributed to more than two (2) million people, or is the privatization scheme meant for the most influential people at the corridor of power? ?Has the NLC care to find out what happened to African petroleum (AP), MTN, intercellular and Benue cement; who are the major shareholders?
These are what your congressmen and women need to agitate for a Nigerian worker that is not opportuned to be among one of those Abuja crowds.
Two: That with almost Eighty-five (85%) of Nigerians wallowing in poverty, and despite the fact that majority of our people are in serious economic hardship, yet the Nigerian Labor Congress under your chairmanship went and congratulated the president for winning a controversial 4- 19, even when our local and international observers have advertently admitted that it was unjust and unfair election.
Nonetheless, Mr. Funso Kupolokun, the new managing director, barely two days after his confirmation, unveiled his plans about the down stream sectors that " No Jupiter on earth will stop him privatizing the oil sectors". During that time, the expectations among us, however, was that the NLC, under your stronghold would use everything within its own jurisdiction to vehemently oppose this uncanny decision of letting these refineries to capitalist individuals, by declaring an emergency strike action. Instead, it just told us that it has given the federal government a mere 8 weeks ultimatum. Then how do you want us to take your mobilization for another round of strike seriously? It is a well-know fact that Nigerians are bedeviled with an unprecedented high rate of unemployment, poverty, insecurity, hunger and starvation. Today, a Nigerian mass cannot afford three (3) square meals a day; our university graduates are roaming about with their certificates, one parastatal after the other, looking helpless without any hope of getting where to hook on to; whereas a university professor or a medical doctor cannot afford a personal house in this country, his colleague who is also a lecturer at the university is there battling with the government over unpaid salaries. Likewise, our children are left stranded rendered useless without hope of getting qualitative education. And this is not unconnected with the lack of teaching and research facilities and also due to protracted strike actions, which the government always instigates.
? ? ?All these are as a result of lack of; good condition of service, improved salary scales, wages, poor national policy formulation and implementation strategies, and also due to improper monitoring and evaluations of our managerial economic principles.
? ? ?The problems are nonetheless exhaustive, but these are the things that Oshiomhole's NLC should focus on. It should agitate and direct its affairs toward ensuring a better life programs for the Nigerian workers and masses in particular. And this cannot be achieved without challenging the government's uncompromising attitude to the citizenry.
? ? ?Even the world comrades believes that domestic regulations of capitalists activities have to be synchronized and matched by corresponding development of supranational forms of regulations, which must provide a terrain for accountable and transparent control of our interdependent economies.
? ? ?Therefore, the NLC via your very office should; create a social space as a harbinger of a harmonized welfare state. It should strengthen consumer and citizen power to countervail that of large enterprises and of the public sector. The adaptation of an agenda aimed improving the position of citizens in the society should be of paramount importance to NLC. This will go a long way in clearing its long-standing hatred of the citizens towards commitment to equality. It should also uncover a strategy aimed at securing economic growth by pressing on issues that will make the government create job and employment opportunities without contravening the labour laws.
? ? ?Finally sir, instead of mobilizing Nigerians for an unyielding strike, for un-averted government's intentions on fuel pricing, which I do not think you will ever succeed, because of the way you carelessly manhandled it from the onset, you should please change the volte-face of your campaign to a new national order targeted at reducing the colossal gap between the rich advanced capitalists at the corridor of power and the downtrodden, so as to develop some level of confidence in us.
? ? ?This is the only panacea that you can use to heal our already perceived notion that you are not Obasanjo apologist.
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? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Yours most sincerely,
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Jibo Nura
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? ? ?(member Arewa consultative forum) ? ? ?
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