El-Rufai and the laughable labour of labour-Bala Ibrahim

The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, had yesterday Monday, 17th 05/21, pulled all its weight in labour, and laboured well in Kaduna, with the dream of lowering the living standard of governor Nasir El-Rufai, I suppose. But everything turned out to be ludicrously laughable. They succeeded only, in getting the ordinary man to suffer more.

At the flag-off of the action, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said, the strike of the congress would run its full course, unless the government, attended to the workers’ grievances.

To make the governor feel the pinch, the congress ensured the grounding of activities at the General hospitals in Kawo, Tudun-Wada, Kafanchan, Giwa, Rigasa, Kakuri and Sabon Tasha. They also shut rural hospitals and primary health centres in Kwoi, Turunku and other locations across the state.

Nothing can be more laughable, because I doubt if El-Rufai or any of his family members visits the aforementioned hospitals for treatment. It is the very masses that were deceived or forced to go on strike that would suffer.

Also grounded were fuel stations, hospitals, banks, the railway, and the airport. But I don’t know which of the utility centres is frequented by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. Ultimately, it is the very masses that were deceived, or forced to go on strike that would suffer.

The major grievance of the NLC is the sacking of 7,000 workers from local governments in the state. But Mallam Nasir el-Rufai said he would not be intimidated, as such he would go ahead with the plan to sack the workers, despite the protests.

The governor said the conditions that compelled the government to rightsized are not altered by the NLC’s campaign of economic and social sabotage.

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Labour could not confront the COVID-19, that came to prove the irrelevance of some staff, which gave the government the reason to right-size but want to make a scapegoat in Mallam.

Someone wrote and I quote, “If anyone thinks the NLC is fighting the governor, let him look beyond the smokescreen. Had NEPA, Banks, Filling stations and the rest of them ever participated in local warning strikes? The aim is to create another “Endsars” in disguise for the destruction of our country, starting with the north. We refused to participate in the “Endsars “ hypocrisy and now Kaduna has been targeted. If they succeed in causing unrest, then they will import their hoodlums to start the maiming, the arson and total destruction of lives and property, simply because they lost the control of the national treasury.”

One needs not to be a palmist to see the fingerprints of the sponsors or promoters of the strike. They came from all over, and seem effervescent, in their determination to fulfil the errand of their paymasters.

So long as some of us would permit their sense of reasoning to be guided by the sentiment of Mr Ezekiel, or Mal. Dahiru losing his job, after being trained and employed for years with public resources, our conscience may be denied the duty of rightful thinking, about the plight and rights of poor carpenter Bala, or peasant farmer Nathaniel, who, despite having equal rights to the state’s resources, have never benefitted directly from the kitty.

Also, so long as some of us would permit their sense of reasoning to be guided by sentiment, the children of ordinary man or woman would not be entitled to qualitative public school education, qualitative healthcare, good drinking water, good roads and the liberty of recreation, because the state resources are “ordained” for servicing the expensive taste and entertainment of the few elites and their specially created families.

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Supporters of the irrationality, of spending 90% of the state’s resources on 10% of the population, are blaming El-Rufai for trying to correct the imbalance, by recognising the right of the majority, who have been denied even the little comfort of healthcare. But they are quick to appreciate the uncommon transformation Kaduna is receiving. How do you fund such transformations?

Those who were paid to the school, pampered to work and permitted to steal, are the ones now pushing for further pauperisation of the poor.

As long as we are not ready to change our mindsets from over-dependence on government, and think of partnering with the private sector, the future consequences of our misguidance would only move from bad to worse.

In its deceitful behaviour, the NLC, which had never gone on strike to protest the terrible living condition of the poor, while its leaders are running around in powerful jeeps and living lavish lifestyles in the luxury of air-conditioned homes and offices, are the ones rushing to disconnect the paid for power in the poor man’s house, the paid-for water in the poor man’s house, as well as depriving him the right to life, by locking up access to the Primary Health Care centres. What an irony!

Distressing the common man, in order to spite the governor?  Nothing can be more laughable. Kawo and Kafanchan, where the poor lives, were grounded by labour, but no one had the effrontery of blocking the entrance to the government house, where the big man lives.

In the end, the poor would suffer multiple tragedies, just as the labour leaders smile to the banks, with the fat allowances they would claim for coming to the jamboree in Kaduna. All because El-Rufai is for equity.

If things continue like this, the citizens would be compelled, to form the masses movement, MM, for constant combat with the irrationality of the NLC.

According to Matshona Dhliwayo, the Zimbabwean-born Philosopher and author, “If you are good, people will criticize you. If you are bad, people will criticize you. If you are both good and bad, people will still criticize you. Therefore, don’t waste your life trying to please anyone.”

The same Matshona said, “To avoid enemies, say nothing; to avoid critics, do nothing; to avoid haters, be nothing; but to avoid mediocrity, ignore all.”

Methinks, Matshona was thinking of Mallam, while laughing at labour, when he was composing those sayings.

Ibrahim, a media adviser writes from Abuja

1 Comment

  1. How much is El Rufa’i going to pay you? If you opine that he wld not feel any pinch, then his conscience must feel it! A governor who is insensitive to the plight of over 50,000 workers he has victimized, can not have a relaxed conscience.

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