Sai Baba, Our Governors and the Sweat of the Labourers – Ademola Wasiu Adebayo

Sai Baba, Our Governors and the Sweat of the Labourers – Ademola Wasiu Adebayo

I have been simmering with anger from all the vituperations against people who make bold to speak truth to the ruling party and in particular Mr President, Muhamadu Buhari.

The monologues of fight against corruption have become unbearable tirades. Our President who is fighting corruption was quick enough to raise the price of petroleum products against all odds but now footdrags on raising the wage of an average Nigerian worker that will commensurate with the economic reality. He could not also summon enough courage to reduce the jumbo paypacks of the politicians who milk the country dry. I consider it sheer irresponsibility not to tell Mr President that his blindfold must be removed to see how Nigerians wallow in poverty or simply shut up and retire to the other room.

His tale of old glory repeated ad-nauseam is that the country had been ruled and eaten by corrupt men and women, and that the wounds will take time to heal. I agree! But when the countryside is not sweet, the whole country becomes a jungle. And no single commoner will be able to visit the nearest palmwine stand.

If the common men and women suffer for harsh economy and the ruling class organise owanbe parties and lavish the nation’s purported meagre wealth on party primaries, that is corruption. Nothing but corruption.

For almost four years now, workers of Nigeria have suffered the backlash of economy recession while the senators, the reps, the executives and other political functionaries live large in abundance.

Our governors have turned emperors and anti people. It’s rather time Buhari and his footsoldiers shut up for once and listen. Yes, you are fighting corruption. You are not only fighting corruption, you are uprooting corruption. But permit me to say that more thieves find thieving comfortable when all eyes are on already identified thieves. We are not just corrupt in Nigeria, we are pandemically corrupt. We are thus corrupt because our masters have proven not different from one to the other. Corruption is trans-party. This ruling party is not however different in any way.

Has Buhari pondered on why tens of million Nigerians live in abject poverty? The wage of an average Nigerian worker has been subject of ridicule. Payment of salary and emoluments have been turned to privileges and political patronages and at the whims and caprices of the state governors instead of being a right. Constitutional provisions are not followed when payment of salaries of workers and labourers are involved. Thus, the greatest injustice is when the servants who do all the jobs are weak and dying of hunger but their masterservants have more than enough.

When there was recession, the class of people who shared the largest chunks of the woes were the workers whose salaries were and still owed in arrears. Yes you care less about their plight. How can we have confidence in your anti-corruption crusade when your governors squandered and embezzled the money you sent for palliatives? And the worst reality is nothing has been said by you about this.

This means that your anti-corruption campaign is a mere strategy to stifle opposition and deal with perceived enemies. If you want to fight corruption, it will be better if you start with your kith and kins residing in your government and frustrating the crusade. Act fast and stop suffocating the workers of Nigeria. The wage of a worker must be paid and as and when due.

Now that the country is run on debt, it will be rational to build human capital instead of roads – that’s to my layman perception. As a matter of fact, the consequence of high indebtedness falls on the workers eventually. Why then can’t we enjoy part of it when we have it before the rogues in government squander it on white elephant projects?

Many Nigerians were happy with you, Buhari, but the time for deception is over. Let’s face reality. Wage increase is long overdue. Nigerian workers are impoverished for so long a time. Find time to look round to see the faces of your workers. Then ask yourself, ‘Are these people comfortable?’ And then with sincerity, you have the answer. You have told us a lot since inception of this administration. Yet nothing seems to be working.

Aabo Oro laa so fun omoluabi….

Ademola Wasiu Adebayo is the Secretary, Nigerian Union of Teachers, Iseyin local government branch.

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