NLC is an abbreviation for Nigerian Labor Congress, an umbrella organization for numerous other recognized labor unions in Nigeria. For NLC to answer its name, Nigeria must be in existence as a united, indivisible country. Those in leadership positions today in NLC should know that they have a stake in the continuity of Nigeria.
We are aware that it is in our nature to adjust. You may be riding a big car today, because somewhere along the line you had access to a windfall; and therefore the big car is a symbol that you have also arrived. If with passage of time, however, things start to deteriorate, and you find yourself unable to run the fuel-guzzling monster, we may not be surprised to see you in one of those mini Japanese boxes, weaving in and out of lanes with ease.
Our example above is an attempt to show that Nigerians can with ease become local champions, either willingly, or if it is imposed upon them by the designs of others. One must salute the leadership of the NLC for mobilizing the nation to oppose President Goodluck Jonathan’s IMF-manufactured killer-pills. What is a blessing in this turmoil is that Nigerians are rudely awakened to the fact that neo-colonialism is alive, and doing very fine. This is because as its modus operandi, it usually recruits agents from targeted countries: NgoziIweala is one.
The World Bank, the IMF, and even most recently, the International Criminal Court, are also institutions designed to aid the cause of imperialism. The mindset of the imperialist is simply this: your safety lies in being under his or her boot. In a book: Political Geography, Colin Flint and Peter Taylor said: defining the future of others is an immense cultural power.
Since independence, we had been on leash to Western institutions. During the reign of another agent of imperialism, General Babangida, structural adjustment program, (SAP) was introduced. Even the acronym might not be coincidental: we say to sap the energy of someone; and the dictionary is even most brutal: in one of its definitions, it says: to make something/ somebody weaker; to destroy something gradually. In consonance with this definition, the Naira was devalued from one to one with dollar, to one to three in favor of the dollar. We need no reminder that today; it is one to one hundred and sixty.
So if we and NLC win the battle against imperialism and its agents, we would surely want to go back to sleep. Sleeping is what we are fond of. It may sound ludicrous, or even insulting, when many Nigerians spend the whole day in sweltering sun to earn pittance, and I add insult to injury by saying we are fond of sleep. Well, to my understanding, human beings are elevated above other creatures by their ability to think; some may add, to create. Nigerians, and may be nearly all Africans, find the process of constructive thought daunting.
It is for that reason the West, through its imperial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF have arrogated to themselves the power to plan for us; to attempt, literally, to feed us through the feeding bottle, since we have not, as yet, developed wisdom teeth. Otherwise how can it be that while the nation faces threat to its corporate existence, that a leadership ‘thinks’ it is the most suitable time to ram unpopular policies down the throat of ordinary Nigerians?
We may not ever know the faceless group that is behind Boko Haram. What should concern us is how the present leadership responds to it. If, as it were, it cocoons itself with few who share its peculiar understanding, comes out with a list of Boko Haram ‘supporters’ from within the government, the army, and so on; and that list happens to be a list of those who do not tow the line of the administration; or is simply a list designed to purge off certain tribe from the echelon of the armed forces, what reaction will be envisaged; or more appropriately, what reaction is being courted?
NLC had long back, due to the circumstances of Nigeria’s political history, been transformed from simply an umbrella for labor unions, to being part of the guardians of the nation. Was it not NLC and company that brought the nation to a standstill in the June 12 saga? But there are certain new ingredients that have made the current political stew really toxic. What is really the agenda of DrGoodluck? Do all members of his cabinet know it? If they do, do they all subscribe to it? How does that agenda relate to the common man?
Nigerians, by coming together in spite of the security challenges, have spoken loud and clear: they do not subscribe to DrGoodluck’s agenda, whatever it might be. One of the toxic ingredients in our political soup is the West. A BBC reporter was finding it extremely difficult to voice out the resentment of the Nigerian populace against the swift and draconian measures of DrGoodluck’s administration. These are people (BBC Press) who champion democracy, human rights, blah! blah! blah! Yet when the people spoke, the BBC reporter apparently decided to squeak rather than speak. (It was in a morning program of January 10, 2012)
So after the fuel subsidy debacle, (if there is going to be any after) NLC will face a dilemma. Here is someone in power as President of Nigeria. He decides that Nigerians do not know what is good for them; Nigerians do not agree, but the West does. And who will he listen to? He will listen to those who gave him the winning election formula, (dividing Nigeria along religious and geographic lines). So he will continue to sit as President. And he has a debt to the West which he has not paid back.
The West by its nature does not forgive failure. If there must be a united Nigeria and democracy is an obstacle to West’s agenda, then democracy must go. But some have observed that in the South-East of Nigeria the protests were lukewarm. One man interviewed said the Niger Delta has been subsidizing oil to Nigeria for more than 50 years; another said that the $8billion-dollar subsidy should have been money used to finance development of Niger Delta. So if Dr. Goodluck is a Niger Deltan, not a Nigerian; and if Niger Deltans have no problem with subsidy removal; and if the oil is found in Niger Delta; and if David Cameron is considering the possibility of letting Scotland go out of United Kingdom; then who are we Nigerians, a colonial creation, to resist the excision of Niger Delta from Nigeria? Am I being utopian? I hope so.
Musa Abdullahi via firstname.lastname@example.org