Last night I had a funny dream. In that dream I was on Facebook and saw an app on the timeline whose question reads, Which politician will you give three dirty slap in one cheek? I clicked on the app and Lai Mohammed’s name popped up in technicolor. I clicked to share the result then woke up. I have been raised to always pray to cancel or to welcome the contents of any dream I was featured in. So when I woke up, still lying on my back, I prayed that the will of God be done. If it pleases the Lord that the number one propagandist in Africa get pummeled on the cheek then let the will happen sharply. But I won’t do the slapping, no, I have one of the softest pairs of hands in West Africa, so what is the use? I relinquish my right to slap to John Cena and Mark Henry and Undertaker. Good luck, Lai.
Today is nationwide strike declared by NLC ably supported by ASUU. Yes o. You remember in my last post/lamentation, I wept when I asked who would mobilise the masses in our quest to confront this government. In my mind I was looking at the NLC with one eye but refused to put all my eggs in one basket. And they answered me firmly. I am happy about the strike, I am happy that the people are showing that they are not stupid nor timid. I remember how Obasanjo increased fuel price from 65 naira to 75 naira one hour before he left power, and labour shut down Nigeria in Yar’adua’s first week. This because of ten naira! Less than ten years Buhari increased fuel price with nearly 70 naira and some are pretending it’s normal (don’t let the devil use you!). It is not normal for a people to sacrifice while the government continue to pocket billions on hardship allowances. This strike is a welcome development.
It is a strike that is not only about the oil increment, it’s a battle between the people’s will to resist and government arrogance. When someone continuously throws sand in your garri it’s sometimes wise to stand up to him, even if he be as strong as a horse and as dangerous as an adder, and demand he stops. If labour and civil society groups do not stand up to Buhari’s government of trial and error, Buhari’s hardshipocracy then we’ll be doubly screwed because there will be no stopping him and Lai Mohammed. They will go to bed and think up more nefarious policies and hurl them on us because we have no voice.
But the road to the strike wasn’t easy. First government sponsored a useless hashtag on #SayNoToStrike or something equally dumb on social media. And many youths were trending it and spanking up fake sentiments. But fortunately, our civil servants don’t take orders from twitter.com.
Then the government went to court and obtained an order restraining labour from embarking on strike pending bla bla bla. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. This is real funny. One, because this is a government that has little faith on judicial process. This is a government that will go into the Guinness book of record for their day to day disobedience of court orders. That this government now runs to the court is really funny; being the height of desperation and cluelessness. It’s funny, secondly, because it’s a cliché. Government usually runs to kangaroo courts to get black market orders that labour usually use as tissue paper in their collective toilet. Personally, I expected more from this government, this is the miracle change government for God’s sake.
Then government tried to divide labour (and is still at it). I remember when labour had leadership crises how the federal government recognised the leadership of Ayuba Wabba. But in their desperation, government went to the rejected labour exco led by an hungry fellow named Ajaero (please bookmark the name, thank you) and this dubious exco called off the strike. Kikikiki. The definition of comedy is calling off a strike you did not declare. It’s proportional to a quack closing up the stomach of a patient that a surgeon opened up. It can’t work. Although shamelessly, NTA were reporting the agreement as though it holds water (misinforming millions). It doesn’t. Ajaero is a confused man, look at his hungry mouth and red eyes and you will know. We have come too far to take orders from a broken record.
Then federal government triggered the colonial and neocolonial no work, no pay clause, and threatened to use soldiers at any protester who messed up. This communique was issued by the idle secretary of the federal government. I only heard his name for the first time last night and it’s an aggressive name that just couldn’t stick in my head. The name, I think rhymes with brouhaha, no, I’m sure. Mr Brouhaha. This is another wornout threat from a drowning government trying to catch straw, any straw. The strike will happen and government will happily pay the workers. That is, government that still pays because Rochas Okorocha hasn’t paid anyone one naira since after the civil war. So we know when a threat is useless in itself.
I know how difficult the strike will be to many most especially students seeing that ASUU has taken the conductor’s seat. But it should not deter us from holding this insensitive government to their duty, waking them from the slumber that kills, posing a strong reality check on their world of impregnable cockheaded stronghouse. Yes, we have to strike. We need it. The iron is hot and if we scamper off then we have lost a golden opportunity. Buhari and subsequent governments will cook us. Years later while analysts perform autopsy on the death of unionism they will look at today and say if only they stroke.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s strike. It’s our right and we owe no one no explanation. If your conscience is clear, who’s Lai Mohammed! Last year, during my grandmother’s wake-keep, a particular set of guys, three of them danced from 10pm to 4am nonstop. These are the guys I’m trying to mobilise, gimme 500 of them and we’ll block Onitsha-Owerri expressway and dance till Buhari cracks.
Let’s go there!
Tweets to @Oke4chukwu