Nigerian media have hinted of Amnesty International’s alleged bribe of a whooping N200 million to ginger a faction of Nigerian Labour Congress and some Civil Society organizations (CSO) to stage protests in its defence over the infamous and malicious report of alleged state of human rights abuses in Nigeria. The international human rights watchdogs recently released its report for 2016/2017.
The AI’s report sparked a gale of protests from patriotic Nigerians recently who adjudged it as not only faulty, but an open display of AI’s perceived self-confirmation of its identity as agent of foreign forces against the destabilization of Nigeria.
However, AI’s plot was exposed, early in the month, following media reports, which alleged bickering between the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and CSOs over the sharing formula of the AI’s N200 million bounty. The latter accused the former of hoarding and in fact, attempting to divert the largesse; while the former as claimed by the report, insisted the funds were exclusively for the Labour Union.
The cornering of the alleged AI largesse infuriated CSOs, which had already kick-started protests in Abuja in compliance with the terms of the assignment. And aggrieved members exposed the deal branding NLC as dubious.
This is the extent of moral degeneration among organized groups in Nigeria. It is shocking, but nevertheless, not unexpected because the two groups at the forefront of the disgraceful act of inducement to promote AI’s devilish plans against Nigerians have this record of infamy. These organizations are peopled by dubious Nigerians who have no scruples.
Quite sadly, no Nigerian is unaware of the rot in Labour unionism in Nigeria. It is inevitably heading for a ditch in the Lagoon. What else, when Nigerian workers are now forced to embrace two factions within the same union, which later split into two unions, shattering the once powerful national body called the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
Comrade Ayuba Wabba now heads the NLC faction; while another factional leader, Comrade Joe Ajaero has launched his own union, the United Labour Congress (ULC). Therefore, a house in disarray is open to free perforations, even by its enemies. It is the unfortunate fate of Labour unionism in Nigeria.
In past months, the media has repeatedly trumpeted the existence of a few internal elements in Nigeria, who have picked the job of agents of external forces bent on the total destruction of Nigeria. It is least expected that Nigerian Labour Congress would conscript itself into the league of these disreputable destructors against the country of their birth.
Founding father and patriarch of Labour unionism in Nigeria, Pa Michael Imoudu’s bones are shaking in the grave to hear about the bastardisation of a body he gave his life and soul to the extent its present leaders have defamed and defiled it. After Pa Imoudu, series of serious-minded Labour unionists came on stage, sustained the idea of struggles and battled all forces to retain the dignity and integrity of Labour. The likes of Adams Oshiomhole and other Labour veterans exemplify this struggle and the golden era of NLC. This has been rubbished now.
Today’s NLC is the exact opposite of idealism and core values of unionism. They are less concerned about workers' welfare, but very outspoken when it concerns dues and levies of workers. But to degenerate to the extent of allegedly collecting N200 million from AI for a reason as funny as “grants for human rights pursuit,” is to say the least, the height of sabotage and ingratitude to one’s country.
What aspects of human rights are within the purview of labour to justify seeking grants from anybody or organization? Spreading such demonic tentacles is Labour’s direct plunge into the lagoon and soon, Nigerians may give them a kick in the back. These leaders must not forget that constitutionally, Nigerians are entitled to freedom of association. It also means that they have the right to denounce their membership of any Labour union anytime they so wish.
The case of CSOs is no different. It has been long established that some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are legalized fraud centers and the members are potential clients for jail. Most CSOs are an assemblage of dubious men and women who scout for desperadoes like AI to fund them to even promote ideals against the mandate and values they publicly profess. So, the instance of AI’s attempt to repair their battered image in Nigeria by allegedly bribing these two groups to do the unthinkable or perform the absurd is scarcely new to Nigerians.
Nonetheless, the truth can never by subverted by the antics of AI. The street and media protests against the international human rights body by Nigerians was genuinely inspired based on the lopsidedness, fakery and malicious packaging of falsehood by AI, which they shamelessly passed as truth. It must be noted that the plot by AI to tarnish the image of Nigeria in the estimation of the international community has reached an explosive level.
The concocted human rights report is bad enough. But AI’s sponsorship of gullible groups in Nigeria to protest in defence of this fraudulent report is a clear-cut testimony and affirmation by the organization of its willingness to go the extra mile to persecute Nigeria. It has confirmed the worst fears to all Nigerians that it is an agent of destabilization domiciled in Nigeria; and clearly, AI is taking this joke too far for comfort.
It is further proof that the human rights organization has not only been hijacked by local forces in Nigeria, but has mortgage its conscience, thrown decency to the dogs and more prepared to swim against the tide, in the peculiarly of the Nigerian style. Seeking to use Nigerians against Nigerians would certainly backfire and the signs are already manifesting as shadowed in the crisis caused by the sharing of the N200 million largesse between labour and CSOs.
To further confirm nakedness, since the exposure of AI’s secret sponsorship of dissension and protests groups in Nigeria, the body has been stunned beyond words. Neither AI's Country Director nor the organization’s spokesperson have deemed it convenient to speak on the matter, hence it is difficult to refute truth.
But let AI and their collaborators be assured that the plot is dead on arrival. Henceforth, individuals or groups staging pro-Amnesty International protests anywhere in Nigeria would first intimate Nigerians of how much they have collected from the released N200 million largesse. Such Nigerians should also search their conscience to know whether such amounts can quench any fire AI’s report might ignite or rebuild their country, when the evil alignment with such destructive external forces eventually crushes Nigeria.
In truth, AI should be assured that the alleged released N200 million bribe-for-protests is bad investment. It is completely worthless and with the crisis rocking the groups ticked to lead these protests; it means they are willing to gulf more money, with no impact in accordance with any pact they may have reached with AI. Above all, no action can divert the attention of Nigerians from their evil mission in the country.
Its good to obey wise counsel. AI has no reason to further spend funds to launder it terribly battered image in the country. Nigerians are asking for a simple favour from AI - they should simply pick their bags, baggages and leave Nigeria. No amount of bribe is enough to justify their evil mission in Nigeria.
It is also a plea to Labour veterans like Oshiomhole, Abdulwaheed Omar and the likes to rise up to rescue the sinking ship of Labour unionism in Nigeria. Further delay would make Labour plunge itself irrecoverably in the dangerous Lagoon. The International community should also intervene to caution AI to heed to reason, before the organization ruins Nigeria.
Attah is National President, Stand Up 4 Nigeria and contributed this piece from Abuja.