TWO weeks ago, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Labour and Productivity minister, Emeka Wogu warned the Nigeria labour movement not to “overheat the system”, with threats of a general strike and mass protest over plans by the administration to remove fuel ‘subsidy’.
Chief Wogu said the labour movement was ‘merely acting on speculation’, saying there was no sufficient reason to go on strike: “…they (NLC/TUC) are going to go on strike because of anti-people policy, the big question is: does it qualify as a condition to go on strike?
You know if a strike is declared, people will not go to work, so does this contemplation which you mentioned qualifies [SIC] the NLC to go on strike?”
Chief Wogu must certainly reside in cloud cuckoo land, not to know that central to the economic policy of the administration he serves as minister, is the removal of fuel ‘subsidy’, which even his principal accepts will engender discomfort; ‘yes, we know there will be little pain’, according to President Jonathan.
So the chief has tried to be clever by a half, by claiming that those planning to resist the unpopular policy are about to ‘overheat the system’.
Significantly,, the base of opposition to the fuel ‘subsidy’ removal plan has broadened to take in practically all the leading lights of Nigerian civil society; with notable individuals and even the CNPP having signaled their intention to join the working class in the planned movement of resistance.
If the system is becoming ‘overheated’, the culprit is the administration itself; ‘freed and faired’ into power, but has frittered away the trust and support of the Nigerian people. Even the old despot, General Olusegun Obasanjo, was reported to have cautioned against removal of ‘subsidy’, warning that the move could ignite chaos. President Jonathan’s inaction has become a major butt of jokes around the country!