Labour Vs State

It is a draw!
The contest has just ended ‘one warned’.
Yes. ‘One warned draw’. Not necessarily 1-1 draw, as soccer fans may be wont to say. I am referring to the unnecessary duel between Prof Ben Ayade, Nigeria’s reigning ”most labour friendly Governor” and the Cross River State Chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

In that contest which commenced on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 and finally ended yesterday (Monday, July 3, 2017), Governor Ben Ayade scored one vital goal by finally agreeing to attend to all the demands of workers, including promotion of deserving civil servants and payment of arrears of entitlements to pensioners in the state. In doing so, the Governor has averted a total shutdown of the state by the entire workforce in Cross River State.

According to Comrade John Ushie, Chairman of Cross River State’s Chapter of NLC, that shutdown was planned for this Wednesday. Banks, markets, petrol stations, commercial and air flights would have halted activities in Cross River State in solidarity with the NLC, if that action had commenced. It would have paralysed economic activities in this state, with dire consequences for the Governor’s administration and the citizenry.

Thus, Governor Ayade has scored one good goal by averting what he may have later eloquently described as a coup against the concept of Ayadeeism and the recently approved Superhighway project.

Similarly, the Cross State Chapter of NLC has successfully warned Governor Ayade not to take workers for granted.  That is a good goal. They have indirectly told Prof Ayade that although they gave him an award as ”the most labour friendly Governor in Nigeria”, nothing stops them from also giving him another award as the most labour unfriendly Governor in Nigeria. He may not receive it from them with fanfare like he received the previous award,  but the actions of workers would announce the award, like it almost did, in this recent contest. We are in an era of ”change”, after all. Times change. People change. Awards could also change.

As workers resume official duties today, we pray that there won’t be any need for another contest in future. Today’s ”one warned draw” is one where there is ”no victor, no vanquished”. There has been no report of victimization and reprisals. Another contest could be dreary. 

Aluta continua! Victoria Acerta!

  • Cornelius Ellah

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