Opinion | Oshiomhole: Not Comrade

By Ross Alabo-George

Remember, it was in 2005 under the leadership of Adams Oshiomhole , that the Nigeria Labour Congress broke into two, with the emergence of the TUC.

Senior staff of different trade organizations, of course, well educated and better experienced, felt insulted with Oshiomhole’s dictatorial style o running the union. They left the NLC and formed the equally powerful TUC.

Adams Oshiomhole does not understand diplomacy. He is a bad negotiator who failed to achieve any substantial price reversal despite all the industrial actions he led. At some point the FG will play him for a fool. When they wanted to place N5 price increase, they deliberately made it N10, knowing that the “loud mouthed man” as they call him, “will bark”. True to their plan, always, government negotiators always got what they wanted.

Blessed with a high dose of oratorical skill, Oshiomhole is an aggressive mobilizer without foresight. He cares less about consequences, but more about immediate gains. He believes more in what he can achieve alone than what can be achieved by collective planning. What he gained in Oratory, he lost in rational thinking. This was the reason why the powerful NLC fell in 2005.

He would rather not be challenged. The one man who stood up to him and defeated him on national TV was rewarded with position of minister of information by former president Olusegun Obasanjo. That man, Chukwuemeka Chikelu reduced Adams Oshiomhole to a noisemaker when he refused to be rattled by the shouting and recklessness of the labour leader on national TV in the heat of the NASS furniture allowance saga. Chukwuemeka Chikelu communicated and made sense.

When Oshiomhole suggested that some of the legislators were paupers before they got elected, Chikelu did not try to hit back. He conceded to Oshiomhole but quickly reminded him that “When your people elect you to represent them, they also raise you from being a pauper.” Chikelu, dropped the final jab when he reminded the Comrade fighting for the “poor masses” that he was “currently staying in Suite number 742 at the luxury Transcorp Hilton Hotel and drives around town in a brand new Lexus SUV with plate number “NLC 01””. At that point a shattered Oshiomhole cried fowl, but the masses disappointed in the Comrade’s hypocrisy. A new star, Chikelu emerged. The next year, or so, his performance earned him a place in the federal cabinet.

The emergence of Adams Oshiomhole as chairman of the APC was good news for PDP strategists. They computed that their work was half done by the selection of the former labour leader. Their calculation is that Oshiomhole, an ineffective and inexperienced national political strategist will rest on the party’s spine with his reckless style of leadership and unguarded statements. They reckon that he will throw enough of his senior party members under the bus, just like he did with the TUC.

Oshio Baba, as he is fondly or maybe sarcastically called , has tendencies somewhere in between that of Fascists and dictators. He is impatient and sometimes restless. A rarely sober man, his idea of loyalty is subservience.

Once a friend of the masses. He lost his appeal nationally when a video footage of his “insensitivity” went viral. He supervised the assault on a poor widow, a trader, who perhaps voted for him as governor. When the widow reached out to him as her items were being seized and destroyed, she saw in him that labour leader who led her in the protest to reduce fuel prices. She saw a man who could be her saviour at that moment. But she was she shocked to the bone. What she heard was “Go and Die!”

This is the leader of the Nigeria’s biggest mistake.

Let me catch my flight. 🙂

Ross Alabo-George is a prolific writer, Political Strategist, Computer Scientist and Geospatial Expert

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Categories: Opinion

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