ABIA STATE GOVERNMENT VS NLC CHAIRMAN: BETWEEN THE OPPRESSOR AND A PRETENTIOUS CRITIC

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By. Ferdinand Ekeoma

Unlike many who are either thrilled or surprised by the disgraceful brouhaha ragging between the Abia State government, and the Chairman of NLC Abia State Chapter, Mr. Uchenna Obigwe, it didn’t come to me as a surprise at all, neither am I thrilled by the action of either of the parties.

Starting with Mr. Obigwe, I can say without mincing words that he is a betrayer of his own Comrades, and an example of who a labour leader should not be.

Any observer who had followed Mr. Obigwe religiously until a few weeks ago would find it difficult to differentiate between him as a Civil Servant/Labour leader and an apppintee of the governor.

I’m sure that those who didn’t know the reason why Obigwe refused to speak out in the past or lead Abia workers on a serious and impactful protest or strike against the government, now know better.

They selfishly extended his year of service in the Abia State Civil Service, while he dutifully played the role of a spoiler for the government in the NLC.

He was so cunning, and carefully chose his words against the government when the love was extremely romantic.

He was effectively used to advance the “Core and None Core Civil Servants” nonsense in the civil service, and effectively pampered and deceived his fellow workers with lies about how the government was determined to clear all arrears of salary owed workers.

In executing their grand deceit, the government included him in their Phantom Committee charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the Paris Club Refunds would be effectively utilised. The question then is; if the Paris Club Refunds were utilised with any atom of frugality, would Abia workers be crying? Would Obigwe be criticizing the government on the basis of non payment of workers salaries now? Again, why didn’t Obigwe raise the alarm over the failure of government to utilise the funds to pay workers then?

To show that Obigwe was an obedient servant in the oppression of workers, one of Ikpeazu’s political structures called “Okezuo Abia Frontiers” honoured Mr. Obigwe with an award, and poured encomium on him for partnering with Ikpeazu to move Abia forward. I think that alone spoke volumes on the role played by Obigwe.

However, whether Obigwe was driven by selfish interest to criticize and accuse the government now or not, the most important thing is that he reechoed our position and spoke the truth this time around, which is that, Abia workers are being owed to an extreme level, and that our workers and pensioners are dying.

As for Abia state government, shame doesn’t exist in their dictionary, else they wouldn’t be proud to announce that they extended Obigwe’s tenure in the past, in a state where thousands of young and vibrant youths are roaming the streets.

If they had honour and the desire to sincerely serve the people, who becomes the NLC Chairman in Abia wouldn’t matter to them, but because they endlessly have the mindset to owe and oppress workers, they put in enormous energy trying to impose some rookies who wouldn’t blink an eyelid before lying against fellow workers.

Let Abia state government waste no more time and resources trying to tell us who Uchenna Obigwe is and what he wanted or wants, instead let the government and their agents prove with facts that they have been responsible and responsive to the needs and aspirations of suffering Abians, including our workers and senior citizens. That’s all that matters to us!

As for Mr. Uchenna Obigwe, I say, welcome to our world, where venom, vituperation and outright blackmail serve as official responses from government to legitimate demands from citizens

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