Ngige’s redemption song
Chris Ngige, our Labour Minister, is not new to us, and will never be old to us as long as he is retained as Labour Minister and remains Nigeria’s Labour Minister till eternity – although this is not possible and is not going to be possible in line with his over-bearing fate or destiny.
The man from Alor in Anambra State is an interestingly interesting personage of wondrous wondrousness. I love him lovingly being an Alor indigene and denizen. I had a friend and senior colleague, now late, who came from that place that he was so proud of. Because my esteemed friend was now gone I had always endeavoured not to cease my admiration for Chris Ngige who my gone senior and elderly friend would certainly be restive about on account of the conduct of the Labour Minister whose bearing has not really been that of a resourceful public official.
But let me not mislead my readers: I have on a number of occasions in this column done justice to my late Superior’s memory by not failing to give the allegedly ex-votary of the reparative Okija deity, now an ebullient federal minister, some good hiding when he tried to overwhelm ASUU (and other labour unions in this
My late Superior was a true patriot and a solidly solid scholar who would always have no qualms about pushing under the bus a townsman in a government that would antagonize the people. And if his townsman happened to be the chief culprit or culprit-in-chief being used to manipulate the people and masses not to have and enjoy a firm and secure present and future, my Superior’s blood of patriotic patriotism would boil, rise and react as that of Socrates (or even of Hegel or of Derrida) could have done. My friend could not live in a world of lies, vices and wickedness so he had to go at the time he did without fulfilling the demands of his potential.
I am obviously digressing, it seems, but with my subject closely not out of sight. No federal minister today is more serviceable in the land than Chris Ngige. There is no federal minister more businesslike, more loquaciously practical, and more bombastically effusive – but never effusive beyond the limits of effective deception and manipulation – than the rhetoric of Dr Chris Ngige who has been misapplying his medical training, knowledge and intelligence to do away with the subject of the love of the profession and of country.
Don’t get me wrong. Dr Ngige is a professional medical doctor to the core. He knows how to salvage rotten sore and rotten sore and rotten sore without protecting his nostrils. He knows how to salvage a rotten situation from spreading to where it should not spread without throwing up. He is a pro to the core.
The senator and central minister and busybody for life is a redeemer who is now ready and more than prepared to resolve the strike embarked upon by ASUU for buoyant five months plus now.
The super-strong union of supermen and superwomen is still going super-strong and not ready and will never be ready to bow before the deity of hunger in Alor-land or Okija territory. Who is born hungry?
Now we are getting near the meat of the matter. On the night of Thursday, July 14 this year, that is, eight days ago, Senator, Minister, Busybody, Dr Ngige was on Arise Television to take questions from two damsels, Ngozi and Adesuwa, two screen gems that are screen gems, on the current ASUU strike. His interviewers were patriotically brilliant and brilliantly patriotic.
Surprisingly, the big masquerade who was laid bare and de-masqueraded did not get it when he was trapped to lie that Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto Medical School dons were already breaking or had already broken the national strike as a result of his patriotic manoeuvres.
The esteemed conciliator who actually has all the while carried himself as an instigator and advancer and promoter of crises in and outside our universities gleefully committed himself to show concern for the Dons of Medicine who had broken the strike (that they did not actually break as stated aforesaid, and as they have since rebutted) by setting machinery in motion for the release of their withheld salaries.
The great Ngige’s interviewers understood that the position and idea he articulated were ones that could not move any patriot, a class the screen marvels cannot but belong to. Of course, I have always believed and understood that loyalty to a wicked regime and cruel and vicious government is not patriotism.
Patriotism is undiluted dedication and loyalty to one’s land, to one’s country over and above and beyond the rulers and the goons they use to haunt and hunt the people and masses. Things that have happened since Ngige’s said interview have happily proved that his and his government’s repression of ASUU does not appeal to our people and masses and labour organizations, professionals, including media practitioners, and Nigerians are rejecting and will continue to reject a government that encourages concern for self to prevail over concern for other fellows. For Ngige the patriot who is not a patriot, his redemption song for himself and others outside ASUU can no more be a song for rejoicing.
Of course, as my nib was constructing this essay, news found me that he had been de-marketed from the federal egg-heads to converse and do government’s earnest marketing with ASUU on the new way forward. If this is happily true, it would only prove that the rhetoric of lies and blackmail that the one and only Ngige the Untrue-and-Over-bearing had invented to decimate, dismantle and destroy ASUU had created its opposite effect.
Ngige’s egoistic impulses had created in ASUU members a new bond of cooperation, unity, love and togetherness. Now our supremely supreme union will re-invent itself in this regime’s world of vices, lies and wickedness, and insensitivity, insincerity and inhumanity.
ASUU must avail itself of Ngige’s peculiar redemption song and sing Bob Marley’s true song of redemption, which is the true song of freedom and of emancipation. Our public universities must now be truly free, redeemed and emancipated from the Ngiges whose redemption song is not our redemption song.
And ASUU should re-negotiate a salary of no less than nine million naira monthly for a Professor in line with current market realities, which is not outside the earning realm that an industrial court has ordered that judges and justices in courts of law be paid in your country my country our country – for true peace to enter the universities and the land.
Not only politicians know the meaning of healthy and decent living. Not only the Ngiges and their masters and journeymen know how to redeem themselves from everlasting poverty. ASUU must understand this and unequivocally argue, among other things, along this line with all research cards well placed on the table of argumentation. This will signal the true meaning of what ASUU’s true redemption is and always will be. But let me end with the following words of an American female novelist, poet, critic and essayist Ursla K. Le Guin (1964-2018): “We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings.
Any power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.” No one is fated to live forever. And no one or group can rule or lead forever. Buhari and the company must know and understand this. Art never lies like Ngige (and Emeka Nwajiuba, erstwhile Education Minister of State. Where is he now?) Thunder!!!
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.