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On the Nigerian worker now – as Igboho emerges

By Tony Afejuku
05 February 2021   |   3:02 am
In Nigeria today everybody is a worker. Maybe I should re-phrase this opening sentence. In Nigeria today almost everybody is a worker. It does not matter if one is no longer working as a result of retirement

[FILES] Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a. Sunday Igboho) (second left), addressing a press conference over his burnt house by arsonists in Ibadan… yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM<br />

In Nigeria today everybody is a worker. Maybe I should re-phrase this opening sentence. In Nigeria today almost everybody is a worker. It does not matter if one is no longer working as a result of retirement, forced or unforced, or as a result of old age or as a result of something extraordinary that has devoured one’s thoughts and world. Whether one is working or not working now, one is a worker and remains a worker in this country. If you must know, there are jobless workers everywhere in our country. You must know this now if you did not know before now.

But what am I really up to by making my alarming and confusing statements, you may ask? Don’t spend most of your thinking time hopping between what I mean and do not mean.

The plainest Nigerian knows that COVID-19 or COVID-21 is ravaging our country whether or not our central government and its satellites in the states are giving us accurate figures of sufferers and casualties. It does not matter one’s profession or occupation or social status or social standing: everyone knows that coronavirus is the dreaded ravager that is on pace to bring us to what we might call an untoward end in an untoward grave. And suddenly we are realizing that our monthly salaries and loans and profits and all we are working for are at the beck and call of coronavirus. Any slight mistake, error and carelessness will steal us away.

But our central government, in particular, is worse than coronavirus. There is nobody in the land today who is truly happy. The reality of our current existence in Nigeria is that no worker who is lucky to be in some employment is happily happy. Nothing now truly and realistically separates the blue-collar worker from his white-collar employer in the face of COVID-19 and in the face of this or that security challenge. In fact, everybody is now a victim of our country’s rudderless and crime-infested system in which everything is organized in ways that bring succour to no one. Not even the new military/security service chiefs can or will help the system that they are expected to help. Our compatriots will be rarely conscious of their success, that is, if they ever succeed in the task that the system has disarrayed. Sooner or later they will find out that they are not even better than the average worker, the average wage earner, in Sambisa forest or outside Sambisa forest in happy happiness.

Like their predecessors, the new service chiefs will profit the most from the war in Sambisa forest: their wives, hangers-on, acolytes and families will buy everything buyable, but they will never be happier than the Nigerian worker whose lives have been made miserable by kidnappers, bandits and ritualists on the roads, expressways and everywhere. I will even be more than surprised even if the service chiefs dare to travel by road from Abuja to Kaduna or from Kano to Maiduguri or from anywhere to everywhere. I am not welcoming the service chiefs to their new assignments with criticism. I am welcoming them simply with plain journalism of reality and with history, the history of our current predicament. All our people know what will kill them but are unable to do anything about it because the system is far removed from their predicament.

Whether you are a soldier, teacher, lecturer, lawyer, medical doctor, professor, bank executive, politician, kidnapper, bandit, thug or ritualist there is something that scares you about the Nigerian condition that debases you and overwhelms your morals. Own every personal property you want to own, be the topmost and thieving capitalist you wish to become, you can never rightly be absorbed in the present problems, and bring your personal forces to bear upon the solution of these problems. And, in any case, who is the thieving capitalist or politician or whoever and whatever who possesses the mind-set to give us the national quality to redeem us?

Before you query me for implying that a kidnapper or a thug or bandit or a plain thief can possess the morals to meditate upon our affairs and help to solve the kind of problems to make everyone happy, my answer will come from the scriptures where evil persons and characters become new persons, new beautiful persons. We know, for instance, of a Saul who became Paul, a saint who assisted to proffer spiritual and existential solutions to the problems of man. Sunday Igboho, a South West denizen who is today an acclaimed activist and champion of the cause of his people was in the past allegedly called a thug.

Now he is fighting for the worker, the masses and people of advantage who are too fearful to be men and women of advantage. Sunday Igboho now has the blessings of even the ancestors of his people. He is today seen as a man of deep convictions, of fearless fear, of courageous courage who dares what and who he must dare worthily and righteously. If need be, the time shall come when he will discover his true destiny, his destined destiny on behalf of all of us who are workers in Nigeria today regardless of the services they render as professionals and as patriots, who are crucial soldiers to the core of soldiery.

Sunday Adeyemo, the Igboho of the South West is our liberator today, no matter what his detractors have said or may further say against him. If he succeeds as he surely will – in his visionary endeavour, initiative and industry to kick and muscle the federal government-protected strangers, criminals from the Arab world out of every ounce of a stretch of land in our South West, everywhere in the Middle Belt, North East, North West and South-South will be free of the cantankerous criminals/strangers troubling us every now and then. I can see heroes and further heroes following the footsteps of the Igboho of Yoruba-land from the different geopolitical regions of our country henceforth.
Every regional hero will take after the Igboho, see the “need to actualize oneself [as] a powerful spiritual need, and one must endeavor to the utmost in pursuit of one’s ideals and values.” To succeed, they must subordinate their interests, advantages and disadvantages to the peoples’, the masses,’ the workers’. The desire for property, the will to power, and desire for [boundless] fame must be strangers to them. Egocentric desires and self-fish attitude must never rise and shoot forth in their hearts. In order for them to remain permanently in the hearts of all of us workers as selfless heroes and liberators, they must eschew selfishness which is a bad influence and a “real hindrance to the actualization of the true self and the perfection of character.”

Workers in Nigeria today eagerly await bringers of harmony to us all – in our new republic of harmony. Blessed be.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.