There are no better quotable quotes on racism than Mandela’s who lived, confronted and defeated apartheid. On 15 October 1962 Mandela in a statement he said: “I detest racism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man”. A relook at the viral tape of George Floyd begging for breath ("I can't breathe”; “They’re Going to Kill Me) confirms how truly barbaric racism and xenophobia could be.
More pointedly, I am openly using this auspicious medium, to invite all our compatriots to kindly devote more than a passing interest in the much lauded and vociferously marketed Power Contract that was recently signed between Nigeria and Siemens, Germany, ostensibly to rescue the battered sector from imminent collapse.
When a system is built on injustice and exploitation, it can only be maintained through violence, insolent bravado and deceit!
This was the historical context that gave Majek Fashek the wings to fly. Artists around the world were also becoming increasingly socially conscious, and their art, reflected that fact. It was the age of hope for social emancipation, after the triumph of the anti-colonial struggles of the 1950s and 1970s. The lyrics of their songs, spoke to the major social issues of the times, and more than most musical forms, reggae was a particularly poignant platform that conveyed the revolutionary ideas of the 1970s and the 1980s, as reflected in the works of Bob Marley; Peter Tosh and so many other reggae musicians. Nigerian reggae too, belonged in that sensibility, first with Sony Okosuns and his wonderful songs, and the younger generation such as Edna Ogoli, Ras Kimono and others.
Oye has turned all rights to privileges, he does whatever he likes without recourse to the constitution, remittance of check off dues is statutory and payment of rebate is also statutory, but Oye has proven to us that it is only remittance of check-off that is statutory but payment of rebate is a privilege. All State Councils still have unpaid 2017 rebate, not to talk of 2020 rebate. We can all see that with Oye, we have entered one chance.
From the national executives to the shop floor members, there seems to be a great conspiracy of silence even when things are falling apart. Everyone decides to go mute to avoid the consequences of speaking. That is why I decided to the theme of messianic complex and how it is affecting us in NUFBTE.
In the light of the furore, Decree 25 of 1989 was ostensibly believed to have been promulgated to de-register the CEIMSU by amending section eleven (11) of Decree 31 of 1973 to include the staff of these establishments in the list of government establishments precluded from organising into a trade union.
As it stands, the shareholder-oriented paradigm has demonstrated capability as an instrument for perpetrating wage theft therefore widening income equality. The unions must reinvent their strategies and demands; the era of bread and butter negotiation must give space to a more robust agitation on why workers must have a voice on the board. The assumed Iron Gate between labor and capital is no longer fashionable and workers must seize the ugly opportunity presented by COVID-19 to break the barrier and get seats on the boards.