By Joe Ajaero
WE have lost yet another soldier! Comrade Didi Aifediyi Adodo was reported by his family to have died earlier this morning at a Hospital in Benin – the capital of Edo State after a brief illness. He would have been 58yrs on the 14th of April this year.
He was until his death the General Secretary of Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN), a position he returned to as part of his passion to salvage the fortunes of the union which he had previously served as its General Secretary before leaving for Edo State to serve its people and government.
An alumnus of the University of Benin where he obtained a B.Sc. in Political Economy, a student union activist who held positions both within the university and in NANS [National Association of Nigerian Students]. Didi attended many academic programs in various fields both here in Nigeria and internationally and was one of the earliest participants from Nigeria in the US Leadership programs for aspiring leaders in Nigeria.
A two-time commissioner in Edo State under the leadership of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, Didi was an impactful public official which explains his long stay as a commissioner for the 8 years of Adam’s government in the state holding many critical portfolios amongst which was being the commissioner that led the critical work of creating spaces for expanding and modernising road infrastructure in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Didi Adodo was the first substantive General Secretary of the United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) from where he returned to ISSSAN, his former union, after working assiduously with others to resolve the disagreement within the trade union movement ensuring that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) remains united and stronger. He was once the Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and then the Congress of Free Trade Unions (CFTU).
He would be remembered for his intellectual contributions to the building of the trade union movement including the students’ movement in Nigeria. Many intellectual works still stand to his credit. He was involved in the creation of many civil society platforms especially on the left that galvanised various popular struggles of the last four decades in Nigeria against the various retrogressive actions and policies of past and present governments.
His passing is indeed a huge loss to the trade union movement in Nigeria and indeed all of the civil society of which he was a voice and a champion. As tears flow down our cheeks this morning, we say goodbye to this fallen soldier, a patriot and a committed comrade!
As we collectively mourn his death, we pray that God will grant his immediate family the fortitude to bear his painful exit. May his soul be granted eternal rest in the bosom of God Almighty whom he loved dearly? Adieu my brother and friend! Salute Comrade!
Comrade Ajaero, General Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), and Deputy President of NLC, was until the merger with NLC on July 16, 2020, the President of ULC.