• Friday, May 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

The concern of citizen Onyema and Ajaero’s “Jangolova” in LP

In a face-saving Jangolova, having lost steam as the leader of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero is in a ding-dong with Julius Abure, national chairman of the Labour Party. He wants to take over the party. Allen Onyema, founder of Air Peace, is not sitting pretty. He is currently concerned over what seems to be a deluge of conspiracies arising from international competitors. It is dog-eat-dog aeropolitics. The struggle for power in Rivers State is not abating. The camps of Nyesom Wike and Siminalayi Fubara are hurling verbal missiles at each other, and the poor masses are bearing the brunt. I hope you are at speed with the goings on in Abia State, where Governor Alex Otti is rightly implementing the principle of “uprooting and planting.” You are welcome!

Rivers: ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’

The people of Rivers State are yet to move beyond the 2023 general election. The election cycle that produced President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the centre and Governor Siminalayi Fubara at the state level has continued to be a big burden on Rivers.

What was seen as playing smart is now tearing apart those who colluded to thwart the will of the people at the poll, as it were.

The then-outgoing governor, Nyesom Wike, had put his life on the line and swore to deliver victory for Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Fubara of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

To achieve this, some innocent citizens were brutalised, while some even lost their lives during the election where everything was involved.

The victory at the time was sweet, but the celebration did not last long before the gong of war began to sound in the oil-rich state.

This goes to justify the saying that it is not stealing that is usually an issue; the problem normally arises during the sharing of the loot.

The crux of the matter was that the ambitions of the godfather and his godson clashed. Whereas the godfather so much desires to dictate the tune of the pipe from Abuja, the godson believes he needs to enjoy a breathing space and not be suffocated.

Today, there are different camps, from where verbal missiles are being hurled to opposing camps. It would seem that Governor Fubara, who earlier in the fight played the fall guy, may have woken up to the reality of the fact that he is indeed the chief executive officer of the state.

He has thus begun to talk tough. A few days ago, he threatened to reveal a lot of things that could make the ears of the public tingle.

He was the Commissioner for Finance in the Wike administration and knew all the good, bad, and ugly deals that were carried out in that department.

The other day, the leaders and members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) paid a solidarity visit to the governor, and as expected, the Government House in Port Harcourt made a big show of it to score a point.

Tweeting about the visit, Fubara said: “They had come to show gratitude for the positive policies we are implementing to ensure their welfare. Committed to making their conditions better, we are looking into the issues of promotion, payment of gratuities, and implementation of the 17t grade salary.”

The visit had ruled the Wike camp, which saw the gathering as cheap publicity and a stunt to claim acceptability by the people.

While the battle for control of the state rages, the poor masses, who were supposed to be the focal point of every quality of governance, are being neglected.

What is happening in Rivers bears a semblance to the popular folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.” It is an ill wind that does no one any good! Let the people of Rivers breathe!

The concern of citizens, Onyema!

Since he began his airline’s operation on the Lagos-London route, Allen Onyema has learned that the business is indeed a dog-eat-dog thing.

What he thought was an innocent exercise has turned into full-blown international aeropolitics that is now giving him much concern.

When he spoke recently on Channels Television, he disclosed his near-deep frustration over the pushback he is getting from the British competitors, and he urged the intervention of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He talked about how the foreign airlines operating the route “are fighting back” and disclosed that “we are being deliberately frustrated in all ways.”

He cited the ground handling and space allocation difficulties at Gatwick Airport in the last few days, describing it as “a very devilish conspiracy.”

He also noted other tactics being employed by competitors to run him out of business on the route.

“All of a sudden, (foreign) airlines are underpricing, below the cost; it’s not up to one month an airline was advertising $100, another one $305, $350.

“Fill up the entire aircraft and carry people on the wings; it’s not even enough to buy your fuel. So, why are they doing that? Their governments are supporting them because Nigeria has been a cash cow for everybody.

“Their governments are supporting them to do this and take Air Peace out. The idea is to take Air Peace out, and the moment they succeed in taking Air Peace out, Nigerians will pay 20 times over again,” he said.

Believing that the war is not something he can fight alone, Onyema threw a challenge to other Nigerian airlines to join the Nigeria-UK route to break the monopoly hitherto enjoyed by foreign carriers operating into the four major gateway airports of Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt.

“I invite other Nigerian airlines to join the fray; let them come; let all of us do international operations. Yes, international aero-politics is very dirty, but somebody must pay the price,” he said.

Onyema expressed appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Minister Festus Keyamo for being “solidly behind” Air Peace even as the airline navigates the political side of operating in London.

This is to urge Onyema’s international competitors and their backers to “live and let live.”

Ajaero’s dangerous, shameful dance in LP!

In what has since been termed by many Nigerians as a dangerous and shameful dance, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) recently picketed the national headquarters of the Labour Party (LP) in Abuja.

It also carried out similar exercises at the LP secretariats in many parts of the country.

It claimed that Julius Abure, the national chairman of the party, was running the LP like his own personal estate. The leadership of the NLC accused Abure of trying to impose executives on the LP.

Many Nigerians are wondering what the business of the NLC is with how a political party is run. Apart from the LP bearing “Labour,”  I am not sure how many Nigerians know the contribution of the NLC to whatever the party has achieved in all the elections in which it has participated, particularly the 2023 general election.

What was the role of the NLC in the LP efforts in the last presidential election? The Labour Union may have registered the LP as a party, but the party has its own life to live. It is still unclear what level of financial contribution the NLC has made or is making towards the survival of the party.

When Nigerians expected the Joe Ajaero-led NLC to pull itself back from whatever involvement it has with the LP in order not to be seen as working for a particular candidate (since it should be apolitical by virtue of its membership makeup), the association was busy “killing” itself more.

The current NLC is totally castrated and no longer able to mobilise a reasonable crowd to move the Federal Government to abide by agreements. All the protests it has organised lately have ended up receiving cold shoulders from many Nigerians.

While some people cited integrity-deficient leadership as the cause, others said the Labour Union has so compromised itself to the point that it has lost the confidence of the suffering masses of Nigeria, particularly the workers under their umbrella. These should be the major concerns of Ajaero and his co-executive of the NLC, not to wrest power from Abure.

Perhaps it was in an attempt to claw at anything that might give them relevance that they decided to picket the LP offices. Many Nigerians saw the move as part of the NLC’s time-tested character of self-servance.

Now, having failed to protect the Nigerian workers who are still being pummelling by poverty, Ajaero and his co-travellers decided to play the ostrich. Let us wait and see how far this Jangolova will take them.