The Economically Disenfranchised Nigerians and the Working Class Are Trapped Between the Afflictions of *APC/PDP ‘Pharoahs’* and the Impending Horrors of the Factional Pro-War Secessionist Militias. *More than one million children and women* from poor families and working class either died from gruesome hunger and starvation or were violently exterminated during the nearly 30-month Nigerian Civil War. The progressive elements of the labour movement and mass organizations must FIGHT FOR JUSTICE FOR ALL AND OPPOSE WAR BY ALL.!
*The attached picture is not a mere painting or an imaginative artistic depiction. Some senior citizens may remember the historic snap by the Award Winning New York Times Journalist, Kevin Carter, from the famine and dying fields of Sudan in 1993. The plum beastly carnivore was waiting patiently but, threateningly focused, diabolically poised for the obviously dying, but struggling, little girl to finally collapse before swooping to devour her life and energy-sapped fragile remains. The vultures will not give dignity to the dying children of the poor when war breaks out*
So, this is not the sweetened’’ fast-food’’ narrative being peddled by some Odua, Fulani, Ndigbo and South-South elites as well as factions of the pro-war secessionist militias that armed conflicts could be short and beautiful. Truth is that mothers may have to sometimes closely monitor the movement of hovering vultures and hyena-like carnivores to enable them sorrowfully and quickly give a semblance of final respect to their (dying) and dead children before placing them into shallow graves ; the starving mothers themselves will barely have enough energy to carry on with their hopeless and directionless journey on the terrain of a horror-soaked and violence-corroded Mother Earth.
From the armed conflicts of Somalia, to Rwanda, Liberia and Sierra-Leone to Uganda, Ethiopia and the Nigeria Civil War, comparative pictures of despicable tragedy could be found. This is the kind of blood-curdling tragedy that will be visited on the impoverished and working class families; hence this is the testimony that we must give as we mark the historic calendar of May/Workers Day in a precarious season of our national existence.
It is the zenith of moral corruption and spiritual decadence that some of the most enthusiiastic characters currently beating the drums of war would have been far gone out of the country when the horrors of the mass slaughter and acidic rainstorms of the bombs begin to thunder. In fact, some of the war-mongers are actually engineering the conflagration and turmoil from the comfort of their locations in Europe, America and Dubai. Most of the APC and PDP Senators and Governors already have comfortable homes in these foreign locations anyway. So the children of the political elites of Fulani, Ndigbo, Odua and South-South oligarchies will be reading about the war from their laptops and phones in secured foreign locations while on break from their classes in top-rated schools and universities; but here at home across the Atlantic, the mothers of poor children will be fencing off vultures from their dying children.
Today, our struggles include the campaign to create even a bare socio-economic safety net for the mass of marginalized Nigerians and exploited citizenry, the abolishment of the maximum-suffering- minimum- wage, the immediate upward review of the starvation pension, free healthcare and housing assistance. But besieged Nigerians are also now confronted with an additional double tragedy. On the one side, we have the clueless and selfish pack of political elites of the APC and PDP stocks who have systematically in nearly two decades dragged the country towards the brink of precipice, then on the other side is a band of factional pro-war secessionist agitators. Both sides have no care for the humanity, the toils and suffering of the vulnerable Nigerians. For both the establishment political elites and the war-mongering secessionist agitators, their families and children will be well inoculated from the trauma of war.
On this 2021 May Day, it must be resolved that the progressive segments of the labour movement, the conscientious mass organizations and the citizenry in general must form a broad-based national alliance to campaign for JUSTICE FOR ALL and OPPOSITION TO WAR BY ALL.
Dele Ailemen is currently, Snr. Adviser, California (U.S) –based Global Labour Solidarity.