Politicization of Unionism; Another Coup on Nigerianization

Written By:thuggery
Ahanonu Emmanuel Eca,

“All is well with a nation, if its universities are in good shape and functional”.
Prof. Ikenna Onyido

Arthur Nwankwor once noted in one of his academic exercise that the greatest problem militating the backwardness of third world countries in general and Nigeria in particular is that they “easily forget”. In other words, whatever happens to them, whether tragedy, just disappear from their brain and mind in a jiffy. In the same vein, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu once caption one of his work “because I am involved”. Based on these two noted/quoted premises, I will tackle some over-riding conventional milieus that have contributed in no small measure in retarding a holistic development of our institution as well as how these menaces metamorphosed into bringing our country to knee through regenerative acculturation.

I also listened keenly – though, with sunken heart- to the lectures of Prof. Ikenna Onyido during the National body of Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) in honour of its erstwhile National President; Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie. Outstanding Prof. Ikenna noted with vehemence nostalgia that Universities and their role in designing and deciding national destinies is one that all stake holders in education in Nigeria need to take seriously. This is especially true because the human resource needed to drive the engine of the nation in the different spheres of endeavour are molded mainly in the Universities, and the knowledge needed to fuel innovation in science and technology for industrial and economic development, knowledge that enriches the humanities, arts and the social sciences in order to continuously create, recreate and sustain a cultural milieu that promotes societal values underpinning our humanity, is mainly created in the transmitted by universities and associated institutions.

Unfortunately, the Chunk of societal burden hinges on misplacement of essential priority and inability of undergraduates acknowledging the fact that “those who created yesterday’s pain do not control tomorrow’s potentials”.
For better insight on the issue under discussion, I deem it necessary to look at some contextual and lexical meaning of some of my keywords; Unionism, politics and Nigerianization… the point of agreement and divergent between the dictum of Unionism and Politics will equally be assessed.

The concept of Unionism blossom when workers around 1950s decided to come together to form “trade union”. This trade union serves as a repulsive force against any governmental, individual or group subjugation or oppression against any members of the union. In the same vein, oxford dictionary of politics defined politics as a general concept, the practice of the art or science of directing and administrating states or other political units. This dictionary further noted that “the definition of politics is highly, perhaps essentially, contested”. There is considerable disagreement on which aspects of social life are to be considered “political”.

Further mysticism seems heightened when one further dig the various definitions of politics amongst/between political writers. The variance in opinion simply depicts “division in diversity” which most of the writers attributes to “ideological different”, “differentiation in schools of thought”, “cultural milieu as well as other socio-environmental factors”.
Nigerianization in this context stands for the process of making and unmaking the country “Nigeria”. It considers the various actors in their political interplay, conflict and mutual co-existence, roles of ethnicity in cohabitation and generally “who gets what, when and how”, in the words of Harold Lasswell 1975. The unmaking of the country implies those activities that mare the progress/development and well being of the state of Nigeria, ranging from social vices to attitudinal decadence as well as corruption.

The camel’s horn seem broken when politics is juxtapose with unionism, anarchy is loose who both intermingles and tragedy becomes the order of the day if one venture into any without having a substantial knowledge of the other. And this error in reasoning seem the fate of most undergraduate as they delve into politics at the guise of unionism.
Suffice it to say that the spate of insurrection, geometric progression growth in social vices by undergraduates, thurggry, and other youth exuberances is not unconnected to/with politicking in place of unionism.

Little wonder you may be soon when these crop of youth venture into macro politics. They are still learning and these ferocious inhumanity exhibition is coming from them compare to when they venture into the real politicking.
Dirty politicians are not helping matters. They are bent on making unimaginable offer to some undergraduates to aid them in their perpetration of unholy holocaust to get political power by hook or crook. These politician encourage these students politician that “as within, so is without”. In other words, there is no different between outside politics and student unionism; this wanton socio-pollutant words of dirty politician which is eating dip into the fiber of the youth has aided in no small measure to recent youth restiveness.

It is no more secret that militancy and the recent emergence of the dreaded insurgence group; Boko Haram, has it root to infiltration of youth psyche that politics has no difference with unionism; that politics has been perfectly defined in Thrasymacus opinion as “might is right, injustice pays, it is only the week that complains”. To this end, especially in Nigeria context, politics is a zero sum game of win-lose; it is a deadly muscle game and inhuman exhibition. Therefore, anarchy and insurrection has continually befriended the country.

Let me also point out that these students who are recruited by politicians into political mafias during electioneering end with going with the orientation that a political rival is an enemy that must be crush; that their tomorrow greatness lies in maximally perpetrating the evil dictates of their political boss. This is because there is this orientation in Nigeria that leadership is like a tree, if you are not in any way inter-connected to the corridors of power or making yourself available for odd (esp. brutal) jobs, then, there is no possibility of being co-opted into the mainstream political arena.

Meanwhile, just as Igbo people of Nigeria opines in one of their proverb – that when evil last for years it become tradition and tradition gradually transcend into culture. it is evidently clear that the brutal life that is more often geared towards over-accumulation of resources and power has become part of Nigeria existence, and students unionism has toll this part in recent times.

Historically, this is not unconnected to how Europeans (colonialist) first forced different nations into forming Nigeria state to ease their governance expenditure and maximize their profit, and secondly, how some Northern leaders (Sultan of Sokoto Sir. Amadu Bello and Alhaji Tafawa Balewa) who inherited power after independence exacerbated their over-lordship propensity on the South and the entire country by often over-influencing Northern census figure. Thirdly, how some Southern leaders were at one point or the other used by Northern leaders to achieve their conquistadous expedition; namely Obafemi Awolowa (esp. when he was the Minister of Finance), Nnamdi Azikiwe (during the census crisis of 1963 when he refuse to air the truth that the census was marred by over-rigging, instead, he resorted into intermediary peacemaker), because he was deeply involved in the then Tafawa Belewa’s government. And even S. L. Akintola whom the Northern leaders used to oust Awolowo before subsequently nailing him to his coffin.

No wonder W. B. Yeast in his 1921 poem second coming noted that the best lack conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Instead of a reorientation from the government (Politicians) to the student on the dire need to shade-off the toga of corrupt practices, they are busy equipping the said youths with more sophisticated destructive weapons to intimidate, hijack, disrupt electioneering…all geared towards maximizing their political prospects. Some of them even train these boys on the most recent electoral rigging pattern. Unfortunate, these practices are non-retrieval as the youths soon venture into using the arms and criminal mastery to perpetrate mayhem on mankind.

The crux remain the government inability to guess the Nigeria of tomorrow as the future look clumsy; and not until the politician dictate how they have greatly mesmerized the future of this country, then, we are still far from recovery; and not until there is clear dichotomy between unionism and politicking, this country will continue to sour.

Therefore, in the wake of this growing trend of using students as dangerous political machine, there is need for youth psyche reorientation. All stakeholders should be actors in this exercise both the government itself, politicians, as well as those who are claiming unionist. Nigeria future cannot be slaughtered by our today’s leader this way. It is time to call a quite to politicking at the guise of unionism. To all the partakers of this unholy assembly, time to stop is now!

Ahanonu Emmanuel Eca,
Is a 4th year Student of Political Science Department, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.
ecalee2003@yahoo.com, ahanonuemmanuel@yahoo.com. +2348063851899, +2348084049009

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