In the aftermath of the 11th hour, 58th minute and 46th second cancellation of the planned national strike by labour union leaders, I would like to offer my most sincere congratulations to the Federal Government of Nigeria for a resounding success in dealing with the threat.

It is true, of course, that the result was never in doubt, yet it would be remiss to not offer congratulations all the same, particularly as this latest victory just may be the one that ensures victory for all time. I say that because now the chasm between the nation’s labour force and the labour unions’ leadership has grown astoundingly wider.

Honestly, your camouflaging the true objective (accruing ever more oil revenue, same as every government every year since independence, duh) with an increase of price in one of the top 3 Nigerian favourite topics of discussion (electricity, or the lack thereof) is nothing but a stroke of genius. Of course, such a play is never without the danger of being found out, as evidenced in the quote below from a member of the NLC’s Central Working Committee:

“Tell me, what did we achieve as organised labour? You said you are suspending hike in electricity tariff for two weeks, who cares about electricity? Even if you bring the tariff to N1, Nigerians will not have power.”

NLC’s CWC member as quoted by Vanguard newspaper

I must also take time out to acknowledge your beautifully-crafted “concessions”, the reading of which fills me with wondrous amazement. Sirs, you truly understand the country over which you rule. Your ability to continuously fill the bellies of stupid detractors with nothing but promises literally brings tears to my eyes. And how you borrowed a page from the former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), by including union leaders in committees, thereby guaranteeing them allowances, travels and stipends is nothing short of genius!

Which is why I must shake my head in wonder at your foresight in isolating the labour leadership from their committees and the Nigerian populace, which is full of lazy youth who don’t know good governance when it’s inflicted upon them. Obviously, if the labour leadership had been allowed to report to their committees, open discussions with state chapters or, indeed, even take the temperature of the Nigerian people, a deal would have been impossible. Divide and rule is truly a strategy worthy of an emperor!

The beauty of waiting until the latest possible hour, when most of the country had already gone to bed, only to wake up to a completely different world than they expected was just brilliant. Truly, all those famous late-night political meetings have paid in full since they allowed you to stamina to outlast those union leaders and still be first to wake up in the morning!

The coup de grace was, of course, being the first to announce the “suspension” (hahaha) of the strike! That singular act has decapitated the unions, the members of whom now know that it is you who butters their bread. I’m sure even the lowliest labourer can see now that the union leadership are but balloons who may get blown up to larger-than-life size but, once the thread is loosened, they wheeze and fly about the room until they collapse to the ground, empty and flaccid.

However, if I may sound a note of caution, perhaps you ought to consider a slightly different strategy for when the next national strike action is declared by union leaders. Yes, I know, I know, not even their committees will take them seriously after this, but this great victory you have won still requires protection. After all, what is a ruler who cannot consolidate his position?