For us, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomole is an opportunist who rode on the back of Nigerian workers to rise to national prominence. A former textile worker who joined the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Adams Oshiomole later succeeded to emerge as its president.
Oshiomole’s leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress coincided with the tenureship of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as President of Nigeria – 1999 to 2007. Obasanjo’s late wife, Stella, was from Edo State where Oshiomole equally hails from, and the duo struck a secret deal to pull wool over the eyes of Nigerian workers, and by extension, Nigerian people as a whole, to exploit them through frequent increases in the pump price of petrol. For the eight years that Obasanjo was President of Nigeria, he had adjusted the pump price of petrol seven times, and Oshiomole as President of NLC, always played along.
For instance, when Obasanjo came on board on May 29, 1999, a litre of petrol was selling for N20, but barely one year after assuming office, specifically on June 1, 2000, he hiked the price to N30 a litre. Nigerians took to the streets to protest the increase, and Oshiomole as President of NLC, danced along with them, and asked the government to revert to its former price of N20.
Oshiomole was invited to negotiate, and they settled at N22 a litre. We rejoiced and hailed Oshiomole, that he did a very nice work.
However, on January 1, 2002, the petrol pump price was raised from N22 a litre to N26 a litre, and Oshiomole looked elsewhere. He became dumb. This emboldened President Obasanjo, who on June 1, 2003, raised it again to N42 a litre.
Then as part of his Democracy Day package, Obasanjo on May 29, 2004, raised the pump price from N42 to N50 a litre. Three months later on August 25, he struck again, and raised it to N65 a litre. The last fuel increase by Obasanjo before he left office was on May 29, 2007, the day he was leaving office, when the pump price of petrol was adjusted to N75 a litre.
All these while, Adams Oshiomole was missing in action. He could not find his voice. He did not even succeed to convinve the federal government to add even one kobo in the salary of Nigerian workers by way of general wage increase.
Workers in some states who had problems with their governments often invited Oshiomole to come to speak on their behalf. He would promptly honour the invitations, deliver some tough talks, but would depart without achieving any tangible result.
When at the end of his tenure, it was rumoured that Oshiomole was nursing a gubernatorial ambition in his native Edo State, many people began to wonder how the “poor” civil servant was going to make it considering the financial resources which such huge venture was going to take. Some even thought that as a popular labour leader, Oshiomole would join the Labour Party, the political party of Nigerian workers, so that every worker in Nigeria would put in his widow’s mite for the project. But Oshiomole astounded everybody by joining the Action Congress of Nigeria, the party of the well to do.
Oshiomole contested against the candidate of the ruling party in the state and with the help of the courts, succeeded in winning the governorship of the state. He completed the constitutionally allowed two-term tenure of four years each.
A restless and ambitious person, Oshiomole engineered a coup against his town’s man, the former national chairman of APC, Odigie-Oyegun, so he could takeover the position. Now, as national chairman of APC, Oshiomole no longer talks about the suffering Nigerian workers who have been pauperized since the coming of the present administration, but how to ensure that the present fascist regime in the country is returned in 2019. He has become dumb about the daily killing of hundreds of Nigerians and the destruction of their crops and farmlands by Fulani herdsmen.