It was Warren Buffett who posited that "Honesty was a very expensive gift, and advised that no one should expect it from cheap people" expecting it from the present crop of labour leaders was perhaps the greatest mistake Nigerian workers ever made.
When The Nigerian Labour congress was formed in 1978, the objective was to protect, defend and promote the rights, well-being and the interests of all workers and pensioners.
The multitudes who trooped into the Banking halls of Zenith and Guarantee Trust Bank to pay and apply for the NLC- Kriston lally EPC Housing project ,did so because of the reputation the seal of NLC carried, but unknown to many the glory had departed ! NLC previously seen as voice of the voiceless and defender of the oppressed have become a tool in the hands of those who seek to fleece the weak.
One year after promising to deliver 5000 houses to subscribers in six months not even a single block has been laid on the imaginary site of the project. The initial 300 hecters of land allocated to the NLC and TUC for the project by the Federal Government has been cannibalized and shared to cronies by Omar and his gang.
By choosing to plug the mouth of the National Administrative council members and others using the 10% down payment for homes deposited by hard-working Nigerian families, Omar has not only obtained a one way ticket to jail, he has also destroyed any remaining reputation the NLC has left.
It is sad and shameful that leaders who should be struggling to protect the interest of workers have allowed themselves to be used against the same workers they swore to protect. Today, retirees who had earlier banked on the promises made by these leaders have seen their hopes of retiring into their own houses all but vanished.
Unfortunately, Nigeria's housing deficit which presently stands at 24 million units have become a feeding bottle of sort for these Labor leaders who blame the government for everything including their own inefficiency and irresponsibility.
It is therefore imperative for the EFCC and other agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of tackling financial crimes and punzee schemes to rise up to the occasion and help Nigerian workers recover what the canker worms and Palmer worms have fleeced .
Oche Otorkpa (MTC)
Author of the Unseen Terrorist and Publisher of Tsuntsu Newspapers