Op-ed: We must stop Nigeria’s ‘strike and negotiate culture’

“Thanks for the feedback. I spoke with some people and others sent in their comments, just like you’ve done. And guess what? They all acknowledge that my argument is good but the setting is wrong. This leaves me wondering, is the setting unchallengable? Are we to rid ourselves of these faults in the system or simply manage them?
It appears that we have institutionalized the faults in our minds. We assume that they can’t be changed, or simply thrust aside. So every year, ASUU would threaten strike. NUPENG would threaten strike. Tanker drivers would do the same. Those that can’t go on strike would pick up arms, like MEND, like Boko Haram. In this country, nearly every wrong thing is rationalized based on the argument of a faulty system. Why did MEND drop off negotiations and pick up arms? ‘Faulty system and bad politics’. Eventually, the government cut a deal with them. The day the government can’t meet up, we all can be assured of trouble in the Niger Delta. What of Boko Haram? They claim that the system is unfair and corrupt. So what? They pick up arms against the state and destroy the lives of young children. Oh, there is a God who will judge the living and the dead! How was the government going to address them? Negotiations! Incredible.
We can’t keep going on like this. We can’t keep negotiating our way out of ongoing troubles only to go back to them shortly after.
Between 2009 and now, how many times have ASUU, NASU, NLC, etc gone on strike? Except we show them their false assumptions, except we show them that a faulty judicial system is made so by human beings and not spirits, except we show them that neglecting this faulty system hoping it would self correct only makes it self destruct, I can easily tell you that Nigeria is about to die.
But thank God, people of faith are talking back. They are acting. Talking and acting against the mentality that has held us bound for many years. They are saying enough of lawlessness, enough of mediocrity, enough of ‘can’t do’ spirit. They are motivating and coaching many to seek great things. To think great things. To believe the impossible, and to describe what is not presently visible. A new class of Nigerians is arising. And because of us, Nigeria would live.
Our talk would not fit the present mould. It would look like we are not living here at all. Listen to Fela Durotoye, Sam Adeyemi, and a lot more others. They speak of a Nigeria that many have not seen. And because they speak, those things leap into being.
My argument for ASUU to take the first move to court is not just for ASUU’s benefit, or for the present crop of students. It is for ‘how we are going to do things in the nearest future’. We are laying the first stones. We’ll keep talking, and acting and winning until a living Nigeria emerges and remains.”


About Johnson Boyede

Johnson Boyede, B.Sc in International Relations. He wrote 'Addressing terrorism in Nigeria and possible spill over into West Africa' for his Long Essay. He contributes scholarly writings to an open facebook group, 'League of Diplomats'. He agrees and runs with the opinion of Paul Romer that, "Knowledge is a non-rival nature and only partly excludable... In an open society, knowledge's non-rival nature means that a piece of new information can be used over and over again, by different people, in varying contexts and to make new things...one good piece of knowledge will live several lifetimes, undergo different iterations and be put to ever more unique purposes."
This entry was posted in Nigeria's National Conference Debates, Policy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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