As Nigerians suffer the current scarcity of petrol and workers in several states plan strikes over non-payment of salaries for months, they should be vigilant about their trade union leaders.
A source revealed to us how the former president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) “Comrade” Peter Esele, who once led a nationwide “OccupyNigeria” fuel subsidy strike in early 2012, was “settled”.
Esele, who also used to be the head of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), came to the presidential villa Aso Rock for negotiations with the federal government over the strike wearing a suit. He was told that he shouldn’t wear a suit to such meetings because it didn’t have enough pockets for the “settlement” money. An agbada was recommended.
The next time he showed up for negotiations, he wore an agbada and received $25,000 in cash to stuff down his agbada pockets.
The strike was called off soon after.
He was later appointed to a “special task force” to fast track passage of the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, before the National Assembly.