Sometimes you wonder when Nigerians can really matter in Nigeria. You wonder when ordinary Nigerians can be treated with the deserved dignity in their own fatherland. A situation in which ordinary and honest Nigerians are treated like scavengers in Nigeria is something that we need to reject and object in very strong terms.
We have an unending saga where MTN sacked 63 members of staff in 2009. These were staffs that started with MTN during her infancy stages in Nigeria. Some were with MTN since 2001 when the organisation started her operations in Nigeria. Many of them witnessed the first 1 million subscriber base level MTN achieved in Nigeria. They started the journey as full member of staff with MTN which MTN cannot deny. Infact they were so “invaluable” then to MTN that MTN inserted a clause in their contract that debarred them from working for any company for 4 years after leaving the company. Yet they were sacked with only one month pay off!! This clause has made a lot unable to secure another employment somewhere else which is unfair and criminal.
When you pay off a full member of staff who has worked continuously for 8 years for you with a one month pay off then there’s a problem. When the company that did this is making hundreds of billions of Naira in Nigeria every year, then the problem is more. When you further debar the individual from getting a good job, four years after you sacked him/her, then it is something else. You have 63 families and other dependants languishing in crushing poverty which shouldn’t be so just because a company has decided to be mean.
The workers have gone to the industrial court for Justice. This was after they had made various representations to MTN, they had gone to the house of representatives in 2012 and the ECOWAS court in 2013 without any succour. However, this case at the industrial court has not been concluded due to the normal Nigerian factor. The case that started since 2013 has been constantly adjourned and adjourned the common man’s case style. Senator Bukola Saraki’s case went through different courts including the appeal court within 1 week. However for ordinary Nigerians, it has been a slow crushing wheel of Justice to nowhere. To give you a glimpse of the adjournments this year; It started on Jan 13th, then adjourned to March 12th, then to July and then September 24th which was later adjourned to October 28th. Your guess is as good as mine as to what would happen on 28th of October in the industrial court presided by Justice Adejumo.
MTN, though a behemoth of a company I must admit, must live up to her responsibilities of rightfully taking care of her workers. This case cannot go away in any slightest manner and some guys in the company need to understand this. The total responsibility of these 63 ex- employees of MTN falls on the company and the MD of the company. Their families are crying. They have suffered all indignities just because some people believe that ordinary Nigerian lives don’t matter. They have seen the other side of life that they never bargained for because some people enclosed themselves in their glass offices while believing that the ex-staffs would just disappear into thin air. This would never happen. MTN must do what is right for Nigerians in Nigeria.
We would follow the case in court on the 28th of October 2015. However, until judgement is given, the responsibility of every single person of these former employees lies on the shoulder of the MD of MTN and MTN as a company…. Ewolewoo!!!