By Josmat Jerry
Quite a number of wrongs has been overtime swept under the carpet, not because they are not enough to prove wrong but because the time for the revelation that will then lead to their eradication is yet to come. But each wrong will surely meet justice at a certain point in time.
The death of Gbadebo Richard on Tuesday, 28th July, 2020 has seriously raised lots of wonderings, investigations, complaints and questions. It has revealed two core wrongs.
Firstly, the misdeed on how much we have been slaves in our own palace. And secondly, it tells how much we have been suffering because we are the masses. The answer on who to blame will be known during the course of this write-up.
The real blue print of how this young guy left this world is still somehow unknown. There is still an absence of a clear description of the scenario at the time of this write-up. The most common description of how he died circled around how he got slipped into the chemical mixing machine while trying to pour some chemicals into the said machine. Investigations are still ongoing by top authorities so as to give out the true picture of what really happened. Many complained on the working conditions, the feverish work being operated and the ‘I don’t care’ attitude shown by the management as a driving force that might have led to Richard’s death.
Talk on how the management of Henkel Nigeria Limited (the producer of Waw detergent) handled the situation has been labeled as an inhuman attitude with little or no care. The company upon such incident is expected to stop production that very moment but report has it that the production work for that day still went on. This shows that the death of any of their workers meant nothing to them and that is enough to conclude that Richard’s incident isn’t the first but must be the last. This laisse faire attitude further tells about how less care the management handles the welfare of their workers. All these are revelations of our pains, our sufferings, and our agonies on our own soil.
A more close examination should be placed on this matter. The board of management of these white companies, be it Sumal, Henkel and Zartech not only comprise of whites but also have the inclusion of blacks (Nigerians). In fact, the percentage of whites to blacks on the management board is 20% to 80%. The blacks at the top level of these organisations/companies are meant to be one that serve as spoke person for other factory workers, they are meant to fight for a well conducive working environment, adequate welfarism, time to time display of care, provision of well qualified safety kits and a befitting wage to crown it all.
The show of absence of brotherly love amidst blacks made all these aforementioned out of place. On getting to the office of these top blacks at the management line, you see a flat screen television fixed to the wall coupled with a sweet air feeling powered by a good working air conditioner with the expectation of a huge amount of cash at the end of the week. So sad to see them stretching forth their legs to eat the pains of their brothers. Until we make corrections amidst ourselves, external blood will continue to mistreat us.
Likewise, the contract staff of Sumal protest of Oct’2018 testified a lot to these misdeeds. Complains were raised on the very hectic work they do, the little wage, absence of break, poor working condition, absence of welfarism and care and lot more. It was partially uncovered then that the daily pay for each contract staff right from the main owner is being divided into 3 parts and only a part is being paid to the contact staffs while the other two parts is shared and distributed among the hierarchical lane which very much are the blacks. This evil act was halfway reduced then through the protest with cries on local radio stations. It is very sad to see all these happening.
Who knows if young Richard had been provided with necessary working kits, if the working hours had not been as long as it is, if there had been adequate show of welfarism, maybe his sudden death would have been prevented. This is an urgent call to all concerned authorities to come to our aid, the government should ignore the huge tax being paid by these companies and face the current matter on ground by saving innocent lives from slavery. If this isn’t drawn a dagger at, cases worse than that of Richard will befall us. We all raise our unmuted voices to all regulatory bodies concerned to do the needful. Gbadebo Richard’s case must be the last of its kind!