SOMETIMES we focus too much on our political leaders and forget that there are others who are as bad as they are. One of the pervasive effects of corruption in our society is that nearly all sectors are rotten. Corruption has rendered impotent critical components like labour, media, and student movements from playing the watchdog role they ought to be playing. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has been in the news for the wrong reasons in the past few weeks and one could not but cringed at the reality that our politicians are not worse off than labour activists. From a N960 billion housing scandal – yes, you read the figure correctly – to an election that ended in fiasco on February 12 at the end of its delegates conference, it is clear that the moral high ground that the NLC love to occupy is scarcely more than a slight elevation at times. And if you’re bothered about the need for alternatives to the vultures rampaging Nigeria claiming to be our leaders, you must be worried about the show of shame in the house of labour. This is not the time to speak about a group of clowns parading town as National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) officials who were on television last week defending the atrocious decision of the National Youth Service Corps management to charge all graduates a sum of N3, 000 as fees to collect their call up letters. A friend asked me upon hearing the news, “Which of the NANS faction did you watch?” On May 1, 2013, the Abdulwaheed Omar-led NLC executive flagged off a housing scheme in conjunction with Kristy Lally EPC Nigeria. The Deputy President of NLC, Promise Adewusi, and Umar Madawaki, managing director of Kriston Lally, earlier signed an agreement on April 6 of the same year. The NLC was supposed to provide land while Kristy Lally would build the houses across the country. The cost ranges from N4.6 million for two-bedroom detached bungalows to N6.5 million for three-bedroom bungalow and N18.5 million for four-bedroom bungalow. Subscribers were asked to pay N5, 000 each for forms and 10 percent of the total cost for their desired houses. But the good story ended there. Till date, no house has been delivered while Umar Madawaki is allegedly on the run. It was painful watching Issa Aremu, one of the leaders of NLC, on television some weeks back promising that NLC would refund the money paid by subscribers. That was during a protest to NLC’s headquarters in Abuja by subscribers demanding their money. At a meeting between subscribers and NLC facilitated by the Department of State Security (DSS) on November 12 last year, the union agreed to refund all the money collected in two weeks. Maybe NLC operate on a different calendar than the universal one as no refund has been made three months after. The World Bank estimated that about 17 million units are needed to solve the housing problem in Nigeria and now over 3, 000 innocent souls are lamenting their losses. A refrain among the subscribers is that they parted with their money because the NLC is involved. What do you do when a body that is supposed to protect workers’ interest is now the one scamming them? The other scandal is the inability of the congress to successfully conduct an election and produce a new set of executives. Omar was first elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011. Sadly, this year’s election ended with delegates throwing chairs and tables at themselves. They also hurled insults and invective at each other. Three candidates, Ayuba Wabba, Joe Ajaero, and Achese Igwe started the struggle to lead over four million members of NLC. Along the line, Igwe stepped down for Ajaero clearing the way for a battle between him and Wabba. Ajaero is current deputy president while Wabba is current national treasurer meaning that the supporters of the top echelon of NLC were the ones that disturbed the election. Some of the delegates at the congress alleged that the ballots were designed in a way to give Wabba an undue advantage and because of this, they decided not to allow the election hold. With 40 affiliate unions and 37 state councils, members surely pay a lot of money to NLC coffers yearly as annual dues. I learnt that the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, the National Union of Electricity Employees, and NUPENG contributed N423 million, N320 million, and N159 million in that order to NLC between 2011 and 2014. It is a shame that NLC degenerated to this level and a once-vibrant institution reduced to a shadow of what it used to be. Our country is the greatest loser, and the revolution is postponed again.