Comrade Seun Salako – A Comrade and Gentleman
By Comrade Joe Ajaero, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for Congress
At the Labour House in the Central Business District of Abuja, occupants of the 12-story edifice were thrown into shock and mourning on the morning of January 8th, 2024, when the sad news of the passing of Comrade Oluseun Salako filtered into the premises.
At the NLC, the demise of the amiable General Manager of the Central Business Tower, Managers of the Labour House was more shocking for obvious reasons as he was not often considered as a Manager of the Building, but part of the labour family – a comrade.
Seun, as he was fondly called by workers in the NLC, went about his supervisory work in the Labour House not with airs and arrogance as his peers of such status in other companies but with assiduous commitment and a sense of duty reminiscent of a worker. He was an honest manager and straight forward in his dealings with people. He was also considered a remarkable team player who believed in collective leadership as complaints by tenants were promptly attended to with tact and a high degree of respect for the feelings of others. With Seun, complaints were aptly apprehended before snowballing into conflicts.
Despite the complexity and challenges of running the building, underscored by a paucity of funds, he often took things in his stride, persuading and sometimes encouraging tenants to pay up for services. They often complied. Through this he achieved remarkable results.
His approach to management that endeared him to us was not surprising as he had earlier cut his teeth as a student activist and also served as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Students Union in his undergraduate days at the University of Jos. This association with radical thought and experience had certainly prepared him for higher endeavours including working among unionists in the Labour House.
Seun was known to be calm at all times, cool and compassionate, which made working with him very seamless. However, behind this mien was a disciplined and firm disposition to duty by all who worked with him. A close interaction with him would often reveal a deep sense of understanding of human nature with the shared values of the labour movement for social justice. He was a Comrade and Gentleman!
On behalf of the NLC and working people, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and workers of the Central Business Tower, and prays that the Almighty grant them the fortitude to bear this great loss. May his soul rest in perfect peace, amen.
Adieu, comrade !