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NIPOST: Will the struggle for PMG go the way of NPA?

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NIPOST: Will the struggle for the PMG go the way of NPA?

Modern history of Nigerian Postal Service [NIPOST] has it that late Abubakar Argungu started its revival. 

Account has it that upon ascension to the position of the Post-Master General of the Federation [PMG], Argungu and his team in NIPOST came out with Marshall Plan on how to re-position the establishment.

The plan was submitted to the Ministry of Communication under Chief C.O Adebayo who in turn sent it to the then President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. 

Information has it that after perusing the re-positioning plan of Argungu-led NIPOST, Obasanjo felt impressed and satisfied, but expressed worry that NIPOST was a “sick baby”. 

Chief C.O Adebayo was said to have told Obasanjo in reply to his comment that the duty of a mother is to nurse the “sick baby” to get well; apparently telling Obasanjo to rescue NIPOST based on the re-positioning plan before him. 

There and then, Obasanjo wasted no time in approving the plan for NIPOST.

Two important issues stand out in the re-positioning plan of NIPOST. 

These are granting of N35 billion to the establishment as take-off grant by the federal government. 

The other issue was that NIPOST will take care of its overhead expenses. 

It was reported that Obasanjo-led administration promised to provide the takeoff grant for the comprehensive expansion of NIPOST facilities and operations. 

So when Mallam Mori Baba took over, upon the unfortunate death of Argungu, he continued on the track set up by his predecessor.

Although, of funds appears to be the undoing of the establishment but Mallam Mori Baba was able to navigate NIPOST with the co-operation of the staff.

Before Mr. Enoch Ade-Ogun took over from Mallam Mori Baba as PMG in Acting capacity, information was rife that the parent Ministry of NIPOST under Ms. Mobolaji Johnson  had concluded plan to  advertise the position PMG of NIPOST, if it becomes vacant, with the intention of bringing in outsider to pilot the affairs of NIPOST. 

Though, this writer is not aware of the thinking or reasons behind contracting outsider to head NIPOST; considering the fact that any of the top management staff of the establishment could head it because they were involved in fashioning out late Argungu’s blueprint on how to re-position the organization in the first place.

When on Wednesday, December 21, 015, the Ministry of Communication came out with advertisement for the vacant position of PMG of NIPOST; it became obvious to discerning minds that the Ministry of Communication is hell bent on bringing outsider to head NIPOST. 

Probably sensing that the December 21, 2015 advert exposed their intention of shutting out qualified candidates from NIPOST, the Ministry brought out another advert with modifications to accommodate NIPOST staff on December 23, 2015. 

Meanwhile, some forces in the Ministry of Communication had perfected plan to frustrate Mr. Enoch Ade-Ogun from partaking in the scheduled interview. 

What the Ministry did was to issue directive to NIPOST to stop the appointment of Stamp Duty Agents “so as to resolve outstanding issues”, on the pages of newspapers. 

No official communication was done on the so-called directive to NIPOST on stamp duty by the Ministry of Communication, except the report of the purported directive from the Minister of Communication, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, who was out of the country.

The next in the plot against Mr. Ade-Ogun was his invitation to the Ministry of Communication where he was asked to hand over to the most senior officer in NIPOST. 

Though, Mr. Ade-Ogun was supposed to have retired in December 2015, but he was asked to continue in office pending the appointment of a substantive PMG who is expected to emerge through the selection process. 

Mr. Ade-Ogun promptly handed over as was instructed. As if the directive to hand over was not enough, he was not even invited to take part in the interview to select the new PMG, despite applying for the position. 

No reason was given for denying him the right to appear for interview by the Ministry of Communication.   

Watchers of politics at NIPOST are of the opinion that Mr. Ade-Ogun’s problems with the desperadoes at the ministry of communication are twofold. 

In the first place, being the most qualified person for the job, it was probably reasoned that inviting him for the interview will be a serious threat to the outsider being groomed to takeover, hence, the decision to scheme him out. 

Secondly, Ade-Ogun’s unwilling disposition to part with NIPOST facilities was said to be also responsible for his problem. 

This fact could be discern from the desperate manner some persons were searching for the author of a petition against a highly placed Nigerian who is said to be pushing hard for an outsider to take over as the new PMG of NIPOST. 

In-fact, a law firm was said to have written to NIPOST via freedom of information Act, requesting to know the author of a petition to the President against this Nigerian. 

Already, it is rumored that a lot of NIPOST facilities are already in his possession.      

It will be recalled that the current Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority [NPA], Habibu Abdullahi, was sacked by the former President Goodluck Jonathan in a curious circumstances, fueling speculation that Abdullahi’s refusal to play ball was responsible for his sack. 

Mr. Bayero who is the son of the former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero was appointed as replacement to Abdullahi in April, 2015. 

Apart from the theory of unwillingness to play ball, rational minds believed that the government of the day felt humiliated by the emergence of Sanusi Lamido as the Emir of Kano against their preferred candidate, Sanusi Bayero, hence, his appointment was made to spite the new Emir of Kano. 

It was however, not surprising to lover of justice that on Aug 13, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari terminated the appointment of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Alhaji Sanusi Bayero and Habibu Abdullahi, reinstated as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority.

From all indications, what is transpiring in NIPOST appears to have manifestation of what happened in NPA in recent past. 

The only difference is that the macabre dance in NIPOST is being contrived by some desperate elements in the ministry of Communication, while in the case of NPA, the then Presidency masterminded the sack and counter sack. 

The similarity here is that the humiliation out of office of both Habibu Abdullahi in NPA and Mr. Ade-Ogun in NIPOST were done to achieve satanic ends. 

If the removal of Ade-Ogun as acting PMG of NIPOST was because his tenure has expired, why was he not invited for the interview for the selection of the qualified candidate for the post of PMG by the ministry of communication as record has it that he applied for the job? 

What criteria were used in selecting the new PMG designate who is believed to be an outsider from the postal industry? Who can be more qualified for the position than any of those that applied for the job from NIPOST?

The danger in outsider coming in as PMG of NIPOST is that the fellow will spend about three [3] years studying the establishment. 

He may not even get the support of staff of the outfit as they may see him as gate-crashes. The issue of passion is another factor here. 

It may be difficult for an outsider to be passionate about NIPOST than a Postman. 

At this point, what NIPOST needs is financial grant from federal government to re-position for employment and revenue generation. 

If NIPOST needed re-organization because of corruption and associated factors like, Customs Service, bringing in an outsider like Col. Hammed Ali would have been okay.

Emeka Oraetoka, Information Management & Researcher, wrote in from Abuja; e-mail:oramekllis@lycos.com

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