Fresh facts have emerged as to why the workers sacked the Union Chairman of the National Emergency Management Agency. It was revealed that amongst other anomalies, the workers accused the dismissed union chairman of highhandedness and financial recklessness.
An insider source within the agency, who pleaded anonymity, stated that the “ousted union chairman antics was purely for personal aggrandisement, a trend that has gained notoriety.” He often blackmailed the management for personal benefits just like his recent trip to Italy, which he was not supposed to be part of the team but compelled the management through blackmail.
“They incorporated companies through their cronies with which they lobbied. Comrade Justin Uche behaved like a mini-god when he was the chairman of the Union. He presided over a team that was the most corrupt in the history of NEMA. They were in the habit of paying themselves bogus and undocumented allowances that were not accounted for. When confronted, Comrade Uche would send other members of the Exco to threaten the workers.”
Another source conversant with the events that led to the sack of the Exco led by Justin Uche stated that they used their office to intimidate and harass the management of NEMA by soliciting for contracts in the agency.
“Justin and his gang were marauders. They were after their interest and not the benefit of the workers. They incorporated companies with which they lobbied for contracts in the agency. If these companies are not shortlisted, they resort to blackmail and other despicable acts unbecoming of union leaders in a critical agency like NEMA.
“The workers of NEMA were tired of his atrocities and decided to take the bull by the horns. Of course, this did not go down well with him, and he has been fighting dirty. But the workers would not budge because of the support it has extended to the caretaker committee in place.”
A credible source in the Exco secretariat confided in this medium that the era of Justin Uche is gone for good as the caretaker committee in place has hit the ground running and has the total support of the workers. “The workers have absolute confidence in the caretaker committee, and this much has witnessed some level of calmness in the agency since the caretaker committee was inaugurated.
It was also gathered that the director-general of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja has expressed concern over the issues in the Union and has sued for calm and caution. The director-general has called on stakeholders to intervene to restore sanity in the system.
A source in the office of the director-general stated that the DG has been reaching out to several stakeholders to intervene in the crisis rocking the Union.
“The DG is visibly sad and wants a speedy resolution of the issues. He has reached out to several people, and the responses received so far are positive. As a peace-loving man, the DG believes the rancor was uncalled for, especially at a time that humanitarian crisis in the country is becoming alarming due to the activities of insurgents.”
“The DG believes that all hands should be on deck in this critical period for the agency with its level of involvement in humanitarian interventions in North-East.
In a similar development, it is understood that the caretaker committee of the Union is considering joining the Amalgamated Trade Union with it’s over 500 members. It was gathered that this development is because the Trade Union Congress (TUC), instead of maintaining neutrality in the ongoing crisis, it is instead of taking sides with the sacked Excos led by Justin Uche.
A source in the know of events stated that the plans had reached an advanced stage, and baring all unforeseen circumstances; the caretaker committee would lead the Union into the Amalgamated Trade Union.
“The Trade Union Congress is taking sides with the sacked Excos, and this has further heightened the tension in the Union. This has not gone down well with the generality of workers, and they have consequently pledged their loyalty to whatever decision the caretaker committee takes.”
Close watchers of the event strongly believe that NEMA contractors are behind the ongoing disputes as those loyal to Justin Uche have refused to give peace a chance. It was stated that the contractors that have benefited from the influence wielded by the Justin Uche led Exco has vowed to do all possible to ensure that activities of NEMA are disrupted.
This position was corroborated by a cross-section of NEMA workers that recently staged a solidarity march in support of the presidency and the DG of NEMA in the fight against insurgency.
The Association of Senior Staff Union of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) arising from its annual congress in Abuja recently embarked on a solidarity rally around the city in support of the management of the agency, which is commended for delivering on its objectives.
The new Caretaker Chairman, Comrade Yinka Agaba, said that the workers are pleased and impressed with the efforts of the Director-General, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja and other stakeholders of the agency in the restoration of lasting peace and sanity to the Northeast region and other parts of the country.
Agaba said that, as civil servants who have the responsibility to serve Nigeria, it was incumbent on the workers to stand up for fairness and truth and commend the agency’s leadership where it had discharged its mandate adequately.
He assured that the Union would always stand up for good leadership, efficiency, and the massive investment of government in the social development of the people affected by the agency’s mandate.
“We would no longer keep mute when good conscience and truth are circumvented. All the self-serving individuals whose interests are at variance with public good and governance will no longer be allowed to decimate our efforts and goodwill. We shall not allow further erosion of the ethics of public service and governance,” Agaba further said.
Attempts to reach the DG or the TUC President proved abortive as calls and SMS made to their lines were not answered.