Northern Nigerian Breaking News

The exit of an executive and the ecstatic emotion of the employees

I don’t know him nor the Agency, Department, or Company he was superintending at the FCTA, which is the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Abuja before the hammer of Minister Nyesom Wike fell on his head a few days ago.

But from the video clip that I saw today, the staffers of the place he was heading, are heartbroken, and they came out in numbers to express their grief, with ecstatic emotion.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Chief Nyesome Wike had a few days ago sacked some heads of Parastatals, Agencies, and Government Companies of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, with immediate effect.

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The sack announcement, which was made public by the Director of Press in the office of the Minister, Mr. Anthony Ogunleye, directed the Chief Executives of the Agencies, numbering 21, to hand over to the most senior staff in the company or parastatal.

In obliging the Minister, one of such Heads, went to the office to effect his exit, and the staff, along with some trade union members, converged to convey their chagrin, the video of which is now trending on social media. With the emotion of a hungry child being forcefully detached from the comforting hands of his feeding mother, these members of staff, continued to pour encomiums, with exceptional enthusiasm and warmth, praising and praying, that God, should prevail on the Minister to reverse the removal of their boss.

Almost all of them looked sad, dejected, and depressed because the man they so loved is leaving. I don’t know the man’s name nor the name of the parastatal, but some of the staff are wearing T-shirts with the inscription, AUMTCO, and with tears rolling down their cheeks, evidently angered and anguished, they kept attributing the qualities of the man to that of a person with the personality of a near perfect Gentleman.

Oftentimes, the relationship between trade unions, which are tools that are put in place to prevent the management from implementing any anti-worker policy, are almost always lacking in friendly warmth. Although they were conceived to act as a bridge between the workers and the management, by conveying the policy decisions and objections to and from workers, in recent times, particularly in today’s Nigeria, Trade unions are mostly used as a means of confronting the management.

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When the situation permits, the management tries to gag the unions from speaking, and wherever the opportunity avails itself, the Union makes moves to muzzle the management, or go for it’s jugular. Mostly, calling for a change of guard.

It is therefore uncommon, uncustomary, or even unconventional, that staffers would team up with the unions to eulogize the head of the management, to the point of bowing to resist his removal. For such a thing to happen, such a Chief Executive must not only be a person that is motivated by duty, but one that is not driven by the desire for self-aggrandizement.

For the staffers of this particular Agency to come out in numbers, brushing aside the boundaries of tribe and religion, praying intensely and intently, with feelings of oneness in the love of their outgoing leader, means that the man must have been conducting his duties conscientiously, and most likely in accordance with the dictates of his oath of office. Methinks the guy must be one that was obediently fulfilling his duty. In fact, they said so. He was there for only three months, but their collective accounts said he has done better than those who spent years there.

While I support Minister Wike in his plan to rejig the bureaucracy of the FCTA, by injecting or stimulating some sense into the system, I implore him not to work with the mindset that everyone is bad. Jennifer Hillier, the author of the bestselling Little Secrets said and I quote, “Not everyone is all bad or all good. Good people do bad things every day, and bad people do good things every day”.

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Minister Wike would do the system a lot of good, as well as make public servants more responsive and responsible to given assignments, by being dedicated to duty, through constant commitment to assigned task or given goal, if he can fish out this fellow for proper assessment. If he is found to be as good as he is portrayed by the staffers and the union, I feel he should be retained, or redeployed to another place where he can add value.

Those who abuse public trust must be sanctioned and thrown out, but those who keep such public trust need to be compensated and accommodated. That is the best way to motivate employees, I think.

Ibrahim, a media advisor writes from Abuja


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