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NAN/Onanuga Fracas: You Must Give Up Power, NAN Staff Tells Onanuga


***I Am Still In Charge – ONANUGA 

By Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos

Information getting to THE NEWS ACCELERATOR indicates that staff of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), has embarked on a protest resulting into picketing  the agency’s Abuja headquarters at Central Area.

They specifically requested that the Managing Director (MD) of the Agency, Bayo Onanuga had no choice than to relinquish power.

It would be recalled that Onanuga whose three-year tenure expired on Saturday, May 25, 2019 had handed over to the Editor-in-Chief, Idris AbdulRahman.

Prior to this time, critical stakeholders in the agency; the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Radio Television Theatre and Art Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU) and the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporation and Government Owned Companies, (SSACGOC), had been in a battle with Onanuga 

They jointly accused him of alleged underhand dealings which included auctioning of cars belonging to NAN, underground and misappropriating donations received for its 40th year-anniversary in a letter addressed to the Secretary to the federal government, Mustapha Boss, and same copied the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, among others.

According to the unions, “Selling of official vehicles to himself and loyal management staff through a dubious auction process that grossly violated FGN Financial Rules. 

“Using consultants to intimidate any officer perceived to be against his policy through promotion Exam.

“Inability to provide or pay rents of several state offices, including Port Harcourt Zonal Office, Lafia, Yenagoa, Birnin Kebbi and Jalingo, despite the revenue of more than Four Hundred Million Naira (N400m) IGR accrued to the Agency and the Three Hundred and Twenty-One Million Naira (N321M)  bail out approved and released to the Agency by President Muhammadu Buhari.  

“Unilateral dismissal of staff and suspensions without salary contrary to civil service rules and regulations. 

“We challenge the ICPC & EFCC to probe the two NAN Bizcom Accounts used in diverting government revenue.”

But to the surprise of the staff on Monday (yesterday), Onanuga reappeared at the office and announced his return in a memo he personally signed and entitled: “Am Back”.

According to the memo, “I shall remain in charge of the agency until the federal government and President Muhammadu Buhari, my employers rule otherwise. 

“My tenure remains intact.”

But the memo that was addressed to all staff immediately resulted into protest as some staff took to the agency’s gate carrying placards with various inscriptions including: “Onanuga’s tenure has expired PMB Sack Him Now,” “No Reappointment For Onanuga,”  and “PMB Please Save NAN now”.

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