By Sani M. Lawal
I just stumbled on an article purportedly written by a certain Comrade Mashema claiming to speak for one Haruna Ibrahim who the writer said is a Bauchi state civil servant in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry with registration number PSN821312.
The writer said he was pleading on behalf of the said civil servant for the Governor of Bauchi state and relevant organs of government to intervene and facilitate the payment of his salaries withheld for 38 months.
After reading the article, several questions jumped into my mind that called for care and caution and above all suspicions of the motive behind the article and of course the writer.
Firstly, the writer, essentially obscure, could not have been pleading in good faith as he claimed by choosing the media option and not through direct contact with the officials concerned.
Secondly, the writer, evidently unschooled, went to town without the necessary background check that could have given him a solid ground to lay his claim upon; instead, of achieving the objective he claimed, he ended up dancing stark naked in the market square and exposing himself as one of those hatchet men at hand to do mischief for a fee.
In order to avoid the kind of embarrassment Comrade Mashema subjected himself to with his slanted story, I undertook a fact check before venturing this response as a concerned indigene of Bauchi state.
First, it does not require any deep search to recall that the Bauchi state government of Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed did indeed set up a committee under Adamu Gumba verification to verify staff strength for consolidation with the state salaries bill in order to sanitize the civil service.
Every genuinely concerned indigene of Bauchi is as well aware that the Gumba Committee had concluded its assignment and submitted a report with far reaching recommendations.
It was therefore the verification committee that discovered the said Haruna Ibrahim as a non-verifiable staff and suggested appropriate measures including the suspension of payment of his salaries.
In that report, the said Haruna Ibrahim was uncleared as he was discovered to be redundant without defined schedule or even a duty post.
The committee also found fault with Haruna’s claim to be attending school which he failed to back up with evidence of official release issued to him at anytime.
All these facts, Mashema overlooked in his writeup in an obvious haste to deliver his dubious assignment.
It is important to place on record here, that Bauchi State had in a bid to boost the state’s workforce employed over 4,000 new staff, has been paying minimum wage, and has implemented consequential adjustments and implemented financial benefits of all employees that have been promoted since previous administrations.
One wonders therefore, how much is Haruna salary’s could be, that the State cannot pay if not for reasons of his been found to be an illigimate staff.
It also beats one’s imagination that Haruna Ibrahim could only find his voice now after 38 months and even that through a proxy who turned out to be unprofessional.
If only Haruna Ibrahim and Gulumba, his self-appointed voice were not up to some mischief, they ought to have taken the matter up with the ministry they claimed or the Office of the Head of Civil Service.
Finally, alternatively, Haruna ought to have shown decent remorse by humbly apologizing for the detected misdemeanor and seek reinstatement by the State and the Governor rather than going the wrong way of unwarranted blackmail in the media.
(Lawal a bona fide Bauchi indigene, writes from Azare)