Questions are being raised over the capability of Sale Mamman to deliver as the country’s Minister of Power, following a number of steps he has taken wrongly within the little time he has been in office.
When President Muhammadu Buhari got into office as President for the first time in 2015, he promised to give Nigerians the best and work with the best set of people that would join him to move Nigeria forward.
This, he did with the appointment of people with the ability and capability to make changes and one of the stars of his government then was a former governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was given three portfolios of Power, Works and Housing.
However, after emerging victorious in the 2019 General Elections, President Muhammadu Buhari felt he needed to make some changes and rejuvenate his government for better performances.
Indeed, it was believed that the tenure of Mr. Fashola led to some progress in the power sector, but it appeared Buhari decided to relieve him of some workload and limit him to the Ministry of Works and Housing.
With this, a new person was appointed as the Minister of Power in person of Engineer Sale Mamman.
Many Nigerians had expected that being an engineer, Sale Mamman would move the ministry further and bring a relief to Nigerians, who had clamoured for increase in power supply so that the country could catch up with the rest of the world in the area of electricity generation.
But events have since revealed that Sale Mamman might not be the “messiah” the country needed to move the power sector forward with what he had been doing since he got into office few months back.
Sources revealed that if urgent and critical measures were not taken by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari the power sector might be in for the worse under Mamman.
He has since been seen as the weakest link in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari with several policy summersaults which only shows that his thought process for the ministry lacks depth and intelligence.
Sources stated that Sale Mamman is expected to be a technocrat in the government of Buhari and give informed pieces of advice “rather than being a clog in the wheel of progress of the government.”
Engr. Mamman’s profile is not even intimidating. Mamman was born on January 2, 1958 and holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Electrical Electronics from Kaduna Polytechnic in Kaduna State in 1988 and an MBA from Bayero University, Kano in 2015.
He started work as a teacher in Technical School Mubi, Adamawa State in 1981 and transferred his service to the newly created Taraba state in 1992.
He rose to the rank of Assistant Director in the ministry of works in the state before retiring in 2002.
He later became a full time businessman and politician.
Events in the Power Ministry indicated that Sale Mamman personalized critical decisions within the Power Ministry and its Agencies, “even to the detriment of the collective good of Nigerians, whose bidding he swore to do.”
It will be recalled that Sale Mamman indefinitely suspended the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Damilola Ogunbiyi recently, but this was reversed by President Muhammadu Buhari, and this further lent credence to “his high level high handedness.”
Damilola Ogunbiyi, from her time as Senior Special Adviser on Public Private Partnership (PPP) to the Lagos State Governor and then as General Manager of Lagos State Electricity Board to being appointed to oversee the REA, had displayed competence in her chosen career path in the energy sector, which gave rise to her appointment as Chief Executive of the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All.
Ogunbiyi’s “suspension”, which came months after she tendered her resignation to enable her proceed to her new role at the United Nations, was greeted with widespread condemnation even within the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) as staffs berated the Minister for “hating women”.
Nigeria’s loss then became the gain of the the UN.
On the same day, in what was called “reorganization/sanitation in the Federal Ministry of Power”, Sale Mamman, through his spokesperson, Aaron Artimas, in a release had asked the Managing Director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), Marilyn Amobi to “step down and hand over to the most senior Director of the Organisation”.
But President Muhammadu Buhari later reversed the dismissal of Marilyn Amobi as the MD of (NBET).
The directive was contained in a memo issued by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
The agency was also moved from the Ministry of Power to the Ministry of Finance.
In December 2019, Sale Mamman asked Amobi to step down with immediate effect in order to “restore sanity” in the management of the agency.
The minister also directed the constitution of a 5-man investigative committee to look into the allegations against the MD.
Nnaemeka Ewelukwa, a general manager of the agency, immediately assumed office as the acting managing director of NBET.
Ewelukwa has been asked to step aside for Amobi to resume her former position.
It would be recalled that few weeks ago, the National Union of Electricity Employees embarked on strike to protest what was alleged as failure of the Minister of Power to implement their demands on the privatization of the Power Sector.
In a memo dated November 7 2019, and sent to the Minister, NUEE had threatened to declare a nationwide strike if its demands were not met. It was in fact, stated in the memo that previous letters to the Minister since his assumption of duty as Power Minister had gone unacknowledged.
How would a Minister of Power show apathy for its workers and their plights?
“But for the swift intervention of some senior staff in the Ministry, who had first met with the Electricity Workers’ Union weeks before they embarked on the industrial action that plunged the country into darkness for nearly 24 hours, the situation would have further gone unattended and the nation plunged into perpetual darkness. Nigeria has never had it that perilous,” said a source.
It will be recalled that the tension that Mamman’s decisions of easing out the MDs of REA and NBET was yet to abate, when he appointed two of his kinsmen as Directors into the REA.
Sale Mamman had given specific directives that the Directors be in charge of Procurement and Funds within the REA.
The Directors are Dr. Lawal Ibrahim (Funds) and Mr. Bulus Maiyaki (Procurement). While Maiyaki was internally redeployed, Ibrahim was purportedly shipped in from outside.
In a memo dated December 27, 2019, Sale unilaterally made the postings.
The manner of the appointments called for concern.
The Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) had asked Mr Saleh Mamman, to withdraw the appointment he made in the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
HURIWA National Coordinator,Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko in a statement he made in Abuja disclosed that the group had written the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to clarify the status of one of the new appointees in the Procurement Unit.
Onwubiko alleged that the appointments made in REA were lopsided.
The statement reads in part: “HURIWA does not want or intend to dabble into the internal politics that motivated the Honourable minister of Power into making those appointments.
“But we are basically writing to protest the lopsidedness observable in this action and the breach of the ethical codes as clearly stated out by the appointing authority through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as emphasized by a memorandum of modus operandi authored by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.”
A source wondered why Mamman had been embarrassing the government of President Buhari “as if he is the only minister in the cabinet.”
It is believed that Sale Mamman is incapable of taking the country out of the woods in the power sector and that rather than settling down to proffer solutions to the numerous problems facing the sector, “he is busy chasing shadows and dealing with perceived enemies.”
Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.
The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.
In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.
“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.
A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.
PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.
According to a source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige; a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.
A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.
The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.
“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.
“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”
On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”
On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”
But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.
Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.
He said, “Those who came are men of honour and kabiyesi did not say he did not want to see them. He did not say he would not see them because they are critical of President Buhari or they are former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men. Obasanjo himself is a friend of Kabiyesi, so you can see that what you were told was not what happened.
“Kabiyesi said he could not see them because they did not give him prior notice that they were coming. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see them again. They can notify him and he will give them an appointment. You cannot just come and say you want to see him, there are protocols to follow and due process is always adhered to at Alaafin’s Palace.
“There was no rancour, no ill-feeling even when they were going; I was there and I saw them off to their vehicles. If anybody told you that kabiyesi said he didn’t want to see them because they are critical of government or they are Obasanjo’s men, that is a lie.”
NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital
Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.
Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.
“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”
“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.
“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.
“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”
Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.
“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.
He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.
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