By Elias Nwanesie (Media practitioner )
Contrary to the drums of war meant to incite and misinform the general public with continued baseless lies about the outcome of last year’s lawful election that saw the emergence of Comrade Bolum Martin Nwachukwu as the substantive Chairman of the Delta State Branch of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, from all indications, the new exco has hit the ground running with several programmes outlined to strengthen the Association in Delta State.
Some of the programmes include, strengthening the internal governance and leadership and maintenance of good working relationships among members; to foster innovation in effective management of the Association; to institutionalize effective mechanisms to promulgate public service values, and to institute every Senior Civil Servant as premium lever of change.
Comrade Bolum led-exco which has since been sworn into office by the National president of ASCSN Dr. Tommy Okon is equally focused to deliver a flagship leadership programme for senior public service leaders each year; create a digital platform to enable a thriving network of peer-learning and support for public sector leaders; and to create platform in support of helping senior public service leaders develop the skills, knowledge and networks required to address society’s most complex strategic challenges.
As it turns out, there is one tiny piece of opposition camp that is poised to hold the Association by the jugular in its entirety. Judging by the current desperation to make the new exco unpopular which has snowballed into campaign of calumny, they seem to have lost their way when it comes to reason, decency and use of evidence.
Because of some of the more egregious falsehoods by the opposition, many of the Association’s most prominent personalities have continued to recount tales of confidence showcasing the Comrade Bolum’s leadership tenacity and modesty.
Is there anything left to say about the unsuitability of the opposition to foist themselves on the entire members of the association? Even the national body of the association has disowned them. The latest revelations about their sordid attitude and behaviour towards the duly elected leadership of Comrade Bolum confirm what was obvious to many from the very beginning: there are demagogues not fit for high office, or for the responsibilities that come with it.
In an attempt to misinform and mislead the public, the opposition threw to the obscurity the law that required every member to subscribe to the national body of the ASCSN through affiliated States’ Chapters and Branches. The Chapters are for those who belong to Federal Civil Service while the Branches are the States’ members who belong to States’ Civil Service. In Delta State, the Chapter Chairman is Comrade Lukeman Ehi Emiator and Comrade Bolum Martin Nwachukwu is the State Branch chairman. These two bodies in Delta State are affiliated to the National body.
All check-off dues of the union are paid to the union’s account which goes to the national body. The Accountant General of the State Government is by law, by Labor Act obliged to collect on behalf of the Union all check dues and remit to the national body. So, the checkup due they are talking about is the remittance to the National body.
Again, in its wisdom, after Comrade Bolum had emerged and inaugurated at the State Branch Chairman of ASCSN, the National exco wrote to the Delta State Government introducing him and his exco and directed he should be recognized.
In furtherance, as the Branch chairman, Comrade Bolum does not have access to the union’s check-off dues. The state secretary of the Union is an employee of the national body. His major and first assignment, apart from administrating, is to make sure that the check-off dues is collected and remitted to the national body. It is the state secretary that goes to the office the Accountant General, the state secretary who is not an elected officer of the union collects and make sure that the check-off dues is ready and paid into the national account.
Therefore, let it be noted that what the Accountant General does is for the Association of Senior Civil Servant of Nigeria not to Comrade Bolum who does not have access to union’s check-off dues.
Interestingly, when the dues get to the national body, they check the strength of each chapter and branch across the federation and release certain percentages to the States and units for administrative staff salaries and office impress. The Chapters and Branches, in turn give ten percent to the units: the units are the ministries. This has been a continuum process without any iota of problem, no hitches, no qualms.
Now, one wonders why Delta State Accountant General should be accused of misappropriation of ASCSN’s fund. That is misinformation in its entirety.
Since senior civil servants belong to the top management category with broad management expertise, the Association must not fall prey to divisiveness of the opposition of Comrade Bolum Exco in the Association’s branch.
Comrade Bolum is a quintessential administrator — and a good one at that. He has shown tremendous understanding of complex issues directly relevant to union administration, and has been engaged in unionism for positivity. Few union leaders have his degree of experience and pragmatism. He has broad professional experience in dialogue with government authorities, drafting reform and public policy projects, and direct public management and program
implementation. His fields of specialization include public sector reform, public management, institutional development, human resource management, and training programs for civil servants.
Inarguable, the opposition is “chronic and debilitating case of Bolum’s envy. Beyond subscribing to that conspiracy theory, brandishing pointless conflict ginned up by the opposition is rather outrageous attempt to terrorize the leadership of the Association.
The infuriating desperation for power by these “paid” agents purported to be speaking for themselves not the entire Association, is a distraction not just on Comrade Bolum, but it’s an attack on the national exco of the ASCSN and an attack on the universal values shared by union leaders.
The time is now to purge the opposition of power diarrhea! It’s better to spend a little time and effort to deal with this problem right now than to wait until later, when it may get worse and take longer to deal with.
Elias Nwanesie, a media practitioner writes from Delta State Nigeria