Protesting staff disrupt Labaran Maku’s handover, accuse him of embezzling funds

The handing over ceremony by the former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, was on Monday disrupted by angry staff who protested non-payment of their allowances.

The protesters also accused the minister and other top officials of mismanaging SURE-P funds meant for the ministry.

The workers under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Information chapter, blocked the gates to the Radio House for hours and prevented people from entering or coming out of the building.

The infuriated staff chanted solidarity songs and carried placards with inscriptions such as: “Is SURE-P money released for the pockets of a set of people?”, “Is there no budget released for the Ministry for Information for 2014?”

Other placards read, “Enough is Enough: Management sensitivity to staff welfare is zero,” “Perm Sec. Must Go,” “Non Payment of Repatriation allowance.”

Speaking to journalists, the Chairman of the association, Adam Ogwola, said the ministry’s management has been insensitive to staff welfare.

Mr. Ogwola pointed out that staff of the ministry have not been paid their repatriation allowance, noting that with Mr. Maku’s resignation, it might not be possible to recover the funds.

The association also accused Mr. Maku of sharing a part of the SURE-P funds with top management of the ministry without recourse to staff.

Continuing, Mr. Ogwola said staff welfare had been at the lowest ebb since Mr. Maku became minister, adding that under him, the ministry could not pay statutory allowances to staff.

He questioned the budget released for the ministry under the 2014 budget and called for the immediate removal of the Permanent Secretary, Folasade Yemi-Esan.

Shortly after the protest, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the former minister said he was willing to meet with 10 representatives each from Radio Nigeria, Voice of Nigeria, VON, Ministry of Information and the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, over dinner to resolve the issues at stake.

Mr. Maku’s spokesperson, Joseph Mutuah, told PREMIUM TIMES, “There is a dialogue and everything is being resolved.”

The former minister had last Wednesday resigned his appointment to pursue his governorship ambition in Nasarawa State.

Other ministers who resigned included, Samuel Ortom of the Ministry of Trade and Investment; Nyesom Wike of the Ministry of Education and Musiliu Obanikoro of the Ministry of Defence.

The Ministers of Labour, Emeka Wogu; Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu and Minister of State for Niger Delta, Dairus Ishaku, also left their posts to run for elective offices.


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  • amazing2012

    Though not supporting corruption, my problem is that why is when someone resign in Nigeria that protest and all his/ her deed will be expose ? Why not when they are still in power ? Why the staff can not release such information to anti corruption groups/ press to seek for their right ? Cowards !!

    • Johnson Omale

      Those going for dinner should be careful not to sell out their union members. He was busy stealing since his boss said stealing is never a corruption in Nigeria. It was good Maku was disgraced and I hope Nasarawa electorates are watching. They should reject the thief.who is planning to be governor next year in order to loot the state.

  • bib

    Association of senior civil servants allow Muck to use his loot to fight for the Nasarawa would be(God forbid) misGovt house. Biko.

  • Maria

    I knew that mad man is a thief.

  • tundemash

    Don’t these workers know that stealing is not corruption according to the gospel of St. Dumbo ?

  • Dankasa

    Maku, hope is not APC that charmed you to embezzled their money while in office, where do you intend to take these money to? Sambisa as usual or plan another failed bomb attack in Radio House? You think people don’t know? More truth are coming out Maku, Hague is real and you will surely answer questions there soonest.

  • Christ the redemer

    what a silly blackmail, to a responsible and God fearing minister of the federal republic of Nigeria. so sad that it is been masterminded by the APC,

    • Moses Musa

      What is God fearing being attributed to a serial liar?

    • Isaac Azor

      Blasphemy of the highest order. Won’t u just have respect for the supreme name?

    • Naija man

      Is this Reno or Omokri or one of his hirelings trolling the internet? Go and play with water and sand, osiso!

  • Paul

    This is happening in all the Federal Ministries, STEAL AND SHARE WITH MANAGEMENT. STEALING AWAY THE LIVES AND FUTURE OF NIGERIANS. THIS IS THE MOST CORRUPT ADMINISTRATION I HAVE EVER WITNESSED.

  • Sanusi A Yaradua

    Barawo!

  • Guguru

    It is not hard to see how easily aggrieved Nigerians can easily turn to terrorism to address their grievances. These people cannot continue to steal like this and think there will be no consequences.

  • @Amuwospeaks

    Is that another branch of the APC? This guy’s are thieves and they are harboured by the government.. is this what we want to continue in 2015? We say a big NO to that! We are ready to take charge of Nigeria.. APC….

  • Dan Fulani

    What is wrong with this PDP?
    Killings.
    Stealings.
    Kidnappings.
    Unlawful detentions
    Ihejirike.
    CAN president.
    BOKO HARAM.
    etc etc.

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  • Ette

    See the thieves walking naked in the public. The chief of the thieves has said stealing is not corruption, so stealing had become the order of the day. All of them are misfits for new Nigeria coming next year.

  • Omar

    This is d same man dt resign 4 governorship of Nasarawa state. Wat can he call ds enemies at work ? Pls check yrslf it has nothing to do with Nasarawa pple ds is federal ministry of informinformation where u find all Nigerians. As 4 Nasarawa pple u take note of whom is coming to govern u. It really a bad exit

    • Jeff Arobam

      What has his governorship ambition got to do with this? This story didn’t not in any way indict Maku for any corruption. It only reported that staff allowances are being owed and we all know staff allowances and salaries generally come from the Ministry of Finance and CBN.
      For me, this story was couched in such a way to discredit the outgoing Minister who is pursuing a governorship ambition in Nassarawa State.

      • Omar

        Usman2 still practice politics of religion & ethnicity wat Eva u may say d blackmail will nt chchange anytin u knw wat cos if u read watz happening all comments urban alone so it’ll nt holds water. I’m nt a northerner bt 2b fair 2 dem I c best of behaviors in them cos in every set of pple tthere are d God d bad & d ugly including urban pple & mine

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  • Frank Maduale

    Civil servants will not fail to amuse me. What do they mean by repatriation allowances? And what has SURE P funds got to do with staff welfare in Federal Ministry of Information?
    I support Maku in this one. You don’t pay staff welfare & repatriation allowances from SURE P funds. It is meant for capital projects and sensitization of citizens on the activities of SURE P. The protesters deserve to be queried for making such illegal demands.

    • Scalywag

      Does it occur to you that civil servants are the ones used in the perpetration of sharp practices that have stymied the devlopment of Nigeria? Are you aware that if they refuse to cooperate, politicians can not loot this country? They are the ones who prepare payment vouchers and mandates. Surely all the records are in their posession, including records of beneficiaries of official scams. Only one disgrunled official can derail the gravy train

  • Akin Bamidele

    This is a poorly veiled attempt to rubbish the achievements and wholesome record that Labaran Maku left behind in the federal ministry of information. The questions an objective mind will ask are these,

    1) why would the protest hold after the Minister had already handed over and was about leaving the premises? He announced his plans to resign since 12th October 2014 and yet they didn’t come up with this protest till he left.

    2) it is absurd for civil servants to allege that the Minister didn’t consult them before sharing part of SURE P funds. I don’t think it is proper for a Minister to be consulting civil service unions before dispensing cash or performing any duty assigned by SURE P to the Ministry (if any). He only needs to consult senior management staff which the union leader admitted Maku did.

    3) it is also improper for the union leader to reject or question Budget approved for federal ministry of information for 2014. It is solely the exclusive preserve of the National Assembly. They have the right to decide what to approve for the ministry. The minister has no powers to change it. So why should they protest against Maku on that score?

    4)The allegations of embezzlement are lame and laughable without any figures of money involved. It is very ambiguous to say the least.

  • MushinSpeaks

    Hmmnnnn…this is the same man that wants to govern Nasarawa State; a man who could not professionally handle a Ministry; tell me why our dear people of Nasarawa should give him their votes.

    Maku, has always been controversial and he is someone that will lick ass to get what he wants. He announced Nigeria has Ebola Vaccine in May and thank God we were able to chase the virus. He has been distorting facts to suit his paymasters and show loyalty.

    Maku was among the cablas behind the removal of Al-makura just to annouce to his emperor in Abuja that he is in charge of the state. Thank God the great people of Nasarawa resisted and stood with their governor.

    A maku will cause more harm in Nasarawa.

    Al-makura is loved and with the ongoing implementation of the APC road map in the state, we can only be hopeful of a government and administration committed to delivering quality and effective leadership.

  • Scalywag

    All the people who claimed to be student activists in ther university days turned out to prove that their activism was aimed at projecting themselves for private gains. Mr. Maku has been at the forefront of instigating lawmakers to impeach the transformation governor of his state based on phantom and unproved allegations of financial mismanagement. The aggrieved staff of the Federal Ministry of Information should forward a petition to EFCC with relevant evidence. He may have been gathering a war chest for 2015. Stop him before its late.