The administration of National Theatre has threatened the Chairman of Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers’ Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), National Theatre chapter, Comrade Augustine Agada with dismissal for sharing his ideas on the alleged sale of property of the parastatal by the Prof Sunny Ododo-led administration workforce.
Agada had in an interview with an internet publication denied the involvement of the administration in any shady offers, noting that the administration sought the approval of the board earlier than contracting an auctioneer.
He defined that the Ododo-led administration workforce solely offered out of date objects and that employees members have been carried.
He mentioned, “I was away in Calabar during the sales but members of staff were carried along before an auctioneer was brought in for the clearance sales.
“Beyond this, the National Theatre is a rumour mill that when someone says good morning, you should try and confirm before responding.
“We had a meeting with the General Manager on the condition of service for staff and the issue of the reports that alleged sale of property was raised. The GM asked if I was aware of it and I said no. He thereafter asked me to debunk it. We are not happy about the report because it was done without our consent. It has created a lot of discord and distrust among staff.”
In what the administration described as unsatisfactory conduct, in a letter dated June 30, 2021, and addressed to Comrade Augustine Agada, titled ‘Preliminary Letter’, the administration queried the union chairman and threatened to dismiss him for granting a press interview with out authorisation from the administration.
The letter, which was signed by the Director, Human Resources Department of the parastatal, Agbo A. Ita, learn partly, “That without authorisation, you (Agada) granted a press interview to an online publication on the ‘Alleged sales of government property’ by the National Theatre management.
“That you further claimed that when the news about the sale of the National Theatre property went public, the General Manager invited you to find out what you know about the alleged sales of the items and he further asked you to debunk the allegation.
“That you impugned the character and integrity of the General Manager/CEO, Prof Sunny Ododo when you alluded that he could have given bribe to your sister union, AUPCRE (Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service, Technical and Recreation Services Employees), National Theatre branch, but not to RATTAWU, in order to kill the truth.
“The above actions of yours constituted serious misconduct punishable under Public Service Rule (PSR) 030402 (f) and PSR 030421 9c and d), for which disciplinary action, which may include dismissal could be taken against you.”
Reacting to the question, a member of employees who spoke on situation of anonymity, disclosed that the parastatal is underneath the siege of the administration and that union leaders are now not free to air their views on points that have an effect on employees.
The General Manager, Ododo, and his administration workforce, in keeping with the supply, are fast to sponsor rebuttal in an internet newspaper describing the mentioned publication as false and malicious whereas the information are obvious for everybody to see.
The supply mentioned, “The two unions: RATTAWU and AUPCTRE-The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees have become toothless and ineffective under this management.
“They have been forced to compromise. Prof Ododo issued a query to our chairman, Agada for granting a press interview and also gave the union leaders N5 million to debunk the publications in so many mediums.
“Things are going wrong at the National Theatre which we urgently need the Minister of Information and Culture (Lai Mohammed) to look into.
“There was a brand new transformer that was bought in 2019 for N14, 000, 000.00 but he sold it for N8,000, 000.00 and paid in N1.5 million into the Treasury Single Account. Let the GM refute this, the facts are there for everybody to see.
“Even during the last Sallah, when so many staff members were complaining of not getting anything, the GM bought bags of rice for N6 million to pacify, took pictures with them, and posted them on Facebook.
“The company he leased the portion of land within the premises to gave him three rams for the Sallah which he transported to Ilorin (the Kwawa State capital), saying he was going to deliver them to the Minister of Information and Culture but we know the Minister as a man of integrity and conscience which is why we are appealing to him to intervene and save the historic edifice from going into extinction. We want the Minister to investigate all these claims and act on the truth of the matter.
“It is not enough for the foot soldiers of the management to describe our publication as one-sided and that it does not represent the interest and opinion of the staffers of the National Theatre. Rather they should investigate all the allegations and address all the issues raised.”
Meanwhile, there have been stories about how regardless of the warning by the Nigerian authorities that any portion of the nationwide heritage within the nation shouldn’t be ceded out to any particular person or group, the administration of the National Theatre reportedly leased out a portion of land throughout the premises to a non-public enterprise proprietor.
For occasion, a report by Legit NG mentioned in contravention of the minister’s (Mohammed’s) directive, the administration of the National Theatre led by Ododo, as contained in a Memorandum of Understanding dated January 15, 2021, conceded 8,004 sq. metres of land on lease to Adewaxs Global Ventures for 3 years.
A employees member of the parastatal, who spoke on situation of anonymity, mentioned there’s hardly any week the administration wouldn’t transfer a truckload of useful objects and home equipment out of the premises.
The objects allegedly offered by the administration, in keeping with the supply, included newly put in 1500kva transformer, galvanised Air Handling Units (AHU) ducts of greater than 97 models, 11 air condensing models, 800 tons centrifugal chillers, 20 tons truck of armored cables, a truckload of galvanised pipes, accidented Prado Jeep, 2,000 black imported plastic chairs and 400 black imported tables.
But reacting to the allegations of leasing National Theatre house and promoting properties to firms and others, Ododo in a latest interview mentioned his mandate is to run the nationwide theatre as a enterprise enterprise.
He mentioned: “I don’t know the place the allegation of gross sales of property is coming from. When the facelift was to start, we got two weeks to maneuver our property out of the principle bowl. And within the strategy of doing, sudden might occur.”