By Godwin Oritse
THE management ofÂ Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has sacked twenty-two workers in the agency who the management claimed were employed without following due process, an action that is at variance with rule of law policy of the PresidentÂ Umoru Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s administration.The Board it was learnt at its meeting of 29th July 2009 reviewed the recruitment exercise of the concerned staffers which did not follow laid down procedures and consequently cancelled the recruitment exercise ofÂ the 22 officers.
In a statement signed by NIMASA’s Deputy DirectorÂ Public Relation, Hajia Lami Tumaka saidÂ “The Board wishes to state categorically that there are no plans for dismissal of legitimately employed staff of NIMASA”.
SheÂ explained that it retainedÂ the services of the three employees who transferred their services from Nigerian Ports Authority to the Agency.
TumakaÂ however appealed to the newsmen to always cross check their facts before publishing, adding some reports could have very damaging and negative effect on the system.
The agencyâ€™s action has also sent chill in the spine of most of the staff of the organisation who are jittery over their own fate.
This categoryÂ of workers have accused the Omatseyeâ€™s led administration of witch hunting.
Part of the statement reads â€œÂ The attention of the Board of NIMASA has been drawn to recent report regarding the recruitment of personnel in the weeks immediately preceding the exit of the past Director General â€“ Dr. Ade Dosunmu.
â€œThe Board wishes to state categorically that there are no plans for dismissal of legitimately employed staff of NIMASA.
â€œThe Board in its meeting of 29th July 2009 reviewed the recruitment exercise of certain individuals which did not follow laid down procedures and consequently cancelled that recruitment exercise.Â About 22 persons only were affected in this exercise.
â€œThe Board also resolved to retain the services of the three employees who transferred their services from Nigerian Ports Authority to the Agency.
â€œWe would like to implore the distinguished members of Maritime Press Community to validate facts and information of this nature before publishing themâ€.
As at the time of this report, sack letters were being distributed to the affected workers who were seen wearing mournful look.
Meanwhile, the agencyâ€™s action has sent fear into other categories of workers just as the development is beginning to create rancor in the system.
Some workers who spoke to Vanguard on the condition of anonymity expressed shock at the action of the management, saying that it was against the seven pont agenda of Preseident Umoru Yarâ€™Adua
A bewildered NIMASA official, who also sought anonymity, asked rhetorically:Â â€œI really donâ€™t know why they want to sack all these young people at this time?Â Is it that these people are not Nigerians or is it that they were not properly employed or is it mere vindictiveness?â€
Those affected in the purge include children of bigwigs such as the Chief of Naval Staff, a serving permanent secretary, two children of a former Head of Service.