November 23, 2017

Thugs sack NIFOR management, take over institute

Thugs sack NIFOR management, take over institute

By Godfrey Bivbere

Thugs armed with dangerous weapons last Monday invaded the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, NIFOR, Edo State, sacking the Executive Director, ED, before taking over his office.

The thugs were alleged to have been led by a former top shot of the institution.

The United Edo Indigenes Association, UEIA, in a statement made available to Vanguard, noted that after retirement, the former ED and some influential persons in the state went to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development where they got a letter  reappointing the former ED as Director/Chief Executive, a position which is not known to the Act establishing the institution.

UEIA, in a letter by Patrick Obasuye, noted that the said reappointment was made despite the fact that Dr. Charles Aisagbonhi, who is the Acting ED was the most senior after the retirement of the former ED and is expected to himself retire by November 10, 2018, is still in office.

They warned that unless the Federal Government takes urgent steps to address the problem, the situation in the institution may degenerate furth

The group frowned at the fact that the reason for pushing for Aisueni’s reappointment may not be unconnected with the belief that only indigenes from Benin speaking part of the state should hold offices of federal institution in the state.

The group also accused the National Chairman of All Progressive Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie  Oyegun and some traditional rulers in the state of backing the former NIFOR boss.

They also disclosed to Vanguard that the NIFOR management led by Dr. Charles Aisagbonhi had earlier written to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on the 13th November, 2017, warning of plans to cause anarchy in the institution.

In the letter  with reference number: ADM/429/vol.6/975 which read in part “There is a plot of anarchy hatched by Dr. N.O. Aisueni, a retired Acting Executive Director of the Nigerian Institute For Oil Palm Research, NIFOR, who retired at the mandatory age of 65 years on the 28th of September, 2017. He has been appointed in a letter referenced AGR.803/1/156 dated 9th November, 2017.

“This is misleading as it goes contrary to our schemes and conditions of service of the NIFOR which stipulates in chapter 13, subsection 4, 65 years retirement age for research academic cadre.

“The terms of engagement of retired staff stipulates that such staff must drop a grade level if their services are still needed in the system. He will therefore become an Assistant Director of research if the Honourable minister so desires to re-engage his services”, the letter stated.