The piece, Who Is Afraid of Gwandu?, by one Abba Gumel, published in Leadership Newspaper of April 29, 2014, appears to be a heightened orchestration of the campaign to force down Dr. Bashir Gwandu down the throat of all lovers of telecommunications development in Nigeria. This well-articulated propaganda, and many other articles designed to clean up the controversial erstwhile commissioner at the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and portray him as a saint, a self acclaimed whistleblower and martyr in the minds of incoming President-Elect, General Mohammed Buhari, has been showing up in the social media since the conclusion of the Presidential elections. But it will not work because it lacks merit in morals, decency and even the statues. It is like asking to compensate somebody for doing all the wrong things! The records of Dr Bashir Gwandu are there to be investigated, he can pretend for a short while and get what he wants then turn against whoever assisted him on his way up, he has perfected the act of deceit.
What the author probably missed, or perhaps will give another push is the story in the social media where some group of people have been mobilized to be sending text messages urging the President Elect, General Buhari, to appoint Gwandu, from Kebbi State as Minister of Communication Technology, or any other appointment in the civil service. The story version of this campaign featured pictures of General Buhari and Gwandu standing same side while receiving former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke. This was ostensibly to show that he has now become a personal aide of the President Elect and deserving of promotion with an appointment.
There is nothing wrong with a public servant dismissed from service for gross misconduct and insubordination applying for national pardon by a new President. This makes sense after the new President has assumed office. Time would then avail him with details of the case to weigh its merits or demerits. For propagandists like Abba Gumel to engage in social and Conventional media war to decree Gwandu’s reinstatement, and command his promotion to higher political office of the Minister of Communication Technology, or even a School Principal, because he is from a particular section of the country, is to say the least, carrying the joke too far.
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But before Gumel and his ilk pulls the wool over the eyes of the incoming administration, and some of us that have watched the industry over the years, we must revisit the issues surrounding the dismissal of his special and only client, Dr. Bahir Gwandu, for which he is doing a poor job of crying more than the bereaved.
Having admitted that he is a close friend of Gwandu for many years, Gumel must be more honourable by admitting guilt of bias and subjective reasoning, and therefore must keep quiet. His conferment sainthood on Dr. Gwandu, and his superlative description of his antecedents, falls short of credibility, given the circumstances of their relationship.
Gumel appears to be one of modern day media character assassins. He assassinates all characters that have to do with his principal, But he accommodated the full length of the Dr. Gwandu curriculum vitae, in one article, just to prove the point of his loyalty. He obviously forgot that a powerful panel had once taken a look at his credentials and found it not to be as garnished as presented..
It is fashionable for propagandists in Nigeria to concoct stories, paint scenarios and cast any government official in the worst of languages. After all, the freedom of the press enjoyed by freelance writers like Gumel, becomes larger than life when they attack government officials who are usually not in the mood to join issue with all types of comments in the newspapers.
So, who is really afraid of Gwandu? If all those who make comments in the media or social media are paid to write, then, this author Gumel ought to disclose how much he has collected to embark on this unabashed propaganda, on behalf of his friend since 2012.
Reading the content of Gumel’s submission, he comes across like a mask, covering the real author of the article. The arguments appear too selfish to have been presented by him. Otherwise, some of his prescriptions are too outlandish. For instance, he ought to know that Gwandu has already served a total of seven (7) years out of the statutory ten years before he was dismissed. By the provision of the law, he can no longer be appointed as a commissioner in NCC even if our President elect decides to pardon him, just for the purpose of serving out a tenure that had lapsed by consequence of his dismissal. More so, another Commissioner from his zone has been appointed to replace him.
His daydream of being appointed the Minister of Communications Technology after dismissal from same ministry is a pipe dream, after his service have been severely dented. Besides, a court of competent jurisdiction has ruled out his reinstatement in the NCC and the Ministry and nobody would expect the incoming President, Mohammed Buhari, respected for his very high moral integrity will to travel same road of infamy, which Gumel and his co-travelers would wish, no matter how they drop his name as their closest friend and confidant.
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It is pitiful that for reasons of his friendship with Gwandu, this author, has for a long time, continued on this part of historical and intellectual dishonesty as he has deliberately, and consistently, told lies about the facts surrounding the frequency spectrum allocations, as was claimed by his principal. He had consistently exploited a lie, christened, whistleblowing, designed to hoodwink the government in power, to hide the fact that the dismissal of his friend are for reasons unrelated to spectrum issues. He needs to be told that Gwandu was dismissed for gross misconduct, sabotaging the decisions of the Commission, gross indiscipline, disobedience of laid down procedures in government, refusal to work under constituted authorities, issuance of counter directives to those handed down by board of the Commission and abetting disobedience to regulatory directives by the industry, all of which he was found to be culpable when he faced a disciplinary committee.
The official government’s position as contained in his letter of dismissal as issued by the office of the Secretary to the Federal government corroborated the fact that his dismissal was recommended by a disciplinary committee which he faced and made oral and written defense but was found guilty of all allegations made against him. How can Gumel, if he is not just a mask, recommend that a public servant that was indicted by a disciplinary committee, on more than 20 counts, would be given a position in a decent government? Definitely, this would not be expected from the incoming administration, going by its perceived pedigree.
The history of Gwandu’s non-conformism and disagreement with all the members of the board of Commissioner of the NCC that he had worked with in the past seven (7) years is not hidden in the telecom industry. He served with the revered Ahmed Joda for five years, during which the old man who actually employed him for the job, saw hell. Stories were told of how Gwandu shouts at Alhaji Joda during board meetings of NCC, and did not spare Dr. Ernest Ndukwe who was the EVC of the NCC at the time. Gwandu swore not to take any directives from the EVC of NCC. All the board commissioner of the NCC, who sat with Gwandu in the past seven (7) years, including Chief Patrick Kentebe, Alhaji Zimit, Chief Olawale Ige, Alhaji Hamisu Yusuf, Alhaji Mohammed Bintube, Chief Bayo Atoyebi, Senator-elect, Chief Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, Dr. Mike Onyia, Mr. Dominic Nwator, even the past permanent secretary of Ministry of Communications Technology Dr Daudu are alive to testify to the character of the man that Gumel had chosen to present in diamond colours! His case is no less than treasonable felony but commentators like Gumel can hide under his pen to make inglorious pronouncements. Records and minutes of Board Meetings are very available.
Nobody is afraid of Gwandu. Instead, Gumel is afraid of the truth. If Gumel is really a friend of Gwandu as claimed, then, he is not unaware that a Presidential panel set up to probe the allegations of fraudulent frequency sale, found them to be blatant concocted lies by Bashir Gwandu hoping that the EVC of NCC would be removed and he replaces him like he has been trying from the days of Ernest Ndukwe, and that the figures being bandied in the media as funds lost by Nigeria, is simply a figment of the imagination of the authors.
Gumel need not bore his readers with the story that Gwandu works very closely with the former Chairman of NCC, Alhaji Joda, on APC activities, ostensibly to push his campaign to the transition committee recently inaugurated by the President Elect, and led by the elder statesman. Joda is in a good position to tell the story of the NCC himself, having led the organization as chairman for ten years. Gumel should not be afraid to advise his friend to find a hiding place.
Gwandu would even go as far as framing the President Elect to get his job if the opportunity arises, he is very well blessed with first impression character of a charismatic genius.
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