It is no longer news that the mantra of change of President Muhammadu Buhari, that slowly but steady sweeping the mess of Poeples Democratic Party (PDP)in last Sixteen years. With the sacking of NNPC GMD and the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC and immediate replacements with competent professionals in those fields, it became imperative for Mr. President to continue in this direction by beaming his search lights to other Ministries and Departmental Agencies (MDA’s). One of such MDA’s is Voice of Nigeria (VON). As a Professional broadcasts organization, VON, is saddled with responsibilities of projecting the image of the country and African perspectives to the outside world. Sadly, this vision which was first actualized in 1962 as a department under the then National Radio Corporation (NBC) by Late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and later autonomous agency in 1991 by general Babangida Administration was eroded by the appointment of the current Director General of VON Mr. Sampson O. Worlu.
Shortly, after, the expiration of the tenure of Abubakar Jijiwa in February 2015, the Jonatahan administration waste no time in appointing a new helmsman for VON in person of Mr. Sampson O Worlu a retired spy officer (NIA) through the powerful first Lady, Patience Jonathan. As a fellow kinsman of Mrs Jonathan, Mr Worlu held from Rivers State in violation of Edict of VON for the appointment of Director General which stated clearly that “The Director General shall be a person with wide knowledge and experience in broadcasting” . The two recognized National industrial / Professional Unoins notably, Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) and Radio, Television, Theartre And Arts Workers Union OF Nigeria (RATTAWU), wrote a protest letter NUJ/SH/1/3/15 dated April 2, 2015 to the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, urging him to reverse the appointment of Mr. Worlu and described his appointment as an aberration. Mr. Jonathan at that time ignored their calls.
At the moment, Mr. Worlu, has succeeded in an unprofessional way reduced the 20 hours of broadcasts in eight Languages both International and local languages to 12 hours without a cogent reasons. Secondly, most senior Directors are sidelined in virtually all operational decisions of the Corporation with the exception of one Director that was elevated in the last hours of Jonathan administration to the post of Executive Director News (EDN). The DG and the EDN decides in whatever way the general operations of Voice of Nigeria (VON). While any Director that is considered as “unfriendly” is threatened as in the case of Muhammad Danjuma Usman (Executive Director, Information Technology), that was thrown out of VON on the 2nd May 2015, while his tenure of eight years and entry date as a director was 8th of August 1997, Instead of allowing the Executive Director to bow out of the Corporation on the 8th of August 2015. This is a gross violation of public Service Rules and circulars in respect of tenure of directors and entry dates of civil servants.
While VON and other MDA’s that are not revenue generating agencies are the mercy of Federal Ministry of Finance for monthly payments of operational costs (overhead), Voice of Nigeria under Mr. Worlu is at stand still and funds meant for the Corporation are spend without due diligence of financial regulations. A typical example of these violations of Procurements and financial regulations was the purchase of a Brand new SUV car (TOYOTA PRADO) with Chasis No: JTEJU9FJ305044690 model 2013 for the comfort of Mr. Worlu.
There were various discrepancies on the purchase of the vehicle for Mr. Worlu. At first instance the funds used for the purchase of the vehicle was a grant given to VON for the 2015 general elections to the tune of Fifteen Million Naira (N15, 000,000.00). While other organizations such as NTA and FRCN make good use of their election grants to purchase tools of trade for reporters and paid for their allowances for effective coverage of last general elections, Mr. Worlu instructed the Director Finance to manufacture a Precurement Tenders Board (PTB),that the DG need a vehicle to travel and monitored elections. The PRADO JEEP was purchased through A.I.B MOTORS NIG LTD Kubwa express way with Invoice No: 5167 at a gross amount N17,850,000.00 but amount Paid stated as N12,500,000.00.But on the receipt No: 5551 only N12,500,000.00 was stated and balance to be paid later. Therefore, it is in our opinion that, the purchase of the vehicle is done criminally and in violation Procurement act and financial regulations.
With all relevant documents attached, we are calling on the President as a matter of urgency to as a matter of urgency to salvage Voice of Nigeria (VON) from the hands of monsters by relieving without delay, Mr. Sampson O. Worlu from the position of Director General Voice of Nigeria and appoint a Professional person that will go in line with the vision and mission of the Corporation.