The Growing Rumble in CBAAC


Eddy Odivwri

Unless there is an urgent intervention by the relevant authorities, the growing rumble in Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) may soon explode in a manner that could cause a breach of public peace.

CBAAC, a rather quiet parastatal in the Ministry of Information and Culture seems to be experiencing some upheavals. Already, the top management staff of the parastatal has unsheathed their sword against the acting Director General, Mrs Ndidi Aimienwauu whom they have accused of many “transgressions’. Perhaps, more irksome to the Directors is the fact that Mrs Aimienwauu who ought to have retired early this month is not only still in office, claiming her appointment is political, she is indeed ramming down the throat of the Directors with illegal directives and operations, all in clear breach of civil service rules. Worse still is the seeming connivance between the acting DG and the Permanent Secretary in charge of the ministry, Mrs Isu Gekpe as well as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the parastatal, Obon Abom Toni Esu. The duo has been accused by the management of conspiracy of silence in saying nothing about the expired service term of the acting DG.

The management are not only peeved that for over a year, the DG has not held any management meeting, she has indeed carried on as if she is a Sole Administrator in the parastatal as she organizes programmes and projects without carrying management staff along.

“We are merely invited to programmes through text messages 48 hours to the programmes”, they lamented in a protest letter sent to the Chairman of the governing board. Most of the programmes on which huge monies are expended do not have the “input” of the management staff, as Mrs Aimienwauu allegedly does everything unilaterally to the pain and chagrin of the staff. The over N482 million 2018 budget of the parastatal spent on frivolities of seminars, symposia, conferences, workshops and public lectures, are now being called out for investigation by anti-graft agencies, as many of them are considered phoney.

But Mrs Aimienwauu will neither deny nor confirm the accusations preferring that a “proper meeting” be fixed to discuss the issues, insisting that “at this level, I cannot be discussing such matters on the phone”.

In the same vein, the Director of Human Resources, Mr Sunday Ewan, aldo directed all enquiries on the matter to the Honourable Minister of Information, stressing that “please send the brief on this matter to the Honourable minister”. Not even the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Deaconess Isu Gekpe is disposed to discussing the matter. A female voice who said she is the PA to the PS declared that “there is no crisis at all in CBAAC, as far as I know”, and hung up abruptly.