By Idowu Sowunmi
The real reasons President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sack of Usman Gur Mohammed as the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, through the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, have been uncovered.
Mohammed, according to various sources at the TCN office, was removed because of his alleged high-handedness and his inglorious role in the termination of the appointment of a labour leader, Chris Okonkwo, who was TCN General Manager, Special Duties.
It would be recalled that Okonkwo was sacked on April 24, 2020 and this generated negative reactions from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), saying the labour leader was sacked by Mohammed without due process.
TUC immediately wrote to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, describing the sack of Okonkwo who is also the incumbent SSAEAC President General as an exercise in futility because it’s only the Minister of Power that could exercise such authority in the extant laws.
“The crisis in Transmission Company of Nigeria has been severally reported to your office, despite your intervention which is ongoing, the Managing Director of the company has issued a sack letter.
“This is an exercise in futility because it is beyond the power of the Managing Director; only the minister can exercise such power in the extant laws.
“It is also an attempt to dare labour and an embarrassment to labour community for sacking a sitting president when a matter is already before an arbiter and has not been concluded.
“This is a declaration of war and we are prepared for him; as law abiding citizens, we have brought the matter for urgent intervention,” TUC wrote in a letter of protest to Ngige.
The festering development led to the presidential approval for the dismissal of Mohammed on Tuesday.
Mamman, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Aaron Artimas, titled: “Reorganisation/New Appointments at the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN” announced Mohammed’s sack and appointed Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz as TCN Managing Director in acting capacity.
“As part of continuing measures to reposition and improve the performance of the power sector in the country, the Honourable Minister of Power Engr. Sale Mamman, hereby announces major changes at the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
“Accordingly, the Managing Director of the TCN, Usman Gur Mohammed, has been removed from office with immediate effect. He is being replaced with Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, as Managing Director, in acting capacity.
“The Honorable Minister has also confirmed the appointment of four directors who have been on acting position in the company for some time.
“They are; Engr. Victor G. Adewumi, Executive Director, Transmission Services Provider; Engr. M. J. Lawal, Executive Director, Independent Systems Operator; Ahmed Isa-Dutse, Executive Director, Finance and Accounts and Justin I. Dodo, Executive Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services.
“All the changes/appointments have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari,” the statement said.