Why "Enemies" Of Echono Wants Him Removed As TETFUND Boss - Benue Tribal Group | Independent Newspaper Nigeria

2024-05-06 19:07:50

Independent Newspapers Nigeria

MAKURDI - The Aojoko K'Otukpo (Special Advisers to the paramount ruler of Otukpo kingdom in Benue State, Central Nigeria), have condemned the recent call for the removal of the Executive Secretary (ES), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Architect Sonny Echono from office.

The group argued that the call for the removal of the TETFUND boss, was because he has stepped on toes, due to new innovations brought into the Agency that has made some people "uncomfortable" with his style of leadership.

Chairman of the forum of Special Advisers, Ojoko Dave Ekwo, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Otukpo said that the style of leadership introduced by Echono, led to the sack of some contractors and reduction in the size of some departments for optimum performance among other innovations introducee, to block leakages.

The text which was signed by Ojoko Ekwo and fourteen other Ojokos, observed that since "corruption" has sought to fight Echono, the group has decided to join other Nigerians to condemn plots hatched to remove Echono from office, which is based on ethnic and other clanish sentiments.

The special advisers noted that they were not surprised at the fresh round of falsehood being orchestrated against Echono. While they stressed that "Corruption never gives up", they noted that his enemies have vowed to ensure that he is either removed from office or make his stay at TETFUND, "permanently uncomfortable."

According to Ojoko Ekwo, the predicament of Echono "started with his style of administering the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) upon resumption.

"Having spent some years as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education before retirement from civil service, he (Echono) obviously had the opportunity to understudy TETFUND.

"The present allegations against Arc Sonny Echono, which border on his awarding a job order in the absence of a Board, raises some pertinent questions: should an organisation stand still simply because there is no Board?; in the absence of a Board, is there no institutional laid down rule?; were such rules not followed?

"It was in his avowed posture to make the place a better performing organ that he stepped on the enemies that have since then been bent on making sure that he is either removed or made permanently uncomfortable in the performance of his work."

The Ojokos further explained that "Upon resumption at TETFUND, Arc Sonny Echono identified and sacked non-performing contractors; closed down or reduced the sizes of some departments for optimum performance; streamlined the administration to block financial leakages and save costs; and gave marching orders to underperforming departments. All these were aimed at fighting corruption.

"And, in the Nigerian context, corruption has been fighting back ever since. A manifestation of this was a (previous) frivolous accusations brought against Echono by an amorphous group of so-called lawyers who threatened brimstone and thunder if the Executive Secretary did not resign within a week.

"However, they ended up shamelessly retracting their virulent media vituperations after confessing that they were fed with wrong information.

"Having followed events in the Nigerian media in recent times, especially with regards to the activities of TETFUND, we join millions of Nigerians in condemning the recent and prevailing unwarranted attacks on the present leadership of TETFUND.

"It is disheartening and most worrisome that at a crucial time such as this, in the history of our dear nation, when the best of hands are needed to push Mr President's Renewed Hope Agenda, some very unpatriotic Nigerians are still cultivating ethnic sentiments for their selfish pursuits.

"The present altercation is no different. Some people who have been sour that the ES cut off their corruption laden means are fighting back. Others who feel, rightly or wrongly, intimidated by the ever rising profile of the former Permanent Secretary are also fighting back.

"And those who feel that Echono is sitting on billions which should be looted, instead of being deployed for the betterment of our Tertiary institutions as he is doing now, are seeking to remove him.

"The blockade infront of all the groups seeking Echono's head is, however, that the man has been so versed in administrative competence, procurement integrity, and innovative foresight that, while they waste long periods sleeplessly plotting against him, he is daily reaching newer heights and securing greater accolades both within and outside the country", the special advisers averred.

2024-05-06 News