By Azuka Jebose.
It is mid-June. The last time Staffers at ThisDay Newspaper, owned by Nduka Obaigbenna, received their salaries, was in January. If you followed the sad and unfortunate history of Obaigbenna’s operations of his media empire, this would not be a shock. When will this end?. Obaigbenna is a notorious deadbeat employer; serial salaries abuser. He has never paid his Staff regular salaries since he launched the newspaper and magazine publishing business, nearly forty years ago. Before Thisday, there were Midweek magazine and ThisWeek. ThisDay was founded in 1995. His pathetic style of owing staff salaries continue, rather shamelessly. His actions brought deaths to some of his editorial staff and their families…Obaigbenna doesn’t care.
About 13 years ago, he found a stooge as Managing Director of his media: Eniola Bello. Eniola, just like Nduka Obaigbenna and other senior staff use their positions to best their personal lifestyles and goodwill with every administration. They have become the untouchables of the media empire in Nigeria, inconsiderate, flagrantly and audaciously abusing Nigerian and international labor laws with regards to wage payments to employees. While their dedicated staff laments daily at their plantation farm, these crooks use their high positions and privileges to entice every administration: in return, these elected officials fall for the power of their media. Mucus in power!. Here is how Eniola has benefited from a few Governors for nearly a decade while his junior staff struggle daily to buy pure water and gala for snacks: It is alleged that Eniola has many landed properties in Abuja which were allegedly allocated to him by Governor El Rufai. Rufai was the then Federal Capital territory. This property is allegedly located in a pricy upscale Guzape district of Abuja… Another land is a near hectare of land along Airport Road, allocated to him by another FCT Minister under GEJ, the current Governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Bala Mohammed through the Geographic Information System (AGIS). AGIS processes and formalizes land ownership especially ground rents, Right of Ownership ( R of O) and Certificate of Ownership, C of O). Furthermore, una Managing Director, whose Staff have not been paid regular income is allegedly on a monthly payroll of many Governors of the nation-state Nigeria. Babanla Brown Envelop elevated; also on the pay of blue-chip, Banks and High tech companies.
Most staffers are exhausted and psychologically damaged from years of delayed salaries while the big bosses party with the rich and powerful. In a structured, organized and functional society, Nduka Obaigbenna and Eniola would be in prison and the workers would either own the media empire or court would order liquidation.
What is outrageously abnormal has become celebrated normalcy. When will this stop?. Obaigbenna has marginalized families of his staff: perhaps, he has destroyed homes and marriages because of irregular salaries, disrupted lives. Heads of households continuously wait for incomes to plan their budgets for existence. God will not forgive Obaigbenna.
Obaigbenna’s children enjoy the best privileges finance can buy, they live affluently, spoilt brats: yet the children of his workers, those almost same ages as his children, live contemptibly inadequate, survival for them is a daily challenge. Editorial staffers have died waiting for their past owed salaries. Thisday fathers have withdrawn their children from schools because they could not afford school fees due to unpaid salaries, Thisday mothers hide from their neighborhood stores because they could not settle provisions and female toiletries debts they promised store owners at end month. End month at Thisday newspapers is unending hopelessness for these staff that work under the most ridiculous conditions, to produce the daily newspaper.
My friends, Nduka Obaigbennas apologists on social media will come after me. I do not care. I do not desire any favors from him. He owes me seven months salaries since 1986 as a staff of thisWeek. I am willing and able to die for the truth. Obaigbenna needs to be thrown into Kirikiri maximum security. He has destroyed lives with his media empire while using these cheap labors to produce his exotic lifestyles with his MD and connect with the rich and powerful in our corrupt society. Obaigbenna is worse than colonial slave masters. He is a heartless master of plantation slaves who manipulates the system and its corrupt high profile officers of the system to enslave his workers.
To those defenders of Obaigbenna, think of the children of ThisDay Messengers, cleaners, low-income staffers, editorial staffers who are struggling to survive as Nduka lavish their salaries on beautiful nonsense. Most of his apologists are my friends. They will come after me. They are the same people that would go to churches and mosques, pray to God/Allah to forgive them of their trespasses. Abeg na where e dey for Bible that a man or woman should not be paid wages after his or her labor?. Go ahead and defend Nduka Obaigbenna and Eniola Bello. I am on the side of truth. It’s inhuman and wicked to owe staff their salaries, any salary. It is illegal and sinful. Obaigbenna has notoriously owed since he entered the publishing business. He has never paid regular salaries. Its almost forty years and we continue to tolerate his brazen and inhuman business ethics. I hope he doesn’t make heaven…
* HELP THISDAY STAFFERS SILENCED BY NDUKA OBAIGBENNA SPEAK BY SHARING THIS. TELL NDUKA TO PAY HIS STAFF THEIR PAST AND PRESENT SALARIES.