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Power Struggle at NIPOST: Tinubu’s appointment Leads to Dual Postmasters General

October 16, 2023

President Bola Tinubu has thrown the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) into confusion following the appointment of a new Postmaster General and the reinstatement of the suspended holder of the office almost simultaneously.

On Thursday, Mr Tinubu removed Sunday Adepoju as the Postmaster-General (PMG) of NIPOST and appointed Tola Odeyemi as his replacement.

But less than 24 hours after the announcement, NIPOST claimed in a now-deleted tweet via its X (formerly Twitter) handle that Mr Adepoju had been reinstated.

The situation has thrown NIPOST into confusion as to who heads the government agency.

Mr Adepoju, who claimed to have been reinstated, resumed office on Monday.

He left around 12 p.m. with some staff rallying round him and urging him to stay.

Staff members protest

Meanwhile, the staff of NIPOST under the National Union of Postal and Telecommunication Employees (NUPTE) have thrown their weight behind Mr Adepoju as the PMG.

They also rejected the appointment of Ms Odeyemi.

Earlier Monday morning, the staff placed placards at the gate of the headquarters of the organisation in Abuja, welcoming Mr Adepoju and rejecting Ms Odeyemi.

“Leave our PMG alone, he is working,” one of the placards read. Others read, “We don’t want Ola Odeyemi (Ms), leave Sunday Adepoju,” and “If you want development, give us Sunday Adepoju”.

Speaking, NUPTE President, Buba Nehemiah, said the protest was not directed against the president or minister but to draw attention to the plight of the agency.

He claimed Mr Adepoju, who is being removed, has brought tremendous changes to NIPOST in less than a year after his appointment.

“How many people are bringing their mail again? Nobody was patronising NIPOST. But overnight, things changed and we are recovering then you say we should go back to square one. And you want us to be quiet,” he said.

He said the union had sent a congratulatory message to the supervising Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, and requested his audience.

He said part of the items the union wanted to discuss with him was to appoint someone with adequate understanding of the organisation and its activities.

On his way out of the premises of the agency around 12 p.m., staff of the agency rallied round Mr Adepoju, urging him not to leave.

Addressing the staff and some journalists present, Mr Adepoju said there had been a directive and counter-directive on the issue.

“There’s a directive. There’s a counter-directive and there’s still a directive,” he said, without giving details.

He added, “When the minister comes and calls for me, I’ll still come, I’m still part of you. If I’m not here, there are one thousand and one that can do the job.

“Go to my records and see. I have never (been) found wanting in my life. From my primary school, my records are clean and clear.”

One staff member of the service, who didn’t want to be named, told PREMIUM TIMES that the management staff of the agency had been informed by the minister to prepare to welcome Ms Odeyemi.

He, however, said she must have gotten information that the staff members were protesting and decided to cancel her plans of resuming.

“We are protesting because this PMG has already done so much. He will just be one year old by Thursday,” the official said, while noting that Mr Adepoju had improved staff welfare during his relatively short stay in office.

“The staff are protesting because we’ve never had it this good,” he added.

The Nigerian government has been mum since the controversy began about two days ago.

Efforts to get comment from the president’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, failed.

His phone line was switched off and he has yet to respond to the text and WhatsApp messages sent to him.

 

Credit: Premium Times

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