Saifullah Muhammad worked for the Pharmaceutical Department of the Sokoto State Ministry of Health until July 22, 2019, when he was employed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and deployed to the Ports Authority. Port Harcourt.
Prior to joining the NPA, Saifullah was also negotiating a contract with the Saudi government to work with the King Abdulaziz Specialist Hospital and Research Center. But when the position became vacant at the NPA, the port’s general manager, Muhammad Bello Koko and his personal assistant, Kabiru Abubakar Daniya, persuaded him to accept the offer and work for his country rather than another country. .
“I informed them of an ongoing conversation between me and the Saudi government regarding an employment contract with the King Abdulaziz Specialist Hospital and Research Center; I even showed them some of the email messages. Despite this, they convinced me to accept the federal offer because it is a service to my country and it will be a representation of my state in the organization,” Saifullah told SaharaReporters.
He withdrew his services from the Sokoto State Ministry of Health and accepted the NPA’s offer, but two months after he took office, things turned sour. In August 2019, he received his salary but while his colleagues received their hotel allowance instead, he did not receive his.
“Upon investigation, I discovered that I was not the only person affected, but later other colleagues were paid, which prompted me to go further to find out why I had not received my hotel-village allowance.”
But Appointments and Employment Officer Mr Akintoye Kehinde told Saifullah not to worry as they were still working there. Meanwhile, in September and October, he received his salary but no one told him yet why they did not pay him his hotel allowance.
“I had to go to the NPA headquarters in Lagos to meet the General Manager of Human Resources (GMHR), YG Bukar and tell him everything. He in turn called Mr. Akintoye and inquired about my narration. He (Akintoye) pleaded guilty. He (GMHR) then ordered Akintoye to go and release all my rights and settle all the problems concerning me.
“Unfortunately when we left GMHR office to go back to Akintoye office he said to me ‘GM wants to help you so please you shouldn’t tell anyone because other people have similar problems. I also have suspicions about your NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) Exemption Certificate and will write to the NYSC Secretariat to verify.” I said no problem, you are free to do so.
But rather than write to the NYSC as he said, Akintoye started avoiding Saifullah. Whenever Saifullah contacted him, he told him not to worry and that he would always write to the NYSC. After a month, nothing happened and Saifullah still hasn’t been paid.
“And my suffering was increasing because nobody even gave me a kobo,” he said.
Saifullah had no choice but to report to the Deputy General Manager (Pharmacy), Mrs. Hadiza Sani Tahir, who called Akintoye and pressured him until he finally wrote the letter.
But rather than send the letter to the NYSC, Akintoye dropped it with a certain Mr. Tony from the accounts section, who kept it because he claimed he didn’t know what to do with it. He did, however, tell Saifullah and Miss Tahir that he had a relative in the NYSC secretariat who would help expedite the process only if Saifullah could take responsibility for everything, including transportation, which he agreed to.
Unfortunately Saifullah visited the NPA Liaison Office in Abuja for four working days but there was no trace of the letter hence he informed Miss Tahir again and she called Akintoye who then told him that the letter was still with Mr. Tony.
Although the certificate was eventually confirmed after a while and the report was sent back to headquarters, “management still refused to use it.”
He said: “They continued their harassment and intimidation. A close associate of the MD, Abdulqadir Gusau, even threatened me with imprisonment, saying “if it wasn’t because they have pity on me, they would have handed me over to the police for forgery”.
“I replied ‘if they wanted to, of course I would prefer that because a policeman is not crazy. He will record the case in court and the judge will not jump to a conclusion before the investigation They then stopped the police issue.
Saifullah did everything possible to solve his problems and make his payments, but to no avail. Whenever he contacted the MD, Koko, he would promise to speak to Kabiru Daniya, and when Kabiru Daniya was contacted, he would refer him to the MD.
“At some point Bello Koko (the doctor) started telling people that he doesn’t even want to hear my name or talk about my case and as long as he’s the NPA doctor I won’t work there never. Kabiru Daniya also made similar statements that if he is in the NPA, I will never work there.
“One day, I received a phone call from a director who said to me: ‘Frankly Saifullah, you have no administrative problem. None of your documents are defective. Your problem concerns Bello Koko and Kabiru Daniya. I will plead with them on your behalf.” He also confirmed that he did, but nothing has changed.
“The Chairman of the Association of Senior Executives of the NPA, Abubakar Abdullahi, conducted his investigations and informed me that he found no fault on my part and swore by the power of Allah that he would deal with anyone involved in the issue.Amazingly, it was brought under control.
Saifullah then contacted the new Appointments and Employment Officer, Hadiza Maiwada, as Akintoye had left the position but “she harassed me and told me that my appointment had since been terminated”.
“So I asked her for the dismissal letter because nothing like that happened verbally. But she ended the call,” he said.
Saifullah said the Rivers Port Manager and the Chief Medical Officer of the Basket House Clinic in Rivers Port were replaced by people who acted quickly on his case and he (Saifullah) wrote a letter to Koko but Rivers Port Manager Muhammad Bello blocked it. leaving the port of Rivers.
“He called me into his office and blasted me with different kinds of disturbing words and also swore that no one would give me kobo and that I should pack my things, come to him so he can give me some money for transportation.
“The next day I went to the office and continued my work but as I was about to close, the CMO, Dr. Agbo summoned me in the presence of Matrone and told him to testify that from now on, I should stop going into my office because I was not on their staff.
Saifullah maintained that if they are to fire him, it must be done officially through an official letter as he was not employed verbally.
He reported the issue to their union president, Abubakar, who then ordered the president and vice president of the Port Harcourt branch to meet with the port chief of staff to also interpret the actions of the port manager and CMO. .
The Chief Port Personnel Officer stated that no one has the right to terminate my work except the management and that all correspondence must go through his office; that she had been in this office long before Saifullah resumed his duties at Rivers Port and that no official complaints had passed through his office, therefore Saifullah was still a staff member.
Two years and eight months later, Saifullah has still not received his wages and rights and has not been officially fired.
“It is against the constitution of Nigeria and I do not want to be found guilty of a violation of the law. This is the reason for my waiting and patiently following up since October 2019. Despite all this, I still have not been able to get the termination letter served on me so that I can pursue my future elsewhere and all my rights. are withheld for no reason.
“I have pleaded in person, through family elders, eminent persons, highly esteemed personalities and colleagues, but all efforts are in vain.”
Speaking to SaharaReporters in tears, Saifullah said he could not pay his rent and take care of other expenses in Port Harcourt hence he had to return to his family in Sokoto but still unemployed.
Currently, even food has become a serious problem for him, SaharaReporters learned.
All attempts to speak with the general manager of the port, Koko, were unsuccessful as the phone was not reachable. However, when SaharaReporters contacted his personal assistant, Kabiru Daniya, he said he was not authorized to speak with the press about this, and therefore asked our reporter to contact the NPA media team, Port Harcourt, but refused to supply the media team. Contact.
SaharaReporters also called Mr. Akintoye several times but although the call went through, he did not answer. Additionally, this newspaper emailed NPA through its contact email, but there had been no response at the time of filing this report.