Sacked Minister Of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman And The Wages Of Sin
The global encomium that have greeted the announcement, Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 of the relieved of Minister for Power Engineer Sale Mamman, was the climax of the vociferous outcry by well-meaning Nigerians at home and abroad, civil society groups and the media among other stakeholders that the power ministry, under Engineer Sale Mamman, retrogressed, degenerated and had its finances mindlessly pillaged.
After three years of weak performance by Engr Mamman, the ministry of power is struggling to rise from the ruin and rot engineered and engendered by a vicious, visionless and vindictive minister.
With Post Graduate Diploma and Master of Engineering Degree in Electrical Engineering, Engr Sale Mamman rose to become the minister of power by luck. He, however, seemed to forget his trajectory so much that when the power came, he went on a take-no-prisoners fiddle with the ministry treasury and disregarded and disdained wise counsel.
Like every other human, Engineer Sale Mamman is a deeply flawed man but with power came the whimsical, devil-may-care arbitrariness of autocracy.
He was also profligate, vindictive and imperious in the administration of the Ministry. Cronyism was second skin to him while sacking loyalists of his predecessor.
A major complaint of well-meaning Nigerians shortly after Engineer Mamman assumed office in August 2019, was the sacking of the former Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, over internal issues which the federal government later intervened and reversed the sack to resignation.
More internal crisis continued among the power sector agencies culminating in the removal of the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Gur Mohammed in May 2020, a move that was frowned at by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and generated ripples from labour unions in the power sector.
The erstwhile MD of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC (NBET), Dr Marilyn Amobi, also had a headlong encounter with the former minister until she was removed in June 2020.
Engineer Sale Mamman also orchestrated the removal of Prof. James Momoh, Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in November 2020 for attaining 70 years, earlier than his tenure ending 2022.
Another major crisis in the sector during the reign of Engineer Mamman was the case of missing appointment letters for members of the board of TCN after their appointment in January 2021.
The appointed board members, it was learnt, were to be given their appointment letters from the SGF's office before they could be inaugurated but sources said while the letters left the SGF office, the board members could not get the letters from the ministry till date.
Under the reign of Engineer Sale Mamman as minister of Power from 2019 to date, the power system collapses and reduced, there were cases of power tariff hike controversies forcing the government to dialogue with organised labour and consequently reversing the tariff hike in some instances.
Also, it is a well acknowledged fact that the good people of Taraba State and Nigerians will also not forgive Engr Sale Mamman for his desperation for self-enrichment.
It is on record that the erstwhile minister diverted the sum of Nine Hundred Million, Naira (N900, 000, 000), compensation money meant for Mambila project and shared with Governor Darius Dickinson Ishaku of Taraba State.
The former Minister was also accused of collecting bribe in the tune of $10, 000 as bribe in disguise of saving the money to run his inordinate ambition that was almost heading to destruction of the APC in Taraba state. It is also a notorious fact that, the former Minister Mamman once contested for the seat of House of representatives in Kano state before relocating to Taraba State.
In view of these and other revelations that would soon be made public by the writer, how would Engr. Sale Mamman who is aspiring to become the Governor of Taraba State in 2023 see himself facing the INTEGRITY MIRROR? Watch out for part-2.