Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has proven that he is enemy of man and God by sacking over 450 staff of American University of Nigeria (ABTI), and Gotel Communications, the Employment Advancement Rights Network (EARN) has said.
EARN, in a statement signed by its President, Barrister Edward Ogenyi, on Sunday, described the move as “inhuman, unconscionable, intolerant and lacking in compassion especially at a time that responsible organizations are holding off on such decisions until after the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The group of legal practitioners wondered how Nigerians would have coped with Mr Atiku as president, knowing that he is so “consumed by extreme capitalism”.
EARN, though, added that this is an eye opener for Nigerians, especially with the ex-VP reportedly nurturing ambition to contest again in 2023.
The human rights group, therefore, warned Atiku that Nigerians are waiting for him at the next polls to “put a final nail in the coffin of his tyrannical style and ineptitude as a manager”.
EARN, however, called on ABTI and Gotel Communication to recall the sacked staff or their founder would face mass action all over the country.
Read full statement below:
As a pressure group of seasoned activists, lawyers and professionals with the sole aim of protecting Nigerian workers, Employment Advancement Rights Network (EARN) has comprehensively reviewed the sack of over 400 staff of the American University of Nigeria (ABTI), which is owned by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and almost 50 staff of Gotel Communication, also owned by the politician.
We have also reviewed the justifications for the sack of these hardworking Nigerians by the managements of ABTI and Gotel Communication, which both answer to Atiku. The responses to the sack amount to a charade and adding insult to injury. Both organizations sufficiently demonstrated that they place profit over humanity, a policy that could have only been formulated by the owner.
EARN condemns the sack of the over 450 staffers of these Atiku-owned organizations as inhuman, unconscionable, intolerant and lacking in compassion especially at a time that responsible organizations are holding off on such decisions until the COVID-19 pandemic has been sufficiently brought under control. The situation at ABTI and Gotel cannot be more precarious than what obtains in the banking sector, where chief executives have listened to reason and put a planned sack of workers on hold.
We wonder why the university and broadcasting company could not, like the banks, wait until after the pandemic before throwing hundreds of workers and thousands of their dependent into poverty, hunger and uncertainty. This callous decision confirmed that the origin of these organization and the seed fund for setting them up cannot stand up to scrutiny.
In our view, Atiku has by this action declared himself an enemy of God and humanity. Contemplating the sack at a time like this in the first instance is evil and implementing it elevated the owner of the decision to the status of the devil. He is by no means a man that should have a say in the wellbeing of anyone because it is apparent that his only concern is his avarice.
Considering the repeated failed attempts he has made to become Nigeria’s number one citizen, EARN is now imagining what the lot of Nigerians would have been under a person that is so consumed by extreme capitalism. Knowing that he has the intention to again run for president in 2023, right thinking people must now begin interrogating is this profit monster should be allowed anywhere near where issues that affect the ability of citizens to earn decent living.
We hereby put Atiku Abubakar on notice that Nigerians are waiting for him in 2023 to put a final nail in the coffin of his tyrannical style and ineptitude as a manager. The explanation put forward by his companies for the sack confirms that he is incapable of planning and organizing even at such level, which makes it criminal for him to have aspired to high office in the past knowing that his competence is below what is required.
We caution in the strongest term possible that Atiku must get ABTI and Gotel Communication to recall the sacked staff since they already admitted that these people lost their jobs to the incompetence of the owner and management and not gross misconduct. Failure to recall the sacked staff, EARN will launch coordinated picketing in the form of sit-ins, with consideration for social distancing, in Atiku’s houses and businesses all over the country. The properties will not only be picketed but would be fully occupied and locked down once the COVID19 pandemic is over.