•Drags GM, Theophilus Andeyarka To NBC
Fear of uncertainty continued to grip Taraba state owned local radio station,TSBS, as renowed Certified Criminal Investigative Analyst Dr. Sulaiman Bakari (SB) has in another open letter expose several irregularities at the station under the leadership of its General Manager Engineer Theophilus Andeyarka.
Bakari in an open letter to Governor Darius Ishaku said his encounter with the General Manager prompted him to carry out an independent investigation, these he said exposes so many professional misconducts, and irregularities as revealed in the letter.
“The management has been operating against the ethics of the media profession.”
Bakari accused General Manager Engineer Theophilus Andeyarka of being religiously and ethnically biased in the allocation of programmes and airtime, among other things.
“In a bid to reduce the number of Hausa programmes in the station, the airing of many have been banned such like, “Bakon mu na Mako”, “Taurarin mu”, “Filin yan Club”, among others.
I would liken this move to the perception that Hausa Language is related to Islam.
Another example of programmes affected is the usual sponsored Tafsir of late Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam, which is usually transmitted every Wednesday and Friday. It is now reduced to be transmitted on Fridays only.
Meanwhile, Christian programmes are transmitted every day. These Christian programmes are never paid for, but the Muslim programmes are paid for once they are billed for transmission.
Among programmes aired freely are those presented by Zachariah Kemuel Sunkani, Peter Obed, Victoria Danbaba and Wilson Nwonyimi.
Also, during the Lenten season of the Catholic faithful, programmes are aired for 40 days free of charge.
The Muslim programmes do not enjoy such financial freedom as Ramadan Tafsir of 30 days attracts 150,000 Naira. For the avoidance of doubt, you could request for the list of daily programmes in the last four years in order to ascertain whether there is equal representation of programmes across the divide; that which reflects Taraba in the eyes of the world as a heterogeneous and secular state and/or which conforms with the core values of media that is built on the three pillars all over the world, that is, Information, Education and Enlightenment.”
Efforts to get TSBS General Manager Engineer Theophilus Andeyarka responded to the allegations proved abortive as calls and messages to his mobile lines were ignored.
However inside sources said that the embattled GM was summoned at the state ministry of information where he was alleged to have had a mille with the state commissioner of information who happened to be the former chairman of the station’s governing board.
For now, it’s not yet clear what will happen in the next few days on whether there could be sanction or not.
Read full letter below
RE: LETTER OF PETITION AGAINST THE GENERAL MANAGER, TARABA STATE BROADCASTING SERVICES, JALINGO ON ALLEGED CASE OF ABUSE OF OFFICE, PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT, ECONOMIC SABOTAGE, BIAS, PARTIALITY, FRAGRANT DISREGARD TO THE NIGERIAN BROADCASTING COOPERATION (NBC)’s RULES AND REGULATIONS WITH TOTAL NEGLIGENCE TO ALL THE RELEVANT LAWS, CRIMINAL MISAPROPRATION AND DIVERSION OF PUBLIC FUNDS, ETC:
The Executive Governor, Taraba State
Architect Darius Dickson Ishaku
The Secretary to the Government of Taraba State
Your Excellency Sir,
I hereby humbly write to report and request that you use your good offices as a matter of urgency to thoroughly investigate the above mentioned allegations against the General Manager, Taraba State Broadcasting Services (TSBS) Jalingo, Taraba state, Engineer Theophilus Andeyarka. This may avert any potential crisis that may erupt as a result of his actions or inactions, the matter in question is already in the public domain and the public awaits your swift official action with keen interest.
I am aware that the Taraba State Broadcasting Service (TSBS) Jalingo is a government owned media with the sole aim of disseminating information to a heterogeneous audience who are citizens and non-citizens. The people have lived together all these years sharing in their differences cutting across religion, tribe and political affiliations among others. Irrespective of their differences, they co-habit mutually with huge respect for one another, a trademark most states in Nigeria envy. Scholars have described this peaceful coexistence as a medium through which the much needed growth and development can thrive in any given state. However, certain actions of some people can cause ill feeling in the minds of others who feel marginalized. You may be aware that marginalization causes people to disintegrate and the unity sought for by all may be thrown into the magnetic mud.
I am writing this because of the treatment I got from the management of Taraba State Broadcasting Service recently under the leadership of Engineer Theophilus Andeyarka. My encounter with him prompted me to carry out an independent investigation, which exposes so many professional misconducts, and irregularities as will be revealed in this letter. The management has been operating against the ethics of the media profession. Permit me to digress a little by emphasizing the purpose of establishing media in any society. The purpose is to provide programmes and services that inform, educate and enlighten the public. The public here, as far as Taraba State is concerned encompasses members of varied faiths who are indigenes and non-indigenes, members of different cultures and traditions and a host of other attributes that differentiate the people in the state. What the General Manager in the person of Theophilus Andeyarka promotes at the Taraba State Broadcasting Service has divisible tendencies and counts against the revenue generation position of the government. Sighting examples suffices so as to buttress my observations given the manner in which the management of Taraba State Broadcasting Service handles issues in the State.
BIAS IN PROGRAMME SELECTION AND AIRING
The General Manager had directed that Hausa music would no longer be aired on the station. Some Hausa musical programmes such as the popular entertainment live music show, “Mu Rausaya” was banned in the station. In the past, before the GM assumed duty, Gospel music were played on Sundays, while Fridays host Islamic songs. This was done to promote the general ideals of the two major faiths in the state. As we speak, the Islamic songs usually played on Fridays have been banned, while the station plays host to Christian songs on Sundays. This act can cause division in the minds of the peace loving people of Taraba State.
In a bid to reduce the number of Hausa programmes in the station, the airing of many have been banned such like, “Bakon mu na Mako”, “Taurarin mu”, “Filin yan Club”, among others. I would liken this move to the perception that Hausa Language is related to Islam. Another example of programmes affected is the usual sponsored Tafsir of late Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam, which is usually transmitted every Wednesday and Friday. It is now reduced to be transmitted on Fridays only. Meanwhile, Christian programmes are transmitted everyday. These Christian programmes are never paid for, but the Muslim programmes are paid for once they are billed for transmission. Among programmes aired freely are those presented by Zachariah Kemuel Sunkani, Peter Obed, Victoria Danbaba and Wilson Nwonyimi.
Also, during the Lenten season of the Catholic faithful, programmes are aired for 40 days free of charge. The Muslim programmes do not enjoy such financial freedom as Ramadan Tafsir of 30 days attracts 150,000 Naira. For the avoidance of doubt, you could request for the list of daily programmes in the last four years in order to ascertain whether there is equal representation of programmes across the divide; that which reflects Taraba in the eyes of the world as a heterogeneous and secular state and/or which conforms with the core values of media that is built on the three pillars all over the world, that is, Information, Education and Enlightenment.
APPOINTMENT, PROMOTION AND REPLACEMENT
There is so much abuse of the processes of appointment, promotion and replacement of staff in the organisation. It is evident as it stares fixedly on the faces of some staff who have been frustrated by the process. A senior officer in the commercial department Tukur Mohd Bello should have been the head of department, but because he is a Muslim, despite fulfilling the merits required, is placed on level 15, and he works under his junior, Robia Stephanie who is on level 14.
A lot of shady and demoralizing things happen under the watchful eyes of the General Manager and such could collapse the creativity and productivity needed to work as a media professional. I indulge the organisation to provide the list of departmental Directors; just this:
1) Liberty Andrew – Director News and Current Affairs Department
2) Reverend Ishaya Ahmadu Kente – Director Programmes
3) Engr. Muhammed Bose – Director Engineering
4) Suzy Vodka – Accountant/Director Finance
5) Robia Stephanie – Director Commercial
6) Tanko Kaura Lodiya – Ag. Director Planning Research and Statistics
7) Willy Jatau Bambur – Secrecy
Your Excellency sir, Kindly request the details of their deputies with their levels against their names. This will expose the veracity of our claims.
A staff of the Taraba State post Primary School Management Board, Kurutsi Zachariah was transferred to Taraba State Broadcasting Service with the intention of making him a Director or Deputy Director. He was initially sent to News and Current Affairs Department to become Deputy Director, but was rejected by the staff of the department. The reason for the rejection was that Kurutsi Zachariah had no training in journalism then he was posted to the Programmes Department when the former director, Joshua Sambo Kwanci was retiring with the aim if taking over from him..
The GM promised not to work with a Muslim director, that is why no matter the qualification of a Muslim in the organisation, he or she will never be a director under him. Tanko Kaura Lodiya, a Christian, is one such peculiar case. He is on level 14, but was made an Acting Head of Planning Research and Statistics, while staff like Ustaz Bashir level 16, Abdullah Gambo level 15, Yusuf Salihu Sansani level 15 and Sadiq Moyoyo level 15 are there as assistant directors. Christians are always given priority in terms of assigning duties and postings as well as trainings during workshops/seminars.
The General Manager should provide us with his credentials to prove that he is a journalist and not just an engineer, without professional journalism training, this may be the reason for all the professional misconduct.
Taraba State has a total number of 16 local government areas. When it was time for recruitment, the usual norm is to deploy search on all the local government areas with the intention of capturing the geographical spread in equitable distribution. Saddening it is to say that the usual way has been stabbed in the heart as the GM recently employed over 50 persons from his village to work as full time staff, while disregarding the casual staff who have spent decades in the station. This single action has affected the employment exercise conducted by the state government recently as newly employed staff of the station were not being paid their salaries of the month of April while others in some ministries and agencies received theirs. I make bold to say that I would like the management to provide details of recruited staff in the organisation in the last four years with their dates of employment, local government of origin with a view to ascertaining if geographical spread, qualification, religion and ethnic backgrounds were considered in the process.
I am aware of censored programmes that cannot go on transmission, but are “Tafsirs” and “Call to Prayer” censored? Obviously, government generates revenue from airing those programmes on government owned media stations. The big question is, why is the GM at his own discretion turning down programmes that have been paid for? I am a living witness to such refunded payments after I sponsored a “Call to Prayer” that was declined in 2019 & this 2020 Ramadan. No reason or whatsoever was given as to why the programme was turned down and money refunded. Many people suffer such decisions of the General Manager.
For the Muslim programmes that see the light of the day, they pay heavily contrary to what the Christian counterpart pay for their own programmes. A simple demand of documents recorded for all transmitted programmes would reveal so much. You would like to see the record of financial entries for programmes aired and charges obtained in the last four years. A simple comparison from the record of Tafsir for a complete package of 30 days during the month of Ramadan and Christian Lenten programme for 40 days would expose the huge anomalies.
Should my claim be verified to be true, your Excellency Sir, in the interest of fair play and justice which I am a key player in instituting and promoting across the society, I would like the following to be effected immediately:
1. That the general manager be suspended and forwarded to EFCC official investigation of Criminal abuse of office, disregard for the constituted authorities, professional misconduct, economic sabotage; compromising the source of revenue to the state and fraudulent misappropriation of public Funds, bias, partiality, negligence of duty and bring all his accomplices to book to serve as deterrent to others.
2. The License of the station be temporarily suspended until all the anomalies so discovered are appropriately addressed.
3. All recruitment carried out in the last four years be declared void and fresh and transparent recruitment be organized.
4. That the governing board of the station be properly reconstituted as well the management accordingly.
5. That the Treasury Single Account of government be complied with to avoid leakage of funds.
Your Excellency sir, as our father and people oriented Governor of Taraba State I kindly request that this matter be treated with utmost priority and urgency it deserves.
Accept my highest esteemed regards, please.
Dr. Sulaiman Bakari (SB),
Certified Criminal Investigative Analyst, by the FBI United States of America, USA.
Concerned Taraba State Citizen.