Tuesday, February 26, 2013

TERRIBLE: Journalist Owed One Year’s Wages, Dead?

Ibrahim Musa, a senior journalist with the New Nigerian newspaper in Kaduna, has died, unable to look after himself following the failure of his employers to meet the company’s salary obligations for close to two years.
The New Nigerian is owned by the Northern States.  It was established in 1966 by then Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, to serve as the mouthpiece of the North.   It has experienced difficulties in times, and the staff is currently on an indefinite strike over the mounting backlog of salaries and emoluments.
In February 2012, SaharaReporters reported that the workers were protesting the company’s administrative difficulties, including unpaid salaries which at that time stood at 10 months.  They blamed the Northern Governors Forum, which collectively has responsibility for the company, for the stalemate at the once very powerful newspaper.  Also left unpaid were the company’s pensioners.
A journalist  in Kaduna said that several journalists at the newspaper, some of them in very poor health, have resorted to begging as a means of survival.  
Prior to Musa’s death at the weekend, his wife had previously died in his hometown, Ankpa, in Kogi State.
A member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and friend of Musa’s told SaharaReporters in Lokoja that Musa died in terrible circumstances that were compounded by the death of his wife and his inability to pay his bills.
He said of Musa, “He has left behind five children, and they are orphans because the wife just passed on too. You can see the dilemma of Nigerian media. The children will not get anything from the company; if their father could not, who are the poor children to get justice from Northern Governors?”
SaharaReporters learnt that Musa worked with the New Nigerian at their headquarters in Kaduna for almost 20 years.
For some reason, the governors, some of whom are among Nigeria’s most irresponsible public spenders, have failed to take the situation at the New Nigerian seriously.  Last year, at the request of President Goodluck Jonathan, some of them contributed a bizarre N500 million Naira each to the ‘launching’ of a biography of the Peoples Democratic Party chairman, Bamanga Tukur.
Source: Sahara Reporters