The genie is back in the story. Bashir Gwandu, a former executive
commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for 7 Years
with an exaggerated sense of achievements is reportedly among those
jostling for a top job in the Communication Technology Ministry.
Bashir Gwandu once seen as a major light of the industry at recruitment
vauntily overreached himself and made life very unbearable even for his own
bosses and became tormentor-in-chief for the industry with false claims and
delusionary activities. The high point of his malfeasance at the NCC was his
dismissal by the Federal Government, a case which he challenged in court
with some reliefs but the judgment is very instructive.
With an APC victory being celebrated across the country and with so much
hope built up for the coming administration, an industry practitioner is
alarmed that the sacked ex-commissioner Bashir Gwandu who is sulking up
to the hierarchy of the APC should not be entrusted with such a sensitive
industry or be made to play any role around it.
Giving his own explanation, the source said that the story of the
commissioner Bashir Gwandu that was always awash in the media some
years ago should give everybody a sense of concern. Bashir Gwandu was
always fingered in controversial issues linked to the promotion of self.
Explaining further, the source said that in 2008, Bashir Gwandu, sensing that
he would benefit from a vacuum in office nearly succeeded in removing
former EVC, Engr Ernest Ndukwe from office on the grounds of age until an
intervention by the then Secretary to Government, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed who
faulted that assumption to Government. Thereafter, Engr. Ndukwe and the
Board led by veteran civil servant Ahmed Joda would never know peace.
Years later Engr. Stephen Bello who succeeded Engr. Ndukwe was not that
lucky. He was unceremoniously removed by the orchestration of Dr Bashir
Gwandu and stepped into his shoes until government made a substantive
decision. That decision by the Nigerian Government never went down well
with him as he felt his entitlement mentality questioned and overruled.
However what really troubled the industry source is the Bashir Gwandu’s
capacity for trouble to constituted authority and his ability to carry on as if life
was normal. The story recalled of how the Bashir Gwandu’s insubordination
even at international meetings was so appalling that at one point, former ITU
Secretary General, Dr Hamadoun Toure had to call Nigeria to ask the country
to call the commissioner to order as his actions were causing international
The source who is very troubled that the Nigerian telecoms industry hailed
globally as doing very well can easily be unhinged and fall apart, recalled that
the Bashir Gwandu’s insubordination would eventually end his sojourn in
“I am to inform you that based on the recommendations of the Disciplinary
Committee; Mr. President has approved your removal from office, for gross
misconduct, with effect from 9 November, 2012.”
All hell would break lose after this. Bashir Gwandu flooded the media with
spurious claims of fraudulent sale of spectrum. In Nigeria the word fraud is a
marketable payoff line. And it attracts the lynch mob like blood to a crocodile.
But what was peppered over was the Bashir Gwandu’s action at the
Presidency that didn’t go down well with the bosses.
An invitation only meeting was called by the Presidency. Bashir Gwandu was
not invited to this meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
Interestingly this commissioner was the first to be seated before those
actually invited for the meeting with the false claim that he was sent a text.
Bashir Gwandu was never able to show the text and the protocol list displayed
by the Deputy Chief of Staff did not have his name.
The source recalled media stories that when told to leave the meeting, he
blatantly refused and embarked on vitriolic comments to undermine the
positions of his immediate work place, NCC, the Ministry of Communication
Technology and the Police Affairs counterpart. All the while his bosses
including the Minister were present.
Bashir Gwandu’s conduct in that high level meeting embarrassed the Vice
President, Ministers of Communication Technology and Police Affairs, and
Permanent Secretaries of Police Affairs and Communication Technology.
Once again Bashir Gwandu’s legendary history of insubordination came to the
fore. The query sent to this commissioner was never answered properly
because of absolute disrespect for any constituted authority. This culminated
in an unfortunate situation that could compel a genial President Jonathan to
sack the commissioner from office.
The source hailed brilliant Femi Falana for securing good judgment with
reliefs for the commissioner but recalled also that the court may have noticed
the submissions of the lawyers which include: that the claimant cannot be
asking for reinstatement having shown that he cannot work under any
management not led by that there exists a real atmosphere of
festering acrimony against the other, that the claimants and the others were
not getting along is there to be seen, before declaring that reinstatement is refused.
Dr Bashir Gwandu, has since been replaced by Engr Ubale Maska a retired
director from Nigerian Communications Commission who hails from the same
geo-political zone by law ( North West ) as Dr Gwandu by law.
Having gone down memory lane which the industry source said is a patriotic
responsibility, it however alerted the APC hierarchy headed by President-elect
Mohamed Buhari to be very circumspect of people that the party appoints into
high offices in order not to dampen the expectations of Nigerians.
Ibrahim, an ICT analyst, writes from Jalingo, Taraba State
Post Credit: Swift reporters