Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From my Mailbox: 250913, A twist in the tale


My attention has been drawn to a feature published in the Daily Sun of September 19th, 2013 (pages 42-43) with the above headline in which some issues on financial transactions were reused purportedly initiated by me. The said feature, which portrayed me at the centre of the storm, was written by one Mr. Maurice Achibong.

It is very necessary for me to react in order to put records straight and disabuse the minds of members of the public. I Mr. Choji Bwosh, Accountant, National Zoological Garden, Jos wish to categorically state that I have never known Mr. Maurcine Achiboing before and still do not known him, neither have I met him before. This entire lies are just a pigment of the imagination of Mr. Achibong

Mr. Maurice Achibong, in the said feature, alleged that I wrote a memo to the Director General of the National Commission for Museum and monuments. Exposing, in his words, staggering incidence of fraud at this facility. Let me unequivocally emphasize that I am not the author of the purported memo and had never contemplated writing any memo of that nature. It is surprising and disappointing that he could just wake up from sleep and cook up bundles of lies.

Mr. Achibong's feature was a calculated attempt to discredit my personality and cause friction between me, on one side, and the managements of the National Zoological Garden and its parent body, the National Commission for Museum and monuments, on the other

His kind of journalism grossly undermines the tenets of the fourth realm of the estate, hence I humbly request the Nigeria Union of Journalist and the Nigerian Press Council to call him to order to check him from dragging the esteemed image of the profession in the mud.

Let me also demand from Mr, Maurice Achibong an unreserved apoiogy immediately or I request my lawyers to commence a court process against him.

Permit me to use this opportunity to urge the management of the NCMM headed by Mr. Abdallah Usman not to be deterred by such distractions as they continue to discharge their duties, I strongly commend him for the good work he is doing and pray that God will continue to bless him.

Mr. Choji Bwosh, Accountant, National Zoological Garden Jos.


Some twist in the tale …

The above reaction from Mr. Choji Bwosh reached me on Monday, September 23, 2013: five days after the report was published. My initial reaction was to ignore Mr. Choji, but lest our silence be misconstrued, it became necessary to make some clarifications, now. Other revelations may follow in due course, should the need arise.

Mr. Choji had called me on phone several times on September 19, 20 and the 21st and all he requested of me was to state, in a follow-up report; that we never met, and that he did not give me any document. As transcripts of our telephone chats would prove, if it came to this; at no time during our conversations in those three days, did Choji claim not to have written the documents from which excerpts were quoted.

It is also worth pointing out that, another Jos Museum staff and labour activist (name withheld) had called, apparently on Choji’s behalf, to express fear that my report may cost the accountant his job. Like Choji, this labour activist never questioned the authenticity of the document we quoted from. Again, like Choji, the unionist pleaded that we should state in a follow-up report that I never met the accountant, and that Choji did not personally avail me of any memo.

Since our investigations had already turned up numerous incontrovertible evidences of fraud at the National Zoological Garden Jos, we had no need to meet Choji and did not need him to furnish us with any document. In fact, the NZGJ is just one of the ducts through which hundreds of millions of naira have been siphoned over the years by crooks in the NCMM. MOTNA (Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture) is another illegitimate goldmine, and we are revisiting this aspect, soon.

Curiously, four days after the report in question was published and after Choji and I had spoken severally, the man stated that I woke up from sleep and cook up bundles of lies”. Interestingly, akin to the poorly-written memos from Mr. Yusuf Abdallah Usman, the NCMM DG; Choji’s complaints are also error-ridden: “FOURTH REALM OF THE ESTATE” and “This entire lies are just a PIGMENT of the imagination”. What a mess! How did these characters get into Nigeria’s federal civil service?

Death threats are nothing new to workers that exposed corruption in the NCMM. It could be recalled that Comrade Bongo Bassey was once threatened at Jos Museum. In the same vein, Comrade Adogah Abdullahi also had cause to raise the alarm over threat to his life, too.

To be candid, most a man will cave-in under pressure from harassment and intimidation, but through his apparent volte face, Choji has diminished from hero to zero. We feel wont to see Choji’s rejoinder as a mere after-thought contrived to distract attention from the main issue: that money was being looted and/or misused at the NZGJ. The nation should beware of ploys like this.

Choji wants Nigerians to believe he is “at the centre of the storm”. He is not and the nation should remain alert and not lose sight of the substance, here. The principal issue is that, going by available documents, huge sums of money had been diverted and/or otherwise disbursed/spent in an unlawful manner at the NZGJ.  

We advise Choji to head to court and facilitate the total exposure of the countless shenanigans perpetrated under the watch of Yusuf Abdallah Usman. We stand by our story. And, stand even ever-ready to disclose more of the fraudulent practices at the NZGJ, and the NCMM generally.


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