Ochuko Udume

Oftentimes, the constitution of a regulatory or supervisory body to overhaul or oversee the operation and activities of a government department, agency or establishment is seen as a welcome relief for the improvement and advancement of such an establishment.

Unfortunately, it is the opposite for Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) Warri. Since the coming of the Board of Directors in November 2013, constituted by the Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, neither the place, management or staff has known any peace, let alone progress. As quickly put by very concerned monitors, the advent of the five-man Board led by Barrister Olivia Agbajoh has been a pain, a curse and the albatross of the once vibrant station.

Inspite of the myriad of problems and infrastructural lack begging for attention and improvement, the decisions of both the Board and the management have grown from bad to worse, making the Delta State Government and the station a laughing stock.

One of such very retrogressive and most unpopular decisions is the recent return of two members of staff to the Lagos Office of DBS Warri, after being found wanting of negligence, low productivity and even confessional acts of fraud. What a shame!

It would be recalled that as part of efforts by the General Manager of DBS Warri, Mr Tunde Omonode, to improve operations and shore up revenue at the Lagos Unit, he embarked on a team re-shuffle, a usual and familiar administrative exercise by past general managers. Consequently, two members of staff, Mrs Becky Ilori and Mr Victor Egere were returned to the Warri office in December 2013 from where they were transferred to Lagos in 2012 and 2008 respectively.

Protesting their recall, the duo cried to the Board and without recourse to due official process in a purely “internal” and administrative matter,, the DBS Warri Board wielded the big stick and overruled the decision of Management. It sent Mrs Ilori and Mr Egere back to Lagos in January, 2014. But not without a condition! The two were asked and they promised to provide documents that could implicate an innocent and hardworking head of Accounts/Finance, Mrs Augusta Gold. They were given three months to execute the evil “assignment”.

Therefore, having failed to produce any of such papers, the Board then reluctantly allowed Management’s earlier decision to scale through. The two adventurers were then sent packing in May 2014 and returned again to Warri.

In a desperate move to stir confusion and with an attitude of we-must-be-in-Lagos-or-nobody-else, Mr Victor Egere confessed before the General Manager and the Board Chairman to have engaged in various sharp practices in the past. He went further to propose to the Board Chairman, Hon Olivia Agbajoh, an offer of One Million Naira (#1,000,000.00) every month if she would assist him to remain in the Lagos Office. It was gathered that she turned down his offer.
She has also confirmed the proposal at various fora.

On her part, Mrs Becky Ilori boasted severally and in front of different people that whether Management liked it or not, she would return to the Lagos Office of DBS Warri IN SIX MONTHS! October 2014 happens to be the 6th month of their second exit from Lagos office.

In a total show of shame and without regard to the judgement of their unpopular decision, the Board has once again returned Mrs Becky Ilori and Mr Victor Egere to the Lagos Office of Delta Broadcasting Service Warri. In October. What a pity!

The million naira question on the lips of people goes thus, “Is there any special function in the DBS Lagos office that only those two culpable staff can perform, even when there are other hardworking people there? Is the chairman or member(s) of the Board on the payroll of the two staff actors? Has the DBS Warri management become so weak and irrelevant now that it has been stripped of the power to internally run the day-to-day affairs of the station? Are there no other staff in the whole of DBS Warri who can function in that capacity? Are the people already there not qualified to perform their duties? Is there any contract or business between the Board, management and the duo of Ilori and Egere? Is their return a product of the lady’s boast? Are they being sent there for the third time so that they can continue to loot and wreak havoc on the finances of the Establishment?

While it is common knowledge that broken down vehicles litter the premises of DBS Warri, the station goes off air almost every afternoon, the morale of staff is at its lowest, the station has only one functional editing suite, some reporters go on assignment with tricycles, the compound is now snake infested and sundry other issues gaping for attention and repair, the starry-eyed Board is busy sending and re-sending two particular staff members to Lagos office where they have operated for years and had only succeeded in running aground the fortune of the office.

This is a clarion call to His Excellency, the amiable Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, CON to please wade into this ugly issue and stop the monster that the misplaced and clueless DBS Warri Board of Directors is growing in the Lagos Unit, before they cause further havoc to the prospects of the Station and the collective psyche of the management and entire

People are watching, Sir!

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