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The Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has announced the sack of its acting Director-General, Mr Solomon Vongfu.
NASSI, founded in 1978, is the umbrella body of the country’s micro and small scale industrialists engaged in production, manufacturing, provision of services, entrepreneurship and human resource development, among others.
Vongfu’s “sack’’ was announced in a memo issued by the National Executive Council (NEC) of NASSI at the end of its “extraordinary meeting’’ in Abuja on Thursday.
Later in the day, some members of the National Executive Committee also met at the association’s national secretariat in Abuja to ratify the decision of the NEC.
A copy of the memo, signed by the National President, Ezekiel Essien; Vice President, Hussaina Ahmed, and Public Relations Officer, Aisha Baffa, was made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN in Abuja.
The NEC also announced the dissolution of the association’s National Electoral Committee “with immediate effect due to insubordination by its members.’’
NAN reports that the NEC’s move came barely five days to the expiration of the tenure of its current members and conduct of election for their replacement on Wednesday.
Although the memo was silent on the reason for the alleged sack of Vongful, a reliable member of the NEC told NAN that it was due to “insubordination and financial fraud’’ on his part.
When contacted, the embattled acting DG denied the allegations and dismissed the “sack’’ as a ploy to thwart his bid for the position of National President in the forthcoming election.
Vongful, who was in his office when NAN correspondent visited him on Friday for his own story, said the NEC’s action fell short of the requirements stipulated in the constitution of NASSI to sack an officer.
He said he was not informed of the alleged offence in writing, neither was he summoned to appear before the council or a disciplinary committee to defend himself as stipulated in Section 25 of the association’s constitution.
“The National Executive Committee of NASSI is made up of 126 officers, comprising all 15 members the National Executive Council, and Chairmen, Secretaries and Treasurers of the 36 state branches and the FCT.
“The people that met to ratify the council’s resolutions were not up to 20, in fact roughly 15 in number, meaning they did not form a quorum.
“The council members present were not up to three, which did not form a quorum because we are 15 members in the council.
“Besides, the National President was not in attendance and most of the people there were not even state chairmen. So, can they take decision for 37 states and the FCT?
“From where did they derive the powers to sack me? Did they show you any document to prove that they gave me a letter of sack from the National Executive Council?
“So, it is just a wasteful venture; they just wasted their time because it does not hold any ground. As you can see, I am still working in my office,’’ he said.
Vongful alleged that the action was carried out by “desperate elements, who want to capture power by all means.’’
“This is because our election is coming up on Wednesday, Jan. 16, and I am one of the major contenders for the position of National Chairman. They are afraid of losing,’’ he said.
NAN reports that NASSI’s objectives include establishment of channels of communication with government, financial institutions, employers and manufacturing organisations to secure loans, property and other forms of support for its members.
The association, with over 100,000 members nationwide, has representative in boards of several relevant government’s committees, agencies and parastatals to serve the interests of its members.