Borno fish traders protest alleged misappropriation of funds by union leaders
By Matthew Eloyi
The youth faction of the Baga Road Market Fish Sellers and Fish Farmers Association, in Maiduguri, Borno State staged a protest at the market, Monday, calling on the leaders of the main association, Borno State Fish Producers and Marketers Association, to account for about N3bn revenue of the association over the last two years.
The youth fish traders also alleged that the leadership of the main association, under the Chairmanship of Alhaji Abacha Mandalama, had ‘refused’ to conduct election for a new leader for the last 24 years.
The leader of the youth group, Bukar Abacha, alleged in an interview with newsmen after the protest that the union leaders remitted N100m out of the N3bn revenue collected from them to the state government.
Abacha said, “In the last two years, they (the Mandalama-chaired leadership) have collected about N3bn revenue from fish sellers and transporters, but remitted only about N100m to the state government coffers.
“What did they do with the balance? Where did they take that balance to? We call on the government to investigate.
“There has also not been any election for new leadership of the association in the last 24 years.”
According to Abacha, they (the Mandalama-led leadership) have turned the leadership into a family affair, appointing anybody they feel like to any position.
“If you agitate for election, they get you arrested. We want an election in three months.” he added
Alhaji Abacha Mandalama, in a separate interview, debunked the allegations made by the youths.
According to Mandalama, the revenue they (youth) refer to belongs to the government.
“It’s not mine, neither is it the association’s; so how easy would it be for us to commit such fraud and remit just a little to government coffers?
“By quoting figures, they (the protesters) are only indicting the government. Who revealed the figures to them? Me or the banks? Even if we remit the revenue, we don’t know the amount.”
About the election, the chairman said, “for how long has Paul Biya ruled Cameroon? So, they (the protesters) were only out to breach the peace, nothing more.”