By Chiemeka Iwuoha
Many Nigerians know or have heard of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, (aha eji aga mba – meaning in the igbo language, a name that opens doors in distant lands. He is a trained engineer, businessman, patron of sports and publisher of the famed Champion Newspapers. He is also an alleged philanthropist.
But that’s just one part of this man’s profile.
The other sinister and diabolical part of this man is that using his larger than life public persona, he floats businesses – airline, insurance, construction etc – which attracts young unemployed Nigerians in their hundreds.
At the onset these enthusiastic employees assume and are assured of gainful jobs.
But later on they painfully realize that they had simply entered one-chance vehicles to nowhere.
This has been the bitter experience of hundreds who have been lured into working in all the businesses fronted by this unscrupulous Nigerian who uses people to gain fame and fortune but discards them on a whim while pocketing their wages and entitlements after folding up their places of work.
The case of the storied Champion Newspaper is particularly heartless and disgusting.
After collapsing the newspaper, iwuanyanwu’s daughter who is the MD promised the impoverished staff that their wages and entitlements long overdue would be settled once champion house at ilasamaja, Lagos is disposed of.
This transaction was done with the gigantic edifice going for over 2 billion naira to Promacidor, makers of cowbell milk while negations were going on with the workers unions for Iwuanyanwu to pay up in full.
After the sale, he then offered a one-off settlement of 25 percent of all monies owed only individuals still in the company. Take it or leave it?
No matter how you look at it, this is the height of wickedness from a man that has everything, children and grandchildren who are living in obscene opulence.
Meanwhile, those iwuanyanwu’s companies are owing have died or are sick and cannot afford medical care. some like this correspondent, are merely waiting to die while the debtor is prancing around answering front line politician and billionaire!
Now, people always think that corruption is only when you steal public money or that it is only Boko Haram that kills innocent citizens.
When so-called billionaires steal the wages of hapless employees, what do you call that ?
The bottom line is that the industrial court of arbitration must compel public criminals and nuisance like iwuanyanwu, to pay thier retired employees and stop sending them to early graves, suicide or to crime.
As Christians we are asked what it will benefit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul.
Does Emmanuel iwuanyanwu have a soul? It’s doubtful. Your correspondent disengaged as chairman, editorial board, a purely intellectual job. And after over 3 years, all I have staring me in the face is starvation and death. But then, death comes to us all, rich and poor. Thanks.
Iwuoha was Chiaman, Editorial Board of Champion Newspapers.