Nduka Obaigbena and Eniola Bello: Earlier, www.e-nigeriang.com published the story of how Thisday newspaper publisher, Nduka Obaigbena and Eniola Bello live very large at the expense of the company staff who dwell in abject poverty.
Read the touching story of Labake Yembra an advert sales staff, as narrated here by a journalist, Azuka Jebose.
Labake Yembra was a charming and energetic woman in 1995. She dreamed of success as an Advert Sales consultant. She was young, beautiful and brilliant. One morning, she answered a ThisDay newspaper Ad for Advert Sales Girl position. Her super natural character, affectionate and charming personality, attracted the then Ad Manager to her. He immediately hired her. Labake devoted her youthful hybrid energy to her new exciting job, hoping and praying to rock the ladder of management position. Within a few years of joining the company, she had elevated to an outstanding advert sales girl, smashing all set goals for Ad Sales for the newspaper organization. Soon she would become an Advert Manager. She also became the trusted girl that Nduka Obaigbenna, the owner of Thisday would rely and depend on for quick cash demands, as and when needed.
“I remember so many countless nights Nduka would call my wife to return to the office to open the Safe and withdraw cash for him…that was the dedication and love my wife had for ThisDay” … Mr. Precious Yembra, Labake’s husband and care giver explained.
Lakabe continued to perform magnificently at Advert department of ThisDay. She was a reliable, efficient and effective cash register, closing tremendous Ad Sales deals that would fund the newspaper company and lifestyles of its rambunctious “Ayatollah”, Nduka Obaigbenna.
However, despite her hard work and dedication, in 2012, Labake was suspended for two years because she did not respond timely to a query from Nduka Obaigbenna: “one of the Sales Consultants allowed an Ad to run on credit and as the head of the ad department I was queried. Before I could respond, I was suspended by Nduka Ogbaigbenna for not responding promptly. The suspension lasted two years”.
She returned to work in 2014, after serving her two-year suspension, with medical challenges. ThisDay management noticed her health problems; but instead of providing her with medical assistance, especially when she and other staff members were being owed past salaries, Nduka Obaigbenna ordered that she
should be terminated, effective, immediately. The company did not offer Labake any healthcare insurance, medical assistance to help with her emerging health issues. It did not offer her termination package…What Nduka ordered to affect Labake was an immediate termination letter.
She was terminated because she was sick!
She had worked extremely hard for nearly 15 years for the company, dedicated to the job she loved, loyal to an erratic and eccentric boss that created chaos and confusion whenever he desired or the adrenaline ran through his brain. Labake and her husband were left without benefits, owed salaries and ignored, with severe medical challenges.
The stress from the termination and humiliation triggered Labake’s health condition: she had a serious stomach infection and was rushed to the hospital. Labake would slip into coma at the hospital. She slipped out of coma after two months with stroke that paralyzed half of her body.
Today, Labake spends her sunrise in a wheelchair, daily cared for by her loving husband and other members of her family. At sunset, she is assisted in settling into the night.
During her stay in the hospital, the bills piled up. The family had no money and treatments were about to end. Her husband then placed several calls to Nduka Obaigbenna, pleading that he ordered the release of Labake’s owed salaries and effect payments of her Employment/Retirement Benefits (N14Million) so that the family could use the money to care for labake.
“Every time I called Mr. Obaigbenna, he would answer my phone. He would then tell me that he was going to instruct the accountant and admin departments to pay us immediately. I heard the same lines every call I made to him. These are his lies. He stopped answering the phone recently. How can people be so wicked?”. Precious Yembra explained.
Labake is seriously partially paralyzed. She requires assisted daily living. She breathes through a tube that is inserted in her lungs because of a lingering goiter growth which disturbs and obstructs the flow of oxygen to her. Complications to her health continue to disturb her daily living. Labake needs urgent corrective surgery to remove the growth blocking her airways.
Two years ago, Precious consulted with Doctors in Dubai who, after reviewing his wife’s medical reports and records, the doctors recommended surgeries. The cost of the surgeries is estimated at N10Million. ThisDay under Nduka Obaigbenna ignored the family’s contacts and requests to pay Labake’s due benefits which would cover the cost of her treatments and therapy. Her benefit from ThisDay, reasons Precious, is estimated at N14Million.
She needs N50,000 daily for physiotherapy; “I stopped providing my wife physiotherapy more than one year ago. I could not afford it… The physiotherapy helped her conditions, her stroke’s rehabilitation. But since I stopped because of lack of funds, Labake has been on wheel chairs. She is also on diapers.” Laments Precious.
Every day, Labake sits on her wheel chair alone and lonely, wondering where she went wrong with her life, if she made the wrong choice by going to work for Nduka Obaigbenna. Every sunrise, Precious is consumed by the pains and horrors of a helpless family watched their beautiful wife endure pains and motionless.
Labake is one of those dedicated and loyal staff that served Nduka Obaigbenna with their heart’s. Nduka turned his back on Labake and those who left his media organization. We cannot get angry. We must not turn our backs on Labake. It’s been five years since this torture and inhumane condition. She continues to suffer in pain. We must rise with rage and support Labake. We must give her back a standing ovation. Let her rise with treatments. N10m is what is needed.
#Many more such stories abound