Disquiet in architects’ family as executive secretary resigns

 Tonye Braide (NIA)

Tonye Braide (NIA)

All cannot be said to be well with Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), as some groups have faulted the decision by its present leadership, headed by its president, Mr. Tonye Braide to have indefinitely suspended its executive secretary, Alhaji Abdulrahim Abdulkarim.

The purported suspension, thus, had led to the latter resigning his position, who has said that time would judge whether his action to throw in the trowel was in order or not.

The Guardian reliably learnt that Abdulkarim, the man, who until recently headed the secretariat of the institute, was suspended by NIA on the ground that the present leadership of the institute wanted to reorganize the secretariat.

But the development has prompted protest within the professional body.Although the suspended official, who belongs to the Kwara State chapter of the institute, when contacted wished that the matter be treated as strictly a ‘family affair’ and nothing more.

According to him, there was need for any external body to meddle in their affairs; hence, the ‘family’ would treat it as such.Similarly, all senior architects, who spoke to The Guardian, held the same position that the matter was a ‘family matter’.

Though claiming it is a family affair, The Guardian authoritatively learnt that, the issue had generated lingering controversy in the house, leading to the Kwara State chapter of NIA to write a protest to the national body.

Also, to nip the issue in the bud, The Guardian was reliably informed that NIA Council had waded in, resolved it and may soon be presenting their resolution to the General Assembly for final ratification. However, details of the resolution were not known as at the time of filing this report.

According to Abdulrahim Abdulkarim, internal politics in NIA was not for public consumption, adding that, what should made public are developmental projects and assignments NIA is undertaking, adding that internal politics was the institute’s internal affairs and that should remain so.

“Right now, I have no comment; I was not removed, I resigned. I was given a letter of indefinite suspension; and after reviewing the whole case, based on my personal conviction, I decided to resign.

“My leaving NIA like I said still remains internal affairs of the institute. For me, I do not see anything as do or die affair. My suspension was hinged on reorganizing NIA.”

Speaking contentedly, Abdulkarim said: “I thank God for my attainment, level in life and my contribution to the institute. By and large, I am a senior member of the institute and so I will not be part of anything that will bring the institute into disrepute.”

He, however, added: “I am aware that the public is already challenging the action, though I don’t know how far that has gone.”A source from the Kwara State chapter said: “I see the whole matter as an in-house thing. But I can tell you that the Kwara State chapter has written a letter protesting that action by the NIA national. Beyond that, the class of fellows has also rejected the action.”

A one-time president of the institute described the development as a local politics. According to him, “The truth is that unfortunately, two senior fellows of the institute are the cloaks in the wheels of justice. These people have contributed to the profession in the past, went on sabbatical and now came back but with wrong motive.

He added that: “It is most unfortunately that previous leaders were also wrongly removed. They have succeeded in doing jankara; no query, no panel and nothing.

As a member of the NIA council and fellow of the institute said: “This matter was never debated by the Executive Council and I wonder why NIA could go this far.”

Although NIA president, Braide offered to speak with The Guardian went this reporter called him at the weekend, it was however, unfortunately that the network was poor.

Further efforts to reach him were unsuccessful. Also a text message sent to his mobile line was yet to be responded to as at the time of filing this report.

Inaugurated on the April 1, 1960, NIA was established after a detailed planning of its structures and systems by an eight-member study group two years earlier.

However, in the early 50s, three Nigerians living and training in England first conceived the idea for the formation of an autonomous organization for professional architects.

The institute was formed with the goal of promoting amiable relations amongst members as well as catering for the welfare of members and instituting mutual support and cooperation amongst them. It also aims at ensuring that standard professional practice policies and work ethics are maintained and strictly adhered to.

At the helm of affairs in terms of upholding the laws and policies of the Institute is the Executive Council. The Executive Council is made up of members elected or appointed at the Biennial General Meeting of the institute and is headed by the President who takes the Chair at all its meetings and the General Assembly. The Executive Council carries out various activities through different committees.

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