My friend, a general manager in a performance demanding new generation bank, is a wicked man. I told him so over the weekend. I threatened to report him to Dr. Ngige, the minister for Labour if he dares carry out his threat. When Mr. Jabiti called me out for a drink last Friday, I thought it was just for our usual hang out, banters and updates on what was happening in financial industry. But he had something else in mind. After usual pleasantries over roasted fish and non-alcoholic Guinness stout, Jabiti exploded, "Wahali! if I don't sack Mahmud by month end, call me an idiot". I didn't know where he was coming from. I asked if Mahmud had snatched his non-financial allowance, a veiled description of an office mistress, he nodded in the negative. I demanded an explanation. Jabiti, Mahmud, and I served in the same local government during the mandatory National Youths Service. Mahmud was the first to get an employment in a bank. He has been so unlucky too. He was framed up and sacked after about 3 years of rising to the post of a Bank Manager. He had tried his hands in some other things but was very desirous of returning to banking industry as a branch manager. All attempts failed until Jabiti, our friend rose to a position of huge influence in his bank in that he could package even an over-aged candidate for employment to his management. After persuasions and assurances, Jabiti packaged Mahmud and facilitated his employment in his bank. He was given the biggest branch on the Victoria Island . Mahmud, at the first management meeting, gave a graphic report on how the former manager ran down the branch. He received a loud applause and was enjoined to fix the identified problem. He was given a free hand to sack all branch staff he met on ground and recruit whoever he believed would help him turn around the branch's fortunes. He did all that. All the new entrants he head-hunted and employed speak Idoma, his mother tongue. It is 16 months now and Mahmud is still talking about how badly the branch was run down. Jabiti, the general manager, is greatly embarrassed as he is distressed. He wants to act before the management starts questioning his judgement. Personnel department has now designated Mahmud as a previously unrecognized recruitment error (PURE). What pains our mutual friend is that Mahmud has refused to update his management software. He also has refused to work with people who can help him out of his woods. I begged Jabiti to sheath his sword and let me counsel Mahmud as I was sure he would listen to me. I also believed that it was not too late for Mahmud to do the right thing. Mahmud kept an appointment at my office the next day. As I broached the topic and he flew into rage. He is quick tempered. He briefly served as a police officer before he resigned and entered the university. He wondered why Jabiti would want to sack him when he knew the facts- that the former manager wrecked the branch with no savings or current accounts base required for him to create loans that will make his branch profitable. He would not stop blaming the past leadership of the branch for incompetence and I'm not sure my advise that he should build his own balance sheet from the scratch struck any cord in him. He appeared to have forgotten the indices of performance. Our discussion revealed big blunders he made. He had called the bluff of the major current account customers on Saka Tinubu Street. He refused to reinstate their concession on charges put in by his predecessors and still expect them to bank with him. He also cancelled birthday cakes and gifts to customers to cut costs. The top big customers didn't get any Xmas presents as the ceremony offends his faith. I could remember that prior to his engagement, he had claimed to have had a friend in the branch that gave him a background information on how bad the situation of the branch was. He told me that he didn't know that the situation was that bad. I have taken a national view of the issue at hand and can conclude that Mahmud, the branch manager, is not alone. There are many of his kind being hailed by their employers even without performance. They think that consistent naming and shaming of their predecessors is the real achievement that matters. Because I helped Mahmud get this job, I shall stand by him. Should Mr. Jabiti make good his threat to sack him, I shall personally report him to the Labour Minister who has issued job security to all bankers as long as they have not committed fraud. Standing to leave, Mahmud whispered something to my ears. I froze to my bone marrow. He told me that he had a dossier on Jabiti, his dirty deals and details of the accounts he used to launder money for politicians. He told me that he knew some of the assets Jabiti didn't declare. He mentioned that his cousins in the security network told him about those of some top shots in the bank. I assured him that Jabiti our common friend would turn a new leave. I didn't wait for him to enter the lift before I called Jabiti to let him know that the hunted had become the hunter with a brand new AK-47. Jabiti paused for a minute. He then told me that if Mahmud knew all he claimed that he deserved a promotion. According to him, intelligent people like Mahmud deserved to be rewarded for remaining calm in spite of provocation. I had cut the phone and redial again to be sure that I was talking to my friend Jabiti. He thanked me for the important information I gave him. I'm still nonplused. Last week was the end of the half-yearly appraisals in banks. Mr. Mahmud was promoted to the amazement of many staff for the matured way he has been handling the affairs of his branch in spite of the present economic conditions of bank customers. He has been posted to Markudi Main branch of the bank. He is also slated for The CEO's Award. In this period, performance does not matter, loyalty and honesty or official dishonesty are all that pays. Article Credit to Anayo Nwosu.