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8 October, 2019 01:03:14 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 8 October, 2019 01:48:47 AM

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It’s my failure to lead properly

Juba League chief Omar Faroque Chowdhury tells theindependent
Abu Jakir, Dhaka
It’s my failure to lead properly

The ruling Awami League’s affiliate youth organisation Awami Juba League Chairman Omar Faroque Chowdhury says he takes full responsibility for the failure to run his organization properly and guide his fellows to the right direction. The Juba League chairman also said he had focused mostly on strengthening the organization and had no knowledge that his party leaders were involved in such massive irregularities.

“I did not know that leaders and workers of my organisation have gotten involved in such massive wrongdoings.

It’s my failure indeed, I shall not refute it. I had given them the posts and responsibilities based on their good performance and love for the organisation. But they went in the wrong way and now law enforcers must take action against the wrongdoers as per the law” said Chowdhury while talking to The Independent over telephone Sunday night.

Top leaders of the Juba League became news headlines in the past few weeks after their involvement in massive corruption, tender manipulation, casino business and other irregularities were exposed during an ongoing drive by law-enforcers.

Lamenting over his ignorance of the wrongdoings, he said, “Why I didn’t know that my men have gotten involved in various types of wrongdoings? Definitely it was my failure. My focus was to strengthen the organisation. But I think the law enforcers and other watchdogs of the country including NBR, ACC should have been aware about these wrongdoings, but they didn’t.”

Omar Faroque Chowdhury, brother-in-law of AL Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, said he wants to face the prevailing crisis in his organization and not evade any blame.

“I have no intention to flee from the crisis. Now I am in the middle of the crisis…    I know, people will not remember my good deeds right now,” said a frustrated Chowdhury. “Now all are criticising me, but I welcome all such criticism as it will help me to rectify and become better,” the embattled Juba League president added. Replying to a question, Chowdhury said, “I have learned politics from my leader Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. According to my leader, politics is an art of compromise. But compromise doesn’t mean making outright concession. I tried to resolve issues through discussion and some compromises. I did it with my fellows in a bid to strengthen the organization.”     

“I learnt from my experience in politics in the past fifty years that a man can’t achieve everything in his life, this is the reality,” he lamented, adding that he is now passing a painful time as nobody wants to believe him.

Replying to another question, he said, “It’s up to the law enforcers to find out if more Juba League leaders are involved in illegal activities or not. It’s not my matter, it is their job.”

When asked whether he had received any share from the money earned by ‘casino king’ Ismail Chowdhury Samrat, the Juba League chairman said these are just allegations and it is the job of the law enforcing agencies to investigate into the matter and find out if I took any money from him. “People won’t believe me if I say anything right now,” Chowdhury said, adding,“Everything will be clear soon. Let’s see.” When asked whether he was once an activist of Juba Sanghati, the youth front of Jatiya Party, he answered negatively and said he was involved in Chhatra League politics from the beginning of his life and then got involved in Juba League of Chattagram district unit.

About the upcoming central council session of Juba League, likely to be held before December, Chowdhury said the AL high-ups would fix the date for the council and he would not contest for any post in Juba League in the upcoming council. “I want to handover the organisation’s helm to new faces,” he added.

When asked about the Bangladesh Bank’s move seeking his bank information, Chowdhury said it was a decision of the government and he has to accept the current realities.

On October 3, Bangladesh Bank Financial Intelligence Unit asked banks and non-banking financial institutions to provide information on all accounts of Juba League Chairman Mohammad Omar Faruque Chowdhury.

Party insiders said the Juba League chairman is trying heart and soul to have a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban. But the premier doesn’t want to meet him, said sources. Law enforcers have been carrying out drives against casinos and gambling since September 18 and arrested Juba League leaders Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan, SM Golam Kibria Shamim, party’s Dhaka South unit President Ismail Hossain Samrat and others with huge amount of cash, illegal firearms, drugs and other contraband items.  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at meeting of the AL’s executive committee, had expressed annoyance over the activities of Juba League leaders. The meeting of the AL top leadership had also taken the decision to strip Bangladesh Chhatra League president and general secretary, Rezwanul Hoque Chowdhury Shovon and Golam Rabbani, of their posts amid allegations of extortion and other irregularities. The law enforcers’ crackdown against casino and other illegal activities followed the meeting.

According to a few Awami League leaders who attended the meeting, Hasina had described some Juba League leaders as being “worse than Shovon and Rabbani”.

Without mentioning any name, the prime minister had said a leader of Juba League’s Dhaka chapter was involved in extortion and acting as he pleases while another was openly carrying a firearm. “It must be stopped. Those who deal in arms, shelter goons — they must be warned. This must stop. Otherwise they will be dealt with in the same way as militants,” Sheikh Hasina was quoted as saying by meeting sources.


IK

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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