• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Akwa Ibom : Political appointees yet to vacate office after tenure expiration

Akwa Ibom to increase IGR by 10% in 2024 fiscal year

Political appointees in Akwa Ibom have yet to vacate their offices even after the expiration of their tenure and the dissolution of non-statutory boards, agencies and commissions as announced by the state government.

Checks by BusinessDay showed that some members of the state executive council were still reporting to offices, while some were performing their duty behind the scene and turning up at the airport and lining up to receive Governor Umo Eno when he returns to the state.

Similarly, members of boards of non-statutory bodies who were appointed by the immediate past administration were found to be reporting to their offices despite the announcement that boards have been dissolved by the state government.

Enobong Uwah, secretary to the state government, had in June announced the dissolution of boards while directing affected members to hand over government property in their possession to the most senior civil servants.

According to the statement which came to effect immediately, all affected officers were by the notice “directed to hand over to the most senior civil servants in their respective boards, agencies and commissions in the state.”

The checks further showed that the statutory boards that were not affected included the state secondary education board, the judiciary service commission and the state civil service commission.

Reacting to the ugly development, Umo Eno warned leaders and members of dissolved non-statutory boards to disengage themselves from offices and desist from acting in their erstwhile capacities.

“I would also like to remind you that we have dissolved all non-statutory boards. You see, I am not the type that always likes to make some noise and carry everything around me because power is transient. That is why people have a lot of problems exiting power. I want to remain a very normal person in spite of my position.

“I understand that some people still go to the office and write memos and send them to me even after we have dissolved the board. When your salary doesn’t come, you will know certainly that we have dissolved the boards.

“You know traditionally, on the 29th of May, when a tenure of an administration ends, you don’t need to be told that your tenure has ended. That is why you don’t hear us announce the dissolution of the executive council because it wasn’t necessary.

“It is, however, saddening that some people were still going to work. And so that they won’t sue the government for not paying them; that is why we announced that all non-statutory boards be dissolved.

“Please, hand over to the next person, the next civil servant or any next person. Except you are on a statutory board or you are in the Constituted Limited Liability Company. Please do well to hand over and understand that your time is up, and don’t think that your coming back is mandatory,” the governor said.

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Governor Eno, who faulted the behaviour of some stakeholders for flouting his directive on nominations by Ward leaders for appointment as his aides, emphasised that such nominations must come from Ward leaders to allow them a free hand to nominate the ward members.

He explained that the decision was deliberate to activate the involvement of grassroots in the governance by adhering to “Power to the People” mantra of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and advised the stakeholders to heed his directive on the appointment.

“The reason for asking us to bring a PA, SA or whatever will come out with the right process. It is very intentional to show that we want to relate with the rural areas and the grassroots.

“Please, let us as the elite not destroy that good intention. Let the ward leaders, Chairmen, Executives and Ward Elders sit in their wards and look for someone who worked in that ward, and bring their names for the appointment. All the leaders must sign, from the ward chairmen to ward elders.

“I warned, let no one person go and insist on choosing or bringing a PA from a ward that is not his own. Please don’t do that no matter how highly placed you are in government. You can’t do that.

“As an exemplary leader and someone you have elected to serve you, I am only in my ward. I don’t even go to the next ward beyond my village. But I am hearing that some big men want to influence and dictate who and which name should be brought. Please don’t do that. It is against the doctrine of our party if we want to be honest. It is our belief that power belongs to the people, and let us give it to them,” he said.