Suspended Perm Secs In Abia, Cry Out In Agony



Some suspended Permanent Secretaries in Abia State, have cried out, following the agony and untold hardship their suspension has caused them and their families.

Narrating their ordeal to our reporter, a senior civil servant in the State civil service, who pleaded anonymity for fear of retribution, echoed the agonizing periods and sentiments of majority of those on suspension,as well as those in the service, but are stricken by fear of the iron fit rulership to speak up.

According to him,they voted for change but did not bargain for the change that has brought them only torment, mental torture and tears through their suspension from service without due process, adding that all what they heard as campaign promises, are today becoming a mirage of politicking which disappears once the person gets into office.”We have counted one step forward and ten backwards”.

Speaking further, the suspended civil servant described the current system of government in Abia as “Democratictorship”,where the “Achoolagi and Asackiaalagi” jokes have become a sobriquet freely used now by civil servants, which actually reflects their state of minds and depicts their real fears.

In tears, he wondered how someone who should be thanking God for succeeding in his quest for governorship after several attempts, would unleash such wickedness on the same masses, he said he was coming to wipe their tears, pointing that they do not only go to bed hungry, but with fears of being sacked.

He, however, queried the kind of freedom they got, which is now looking like bondage on innocent public, whose only offence was their vote for change in 2023.

The suspended Permanent Secretary, further disclosed that he would be meeting with his colleagues to seek legal redress since their suspension followed no known civil service law and duration of the suspension is open ended. “Have they been sacked? or will they return afterwards? were some rhetorical questions he asked. No man should be in such a limbo for no just reason”, he added.

Continuing, he described the strange suspension as illegal and unnecessary, giving the importance of experience in the execution of policies and programmes of government.

He also lamented the frustration of not even knowing or aware of the duration of the suspension, or has any idea from the judicial panel, which has no given time period to round off its findings,adding that they may be waiting without end.

“The suspension of the main
foot soldiers, who are the permanent secretaries and the immediate redeployment of directors, will lead to a total confusion, as the newly inaugurated Commissioners will be working in the dark without these two cadres of senior civil servants to guide them.Unlike in the bank, where unit heads can step in upon removal of the MD and managers.

“The public service is not like the bank, where anybody wakes up to change rules or sack or suspend workers without laid down rules and procedures.The government is not prepared, uninspiring and has been exposing their lack of tact and strategy in all they have done with civil service”.

He concluded that the administration of Gov Alex Otti is laying a bad precedent, where civil servants would now be seen and treated as politicians, arguing that every government that comes would begin to sack, suspend or reshuffle the entire civil service structure because they worked with the preceding government.

Meanwhile, he stated that It could be possible the present government, just like the way they have decided to obliterate the footprint of the last PDP administration, might have also decided to work without senior civil servants.

He, therefore, called on the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Abia State House of Assembly and other relevant stakeholders to wade into their matter, regretting that the Labour Congress and the House of Assembly are also not free from the vindictiveness.

“Civil servants who were expecting to breathe fresh air of change through training, retraining, constant salary payments, clearing of arrears, are now faced with mass sack, suspension, redeployment, draconian laws and iron fit regime. Do you know the number of civil servants silently sacked? Why the silence if they are not aware of the harshness of the sack on Abians?

“The salaries are not even better than it were under the past government. How many parastatal were paid in June? What about Our May salary? What about Local Government salaries? Even  the one ready for payment was halted. Teachers are crying but smiling to the public. Sincerely, we have regrets. Our families are now seeking for God to intervene”, he concluded.

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