by Stanley Azuakola
Apart from Ondo state, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) firmly controls every other state in the South-West. And as 2014 approaches, when two ACN governors, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, would face the electorate again, opposition parties in the zone, particularly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has stepped up the criticisms against the ACN.
The South-West zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for the “deliberate destruction of the Civil Service in the South-West States.” The PDP says it is displeased with the way the ACN makes appointments into the service, because it is “dangerous for the maintenance of the culture of seniority and professionalism in the service.”
Nigeria’s civil service rules base promotion on seniority. But the PDP argued that in the ACN controlled states, junior officers were being promoted above their seniors, non-career civil servants being appointed Permanent Secretaries and Directors General and attempt being made to appoint a serving judge in Lagos State as Chief Judge of another State.
According to the PDP, “If these governors are not cautioned, we will soon get to a level where Clerical Officer will be appointed as Permanent Secretary and someone just appointed as judge appointed as Chief Judge.”
The PDP Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, who made the statement, listed four different examples. He said:
– The ACN started it in Lagos State by appointing non-career civil servants like Mr. Segun Ayobolu, Senator Gbenga Ashafa and Muri Okunola as Permanent Secretaries and Directors General.
– Governor Fayemi appointed his cousin, Mr Lekan Owolabi, a local government treasurer as the State Accountant General. He also appointed Mr. Dayo Apata, a federal civil servant, who is also his cousin as permanent secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General and a few days ago. He capped it up by appointing someone who has 38 Doctors as her seniors as Permanent Secretary.
– In Osun State, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has tried albeit unsuccessfully to install Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, a judge who is number 12 in Lagos State as the Chief Judge of the State.
– The ACN governors are also sacking public servants because they were appointed or promoted by past governments pretending not to know that governance is a continuum. In Ekiti State, over 20 permanent Secretaries have been sacked while 23 were forced to resign in Ogun State. Apart from Permanent Secretaries, Accountant General, Auditor General, Local Government Directors of Administration and Treasurers were also sacked in Ekiti State. Junior staff are also not being spared by the ACN vindictive governors as over 7,000 have been sacked in Ekiti, over 3,000 sacked in Oyo and 2,500 sacked in Ogun.
The PDP warned that the actions of the ACN governors were capable of destroying the public service. They urged the ACN governors to put a stop to them.