June 12, 2023

Why we nullified employment of over 12,000 civil servents – Gov Alia

Gov Alia

Gov. Alia

…insists his govt isn’t on witch hunt mission

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

The Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia has explained that his administration resolved to cancel the employment of over 12,000 civil servants recruited by the last administration and also reverted all promotions to the rank of Permanent Secretary because the entire exercise which lacked due process was full of irregularities and was also lopsided.

The Governor who made the clarification on Monday during his Democracy Day broadcast to the people of the state, insisted that the last administration failed to take cognizance of the State Character Principle during the processes assuring that his administration was out to right perceived wrongs and not on a witch hunt mission.

It would be recalled that the administration had in a recent press statement cancelled all employments made by the last administration from May 2022 and also nullified all promotions to the rank of Permanent Secretary effected by that administration from January 2023.

Governor Alia, during his broadcast hinted that it was important to brief the people of the state on some of the key decisions his administration took in the last two weeks.

He said, “On the issue of recruitments/appointments, we noted that it was full of irregularities. Specifically; the Civil Service Secretariat through the out-gone administration recruited 2,194 persons. The State Universal Basic Education, SUBEB, employed 3,028 against the approved number of 2,500 only; while Replacements made were over 5,000. Teaching Service Board, TSB, employed 2,500 that is, for Grant-in-Aid Schools, four in number, 120 Teachers. Replacements were 2,484. In the entire exercise, due process was not adopted.

“In addition, the employment was lopsided in favour of few Local Government Areas, LGAs, and did not take the principle of State Character into consideration; also, no budgetary provision was made to cater for the recruitments just as there was no advertisement in any media as required by the provisions of the rules guiding the Service on the matter; and no Interviews were conducted to determine suitability or otherwise of candidates. Above all, the Solicitor-General of the State was not involved at any stage of the recruitment process.

“Also the appointment of persons to the post of Permanent Secretaries from January, 2023 to May, 2023 was reversed because the appointments were politically motivated, the due process required was not observed.

“The eventual postings of the appointed Permanent Secretaries were mainly for cover up. In making the appointments, the State Character Principle was not observed.

“In view of all the above, the hard decisions we are taking are for the common good. We have no room for witch hunt in our Government. But we will not shy away from taking those decisions that may look harsh but have become the foundations on which to build the peaceful and prosperous Benue of our dreams.”

While suing for patience and understanding over backlog of unpaid salaries, pensions and gratuity, the Governor promised that by June 25, 2023 civil servants would start receiving their payments.

He said: “We see our mandate as an opportunity to right the wrongs, to rekindle hope in the electorate that a better Benue is possible and indeed at hand.

“In other ways, we will always count on your prayers, co-operation and support to succeed. We assure you that we are not a Government for any particular Party, any ethnic group or any religion. As a matter of fact, we are not only for Benue indigenes. We see all legitimate Benue residents as our people and would always treat them fairly, with respect and decorum.”