Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State on Monday explained why he sacked newly employed civil servants by his immediate predecessor.
Alia who gave the explanation during a statewide broadcast to mark this year’s Democracy Day, noted that the wings of democracy which he has benefitted from to serve Benue people cannot be taken for granted.
“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,” he said.
The governor, who also paid tributes to the icon of democracy, late Moshood Abiola, assured that his administration would not be a government for any particular party, any ethnic group or any religion, stressing that every Benue residents would be always treated fairly, with respect and decorum.
He explained, “Again, as we mark Democracy Day in Benue State, we owe you all explanations about the few key decisions we have taken so far. 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 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 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.”
The governor further disclosed that the appointment of persons to the post of Permanent Secretaries between January, 2023 to May, 2023 was reversed because the appointments were politically motivated, the due process required was not observed and that their eventual postings were mainly for cover up.
Alia however called for patience and understanding among civil servants in the state as he noted that his government was working hard to address problems so that, as from June 25, they should start expecting alerts for their payments.