By Ferdinand Ekeoma( Umuahia)
Our attention has been drawn to a release captioned “COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE 17TH SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF ABA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION) and issued by the Diocese of Aba Anglican Communion on a variety of issues concerning Abia state, Nigeria and the society at large at the end of their 17th Synod.
The release dedicated two paragraphs specifically on Abia and read thus:
“Given the station of Aba as an outstanding commercial nerve center in the South East, the protracted dilapidation of most roads in the city strangulates business life, increases hardship in the land, stalls development, exposes the citizens to untold health hazards and scares away industrialists thus occasioning unemployment, armed robbery and all manner of insecurity in the town and it’s environs. The Synod therefore calls on all tiers of government to urgently declare a state of emergency on road network in Abia especially Port Harcourt, Ohanku, Obohia and other roads in Aba and its environs”
“The Synod frowns at the massive lay-off of civil-servants within the state which worsens the hardship in the society and fuels all vices associated with unemployment. While not applauding the last minute mass employment by outgoing administrations,the Synod however urges the government to revisit this decision” it concludes.
- We strongly contemplated not responding to the statement as a mark of respect for the Anglican Church, coupled with the very cordial relationship we enjoy with many of the respected Bishops and clergy in the Anglican family, but on a second thought we decided to respond in order to put the records straight and make the public whom the release sought to mislead to understand that it was a creation of personal malice executed by one of the signatories who merely dragged the church along in order to accord the much needed importance to the statement.
- The said signatory had made a request to the Governor to exclude and allow his daughter who was a beneficiary of the March 2023 fake employment carried out by the previous government, after it had lost election, to remain in the Civil Service. However, the Governor turned down the request on the grounds that it will be unjust to exclude or recall one person out of the several people affected.
- The same Signatory had also made two other futile requests to the Governor which included; to endorse and confirm a factional Chairman of NULGE in Abia against the will of majority of the union executives and members, and also to support the imposition of a certain traditional ruler as Chairman Traditional Rulers Council. The Governor turned down these requests because they were unhealthy and self serving.
- Given the above, it is difficult to accept the pieces of advice as altruistic.
- It was important that the church admitted that there’s obvious dilapidation of road infrastructure which has given rise to various socio-political and economic vices in the state. This implies that their expectation is that Governor Otti would apply measures that could have the propensity to disrupt the Abia norm of negativity and apply a workable and progressive strategy that can ignite prosperity for all.
- It’s equally interesting that the church seriously frowns at the last minute employment carried out by the Ikpeazu government. We understand that the Synod’s disapproval of that Ikpeazu’s decision was predicated on their conviction that it was a politically motivated sham whose purpose was deceitful.
- Having rightly expressed their opposition to that unjustifiable last minute employment sham, we are therefore surprised that the Anglican Synod turned around to disagree with the Alex Otti led-government over its decision to invalidate that act of deceit that was obviously a booby trap for the Otti government. This contradiction leaves many questions unanswered.
For further elucidation, we would like to remind our revered Lordships and other members of the Synod that the Civil Service is naturally structured to run an organized system predicated on adherence to laid down guidelines and extant laws in the recruitment of workers. It’s not meant to function like a market where entry is without scrutiny or restrictions, hence the underlisted ten guidelines are followed strictly.
- Advertisement of Vacancies:
- Application Submission:
- Screening and Tests:
- Reference Checks.
- Offer of Employmen.
- Orientation and Training.
- Probation Period.
- These processes were completely ignored as no vacancies were declared and no transparent process of employment was followed. Smuggling someone’s name into the nominal rolls does not imply that employment has taken place.
With no vacancies for employment declared, how do you surreptitiously and from the back door, process thousands of people and claim they were employed by the same government that was owing several months of accumulated salary and pension arrears which it blamed on overbloated workforce.
- After cleaning up the mess in the Civil Service and creating genuine job opportunities, the Otti led-government would properly employ Abians where they will be productive and useful to themselves and to the Government.
It is also important to state that this government has not and will not disengage any staff who was genuinely hired into the civil service.
- Finally, Governor Otti wishes to assure the Anglican church that he holds the church in high esteem and thus would continue to see the church and its leaders as progressive partners, but wishes to call on the leadership of the church to caution individuals who might want to subject the church to public ridicule in pursuit of selfish interests.