Category Archives: South East

Anambra Sacks Over 1000 Civil Servants Amidst 8 Years Controversial Salary Arrears

By Sunny A. David

Anambra State Government has confirmed the termination of appointment of the staff of the State moribund Water Board Corporation.

Our correspondent reports that the board, which was officially shutdown in 2012 had over 1000 staff out of which about 300 had died waiting for their unpaid entitlements running from January 2012 to date.

A notice from the State Ministry of Public Utilities dated December 27, 2019, signed by one Rev. Dr. P. C. Amanzechukwu (for Commissioner of the Ministry) but was reportedly pasted last month at headquarters of the agency in Awka the State Capital, said their termination of appointments took effect from 2015.

It read, “The officers-in-charge, Anambra State Water Board Corporation (defunct), Awka. Formal notification of the termination of appointment of the erstwhile staff of the Anambra State Water Corporation.

“I am directed to refer to the Executive Council’s directive of December 9, 2019 and to formally convey the notification of the termination of appointment of the erstwhile staff of the defunct water corporation with effect from June 2, 2015 based in the cumulative effects of the Anambra State water supply and sanitation Law 2015 and reorganisation of the State’s water policy.

“Please advice the staff to report to the Ministry to collect their letter and take necessary steps to protect the moveable and immovable assets of the company.”

The State Commissioner for Public Utilities and Water Resources, Engr. Emeka Ezenwanne, who confirmed the notice to our correspondent, said they were sacked in line with the Anambra State Water Law 2015 which repealed the edit establishing the agency and other general conduct of their staff.

“Anambra State Government under Governor Willie Obiano is a law abiding government. Yes, we have issued letter of termination to the former staff of Anambra State Water Board Corporation. The letter is in line with the Anambra State Water Law 2015 that repealed the edit that established the water board.

“Again, they have not come up to account for the money they took from the state government account through garnishing. EFCC is currently investigating it.

“They were sacked due to their general conduct which is affecting the entire process including the unbundling processes stated in the 2015 Anambra State Water Law. After the garnishing, they have continued to make other efforts we don’t know what they are up to,” Engr. Ezenwanne added.

He said the State government was still providing water to the populace through Urban Water Supply and others.

But reacting, a retired staff of the defunct water corporation, Mr. Hilary Izuagu, said they were still employees of the State Civil Service, adding that the State Government was owing them from January 2012 to July 2020 and still counting.

Mr. Izuagu, who urged the State government to abide by all the provisions in the Anambra State Water and Sanitation Law 2015 and other extant laws of the land while dealing with them.

He explained that the money the agency took through garnishing were paid to their deserving staff accordingly, adding that he was unaware that EFCC were investigating its disbursement.

Niger Delta Today

No teacher was sacked by Abia State Government – Commissioner

Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu had debunked claims that the state governor sacked 5 666 teachers from the State Civil Service.

In an Opinion authored by Kalu, and published earlier by this media, he explained that the 5,666 teachers were never employed by the state government, as there has been a long standing embargo on employment in the civil service.

He also stated that whereas some of the teachers were employed by the Parents Teachers Associations of various schools, with internal arrangements for their renumeration, many fell victim to fraudulent persons who claimed to be insiders in government and would help them become full civil servants.

His words “There is a long existing embargo on new employment in Abia State Civil Service and only the Governor of the state can validly issue a waiver to employ anyone or group of persons to fill any vacancy within the service.

“Every civil servant, no matter the level, is aware of this fact and its implication for those wishing to join the civil service: only a valid waiver, in this circumstance, from the Governor, or a lifting of the embargo by the Governor, can genuinely give employment.

“Between 2018 and March 2020, Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) hired some teachers ostensibly as PTA-teachers who were supposed to be paid by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of some schools that needed them to fill some vacancies. They were never meant to draw their wages from the civil service of the state as no budgetary provision was made for that purpose and the Governor never issued any employment waiver for their hiring.

“According to information released from the office of the Chief of Staff (COS) to the Governor, about 5,666 persons were involved in this PTA arrangement without the necessary employment waivers. None of them ever received wages from the state government, in line with the terms of their hiring by SEMB, whereas 187 teachers employed by sane SEMB with valid waivers within the same period were receiving wages from the state government.

“Nobody was sacked, please.

“Obviously, some unscrupulous persons took money from the PTA teachers and others in need of teaching jobs, and promised them full government employment as teachers whereas those involved knew they could only hire PTA teachers at the request of the schools. One of the affected persons told me she was made to part with thousands of naira and told to go and work as the Governor would ultimately be compelled to approve their full employment and authorize their salary payment from the state government coffers.

“That is a SCAM.

“When the Governor found out about this scam, he empaneled a committee to review what happened and report back to him. The committee’s report pointed to all sorts of malfeasance including extortion, deception, manipulation of records etc and the government decided to make public its position via relevant announcements regarding the illegality so that those affected would not fall into the venture of making false claims of being owed for some work supposedly done for the state government.

“In the announcement signed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr ACB Agbazuere, government never claimed to have sacked any teacher because you simply can’t sack someone you never hired. None of the affected persons received any employment waiver from the Governor and those validly given waivers are continuing with their job.

“There are windows available to those PTA teachers and others: approach the schools where you were supposedly working to write the Commissioner for Education and request for your services as a teacher giving cogent reasons for the request with the letter copied to the COS. If the Honorable Commissioner finds merit in the request, he will recommend to the Governor for a waiver to be issued. Only the issuance of such waivers validates your employment with the state government. The other window is to wait for the state government to do a general audit of teachers in the state with a view to identifying where vacancies exist and fill same. According to the announcement, the government is ready to consider the 5,666 persons first, before others, to fill such gaps, if in existence.

“As per the argument that they met the then Commisioner for Education, please find out if they met him as newly employed teachers in the civil service or simply as PTA teachers”, he stated.

Abia’s 5,666 Teachers: You can’t sack someone you never hired-JOK

There is a long existing embargo on new employment in Abia State Civil Service and only the Governor of the state can validly issue a waiver to employ anyone or group of persons to fill any vacancy within the service.

Every civil servant, no matter the level, is aware of this fact and its implication for those wishing to join the civil service: only a valid waiver, in this circumstance, from the Governor, or a lifting of the embargo by the Governor, can genuinely give employment.

Between 2018 and March 2020, Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) hired some teachers ostensibly as PTA-teachers who were supposed to be paid by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of some schools that needed them to fill some vacancies. They were never meant to draw their wages from the civil service of the state as no budgetary provision was made for that purpose and the Governor never issued any employment waiver for their hiring.

According to information released from the office of the Chief of Staff (COS) to the Governor, about 5,666 persons were involved in this PTA arrangement without the necessary employment waivers. None of them ever received wages from the state government, in line with the terms of their hiring by SEMB, whereas 187 teachers employed by same SEMB with valid waivers within the same period were receiving wages from the state government.

Nobody was sacked, please.

Obviously, some unscrupulous persons took money from the PTA teachers and others in need of teaching jobs, and promised them full government employment as teachers whereas those involved knew they could only hire PTA teachers at the request of the schools. One of the affected persons told me she was made to part with thousands of naira and told to go and work as the Governor would ultimately be compelled to approve their full employment and authorize their salary payment from the state government coffers.

That is a SCAM.

When the Governor found out about this scam, he empaneled a committee to review what happened and report back to him. The committee’s report pointed to all sorts of malfeasance including extortion, deception, manipulation of records etc and the government decided to make public its position via relevant announcements regarding the illegality so that those affected would not fall into the venture of making false claims of being owed for some work supposedly done for the state government.

In the announcement signed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr ACB Agbazuere, government never claimed to have sacked any teacher because you simply can’t sack someone you never hired. None of the affected persons received any employment waiver from the Governor and those validly given waivers are continuing with their job.

There are windows available to those PTA teachers and others: approach the schools where you were supposedly working to write the Commissioner for Education and request for your services as a teacher giving cogent reasons for the request with the letter copied to the COS. If the Honorable Commissioner finds merit in the request, he will recommend to the Governor for a waiver to be issued. Only the issuance of such waivers validates your employment with the state government. The other window is to wait for the state government to do a general audit of teachers in the state with a view to identifying where vacancies exist and fill same. According to the announcement, the government is ready to consider the 5,666 persons first, before others, to fill such gaps, if in existence.

As per the argument that they met the then Commisioner for Education, please find out if they met him as newly employed teachers in the civil service or simply as PTA teachers.

Thank you.

-JOK(Honourable Commissioner for Information, Abia State)

Gov Ikpeazu sacks Abia SEMB Executive Secretary, drops 5,666 teachers over employment waiver

Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, the Governor of Abia State, has ordered the compulsory retirement of the Executive Secretary of Secondary Education Management Board, SEMB, Lawrence Ogbonna, who was on suspension.

The governor also said that 5,666 teachers who were wrongly employed without waiver by the Secretary be dropped from the state’s employment register.

The Governor’s directive was contained in a press release by his Chief of Staff, Barrister Anthony Agbazuere, on Wednesday, after receiving the report of the Committee on the supposed employment without waiver at the Secondary Education Management Board, SEMB.

In the release, Governor Ikpeazu noted the submissions of the Committee to the effect that out of the 5,853 people said to have been employed between 2018 to 2020, only 187 people were employed with a waiver, leaving the rest 5,666 people as employed without the waiver.

“In case, any of the 5,666 people employed without a waiver, was asked to start work by anybody, such a person should stop forthwith, having been so employed unlawfully.

“Schools that have a need for teachers in some special areas should make their submissions to the Commissioner for Education and copy the Chief of Staff to the Governor.

“That whenever there is such need to employ teachers, the government shall take recourse to the list of 5,666 people for employment”.

Man hangs self after failed attempt to strangle sister to death

A father-of-three allegedly committed suicide in an uncompleted building in Umudiaka, Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State.

Mr Emmanuel Eze is said to have taken his life on Sunday night, August 2, hours after a domestic fracas with his immediate family over a yet-to-be-identified matter.

The deceased, from Eha-Alumona, also in the same local government but who resides with his family at Umudiaka, allegedly tried to strangle his sister during the fracas the occured on Sunday morning.

According to Vanguard, residents said the late Eze would have strangled his younger sister if not for the intervention of neighbours who rushed to his house when his wife, identified as Mary, raised an alarm while he attacked his younger sister.

“He strangled his younger sister to the point that blood was coming out from her ears and nostrils. He equally kept a pestle by the side. However, given the intervention of the neighbourhood who rushed to the scene, the girl was rescued. She is now hospitalized at the Divine Mercy Hospital in Nsukka Metropolis,”
the source said.

Hours later, Eze was found hanging from an uncompleted building.

Sources suspect Eze may have considered taking his own life for the fear that his younger sister might die from the injuries she sustained when he attacked her.

Residents who identified the deceased said he collects rate for the local government at a livestock market, in Ikpa.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, who confirmed the incident to the publication, said the officers of Nsukka Urban Division have moved to the scene and are currently handling the situation.

He added that thorough investigations have commenced to unravel the circumstances that could have led to the act.

Biafran, Igbo groups to stage one-million man protest march against open grazing

Grassroots based Igbo groups including the Biafran Voice International (BVI), Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) and Coalition of Alaigbo Religious and Civil Society Organisations will this month organise a one million-man march against open grazing in Igboland.

President of ADF, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, who disclosed this in a statement, on Monday, indicated that the action was to prevail on Governors of South East and other Igbo speaking states to as a matter of urgency hasten the enactment of anti-open grazing law.

He blamed what people call herders-farmers’ clashes as a major root-cause of the present bloody security situation in Igboland and other parts of the country.

“What is more, criminals from West African and other countries have taken advantage of this situation to invade our communities wrecking all manner of havoc, killing, maiming, and kidnapping our innocent citizens, rapping our wives and daughters with reckless abandon.

“Therefore, the first step in tackling the security challenges is to control the free movement and grazing of cattle. We are not saying that nobody should rear cattle. All we are saying is that open grazing of cattle is bad for our security and is bad for our economy and our survival,” he stated.

According to the ADF President, the Igbo must “assert our collective resolve and call on our Governments to enact the anti-open grazing law as well as put in place all necessary measures to enforce the law.”

The group also faulted the community policing arrangement being worked out by the Inspector General of Police, as according to him, the Fulani-dominated police force cannot guarantee security of Igbo people.

ADF, instead charged the State Houses of Assembly in the region to quickly enact laws backing local security watch or vigilante groups in the communities.

The group urged people in the South East and other areas to immediately follow-suit the courageous and patriotic steps being taken and enforced by their kit-and-kin in the Anioma areas of Delta State to prevent the invasion of their territory by Fulani herdsmen.

“We must say no to the so-called community policing programme being propagated by the Nigerian Police which some Governors are cowardly and for some other reasons are accepting.

Igbos Owns Nigeria Not Fulani, Come to the North and See – Prof. Yusuf

Former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf, has described claims that the Fulani “own” Nigeria as a fallacy and “sentimental nonsense”.

He said that the erroneous narrative was being pushed by unscrupulous elements with a nefarious agenda.

According to him, Fulani people were in the minority in the federal civil service compared to Yoruba and Igbo people.

The Katsina-born professor added that Yoruba and Igbo people were also far richer than their Fulani counterparts.

Yusuf said that there was therefore no justification for claiming that the Fulani own or control Nigeria.

“Which part of Nigeria do they own? Igbo people are richer than Fulani people; Yoruba people are also richer than Fulani people. There are more Igbo and Yoruba in federal civil service than Fulani.

“Does any Fulani own a bank? Does any Fulani own a media house? Does any Fulani own a hotel? All the hotels in Abuja and land are owned by the Igbo. Is Abuja Igbo land? Can Fulani own in the East what Igbo own in the North? No. If you have never been to the North, come and see the landed properties that the Igbo have, which the Fulani do not have and cannot have in Igbo land.

“Whoever that says Fulani man owns Nigeria, let him come and say how. Fulani man occupies Aso Rock, and so what? An Igbo man should come and occupy Aso Rock and give the Fulani all the material wealth he has in the North. That is nonsense.
“Igbo own all the hotels, they own banks, and Yoruba own the newspapers and banks. What do the Fulani own? It is just sentimental nonsense,” Yusuf told Saturday Sun.

Ohafia residents protest release of Church of Satan pastor in Abia

Some youths in Ohafia, Abia state have taken to the streets to protest the release of Ifegwu Udo aka Lucifer, founder and pastor of the Church of Satan, from prison.

According to reports, Udo was granted bail in the sum of N1 million each with two sureties in like sum. He was, however, released after meeting the bail conditions.

Speaking to reporters on the protest and banishment of the evil master, the president of Ohafia youths, Obasa Ohafia, described Udo as a persona non grata to the community.

His words, “After the incident in Ohafia in which the police station, high and magistrate courts were burnt, we discovered after investigation that the policeman who killed the trader apprentice that triggered the protest came out from Lucifer’s brothel where he got himself drunk before he shot dead the young man.

“Since he was arrested, calm returned to Ohafia, but on Monday we heard he (Lucifer) was released, the same day, an okada rider in Ohafia was killed and his motorcycle made away with. The youths then said if Lucifer could be released and the same day somebody was killed, it then means there will not be peace in Ohafia if he
returns”.

Obasi said since creation, nobody in Ohafia has been known by the name Lucifer, adding that since the name was strange to Ohafia, it means the person bearing it is a stranger and “this is why the youths are saying no to Lucifer, we don’t want him again”.

Obasi said Ndi Eze Ogo (ruling chiefs) in Ohafia were in support of the protests and have authorized them to deal decisively with Lucifer wherever he is seen in Ohafia.

“The Eze Ogos are in total support of our action, we embarked on the peaceful protest to tell Lucifer he has been banished from Ohafia. We are saying no to Lucifer, he is a bad influence to youths in Ohafia.

The youth leader foreclosed any brokering of peace between Ohafia youths and Lucifer, insisting that if the founder of the Church of Satan could be pardoned and allowed to return to Ohafia, it will be after 10 years according to the custom of the people.

“Ever since he was taken away, our people have been sleeping with their two eyes closed, so, there is no point wanting him back”, Obasi said.

Abia Govt release schools resumption timetable

Further to the recommendation of education stakeholders in the state to resume academic activities on the 10th of August, 2020, to enable exit students take part in local and international examinations, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed that primary and secondary schools in the state reopen on Tuesday, 4th August, 2020, to ensure that teachers, relevant education and health authorities put in place necessary measures prior to resumption of full academic activities.

The timeline for activities leading to the return of students in exit classes for academic activities on the 10th of August, 2020, are as follows:

1. Monday, 3rd August, 2020

a. Mobilization of leaders of fumigation teams in all the 17 LGAs of the State with each team including, at least, 3 environmental officers from the state ministry of environment and local governments to coordinate and monitor the fumigation exercise in all public primary and secondary schools in the state.

b. Private companies in the state engaged in fumigation business are hereby invited to a meeting at the International Conference Center, Umuahia, by 10am. They are to come with their operational equipment for display, review and possible approval to participate in the exercise.

c. All LGA Transition Council Chairmen and their education secretaries are also invited to attend the meeting at the International Conference Center.

2. Tuesday, 4th August, 2020

a. All schools in the state will reopen with Head and other teachers expected to resume in their various schools to commence a dry run for the resumption of academic activities. They are also expected to attend school from thence till the conclusion of examinations for exit classes in both primary and secondary schools.

b. The state ministry of health, in partnership with the ministry of education, is to commence sample collection and testing for COViD-19 of all head teachers, teachers and all those expected to be part of the management of the relevant examinations in our public and private schools. Only those who test negative to the virus will be expected to continue attending classes or interacting with students and others involved in the management of the examinations.

c. Head teachers and others are expected to monitor the clearing, cleaning and fumigation exercises in the various schools and send reports through the relevant education secretaries in the 17 LGAs to the Honorable Commissioner for Education latest by 10am on the 5th of August, 2020.

3. Wednesday, 5th August, 2020

a. Head teachers are to provide hand washing stations in all the schools as well as ensure that sick bays and isolation areas are readied prior to resumption of students.

b. The ministry of education is to provide detailed readiness evaluation report covering all primary and secondary schools in the State to the Governor for review.

c. State ministry of health, in partnership with the ministry of education, is expected to deliver pocket and table hand sanitizers, face masks and digital thermometers provided by the state government to all public schools in the state for free distribution to students, teachers and examination supervisors.

4. Thursday & Friday, 6th & 7th August, 2020

The state ministry of health is expected to conclude the teaching and training of all teachers on COVID-19 protocols as well as set up relevant monitoring teams that will ensure full compliance.

Finally, the Governor directs that all private primary and secondary schools in the state ensure compliance with the resumption regulations or risk immediate closure.

Thank you.

Chief John Okiyi Kalu
Honorable Commissioner for Information, Abia State
1st August, 2020.

BREAKING: Gov Ikpeazu sacks TIMAAS boss, LG chairmen of Umunneochi, Aba North and South,  Commissioner for Transport

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D has approved the immediate suspension of the following

1. The General Manager of Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State (TIMAAS).

2. The Transition Committee Chairman of Aba South Local Government Area.

3. The Transition Committee Chairman of Aba North Local Government Area.

The Governor has also relieved the Commissioner of Transport, Barr. Ekele Nwaohammuo of his appointment as Honourable Commissioner.

The Transition Committee Chairman of Umuneochi LGA, Engr. Mathew Ibe has equally been relieved of his appointment.

The Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D has also approved the appointment of the following as Commissioner Nominees;

1. Tony Nwanmuo

2. Godswill Nwonoruo

The Governor has also approved the appointment of Barr. Ezechikamnayo as Transition Committee Chairman Nominee for Umuneochi Local Government Area.

The Deputy Chairmen of the affected Local Government Areas are to take over and together with their Heads of Service immediately set up a taskforce to check environmental indiscipline and other vices.

TIMASS taskforce is also to be setup to further check these excesses.

SIGNED:

Dr. A.C.B. Agbazuere
Chief of Staff to the Governor.