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EXCLUSIVE: Sports Commissioner Under Fire Over Appointment Of Sibling as Stadium Manager

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

ENUGU, NIGERIA, (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Stakeholders in Enugu State’s sports have criticized the recent engagement of Mrs. Faustina Ezeukwu, a younger sister to the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Mr.Joseph Udedi, as the new Manager of the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium.

Consequently, they called on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuayi to as a matter of urgency reverse the appointment.

AFRICAN EXAMINER Sports gathered that Commissioner Udedi, had single handedly given Mrs. Ezeukwu, who hails from Ezeagu local government area of Enugu state, but married to an Abia man, the exalted office , following the recent retirement of the former Manager, Pastor  Mrs. Harriet Eneh, from the civil service.

Speaking to our Correspondent in Enugu on the issue, which has continued to generate criticisms from many quarters, some major stakeholders in sports in the state, including those closed to Udedi’s Ministry, who craved anonymity for fear of victimization wondered why the Commissioner should  give her biological sister the job, “or, is he trying to turn the Ministry into a family venture” asked one of the sources.

They argued that the Commissioner did not follow due process in engaging his sister who was not the proper person to occupy the office going by Enugu State civil service rules.

According to them, there is a staff of the Ministry next to the retired stadium Manager in terms of grade level, who ought to have succeeded her, and not Mrs. Ezeukwu, who is currently a level 12 Administration staff in the Ministry.

“Using such important and sensitive office as the stadium for family patronage to me, is counter-productive, and that is why the Governor should immediately intervene in this matter, the Commissioner can use the influence of his office to engage her sister elsewhere” another source declared.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer PRO of the State Sports Ministry, Mr. Dan Onwuegbuna, justified the appointment, saying, “as a Commissioner in charge of the Ministry, Udedi, has the powers to engage whoever he feels has the capacity to deliver.

He said the complaints over the appointment was uncalled for, as the Commissioner believes strongly that the new Manager has all it takes to deliver the goods.

“The key issue is deliverance, as far as the new stadium Manager can deliver, I don’t see anything wrong in her appointment; She is from Enugu state Ezeagu precisely, and eminently qualified to hold the office, so people should stop complaining, or over flogging the issue.

Onwuegbuna disclosed that the decision was also taken because the next officer close to the retired stadium Manager who ought to have taken over is still on level seven, while Mrs. Ezeukwu, is on level 12.

 

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