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Covid-19: Umahi Suspends Commissioner, Perm Sec., Others Over Border Lapses

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From Ignatius Okpara, Abakaliki

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Ebonyi state governor, David Nweze Umahi, has placed the Commissioner for Local government Affairs and the permanent Secretary on one-month suspension without salaries over border lapses. 

He says if there is no improvement in the running of the Ministry’s Affairs, after their suspension elapses, he would have no option than to relief the two state government officials of their duties.

Similarly, the governor announced the immediate suspension of all the Development Center Coordinators in Afikpo North and Ivo council areas of the state over border lapses in their localities.

According to him, the affected officials, are to handover to number 1 in their respective development centres including operational vehicles.

Umahi, also placed all political appointees and traditional rulers from the two local government councils on half salary until normalcy is returned.

The governor, who personally made his inspection experience known Sunday in Abakaliki said:

“What I saw last night at Ivo LGA has left me worried about our honesty in doing this job. Between 6:30pm to 12 midnight I entered Afikpo North and moved to Ivo and was so disappointed.

“In Ivo, I arrested over ten passenger vehicles with over 50 passengers coming from Abia, Port Harcourt and Lagos. Those on the road took bribes and allowed them to pass.

“I had no option than to arrest those who were said to be doing the work but were only there taking bribe and they are already at the holding centre in Abakaliki.

“No presence of town union in those locations, no monitoring by the LGA Commissioner or LGA chairmen or Coordinators or Commissioner for security. It is a shame.

“In Ohaozara, I observed that good work took place in the day but at night only the army, in one location only, and local boys stayed. No building of shades in all LGA for security.”

Umahi, however, ordered the LGA commissioner to, before Wednesday morning account for the expenditures of N15m released to each council area chairman for this pandemic.

He said: “I must definitely see if I can raise boys in each of the 140 communities to do this job and then review all appointments in line with those who can help in this fight to save our people.” the governor stated.

“I am still so depressed with the commitment of our security agencies despite my efforts in paying allowances. I have no solution to this, but God is alive. “Never seen this kind of compromise in my life not considering the danger of this pandemic.

The governor added: “I am now directing all political appointees especially Exco members to move and secure their communities. I am so much worried. If we do not try to contain this pandemic at this stage our people will be in danger. This is the reason God brought us up in this regard.”

Governor Umahi further announced the suspension chairman and leadership of Town Unions in Ebonyi and threatened to dissolve all town union this month if situation does not improve.

“Any state health worker that fails to be on his or her duty post from today will lose his or her job. I will do more in days to come to secure the lives of our people. I surely do appreciate some chairmen and coordinators who made a difference.

He stated thus: “I assure my people that government leaders as led by me your governor are at the front line for the safety of the lives of our people.

African Examiner reports that all the 5 states of Southeast Nigeria, have recorded cases of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the entire globe, including Nigeria.


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