Apparently irked by the unbecoming, retrogressive and anti government activities of the Permanent Secretary, Imo State Local Government Service Commission Mrs Rosemary K.O Izuogu, some stakeholders and top civil servants in the state have called on Gov. Hope Uzodimma to show the woman the exit route from LGSC before she rubbishes the good works and programs of his Shared Prosperity government in Imo State. Specifically, they are begging the governor to act fast and save the Commission from getting totally destroyed by an agent of system destruction in the person of Mrs Izuogu.
The stakeholders and civil servants who spoke to Nigerian Newsguide last week under strict anonymity informed that Imo State Local Government system has grounded to a halt under Mrs. Izuogu as Permanent Secretary without appointed Chairman and Commissioners. They noted that with the woman as sole administrator since there are no statutory Chairman and members of LGSC, the center can no longer hold in the Commission as things have fallen apart over the past one year Mrs Izuogu has piloted the affairs of the Commission.
They equally urged Gov. Uzodimma not to consider Mrs Izuogu for any appointment into the Commission probably after her retirement which they claimed was long over do. “She has bad temperament and orientation that is anti-establishment and anti-government too”, a source told our reporter.
Nigerian Newsguide learnt that the woman in the eye of the storm (Mrs Izuogu) was actually billed for retirement since October 19, 2017 which is apparently the sole reason tongues are seriously wagging as per why a supposed retiree is still manning the affairs of Local Government Service Commission in Imo State. A Government White Paper obtained by our medium, dated July 2010, indicated that Mrs Izuogu who was born on 19-10-1957 and joined Imo state Civil service on 14-11-1989 was certainly due for retirement on 19-10-2017, having clocked exactly 60 years in service as at 2017.
Part of Mrs K.R.O Izuogu’s many sins and destructive tendencies in LGSC, is the conscious flagrant violation of seniority rule, compulsorily applicable in the consideration of individuals for promotion and appointment across the federation. In this regard, our investigation reveals that Madam Perm. Sec only favours Directors of Administration and General Services any time any day, projecting them all as the most Senior civil servants in the LGAs to head the system in the absence of elected or appointed Council Chairmen, when there are other Directors that are superior to DAGS and more so, the fact that there is provision for the Office of Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) recognized by law and in force in the 35 states of the federation including FCT with exception of Imo state.
The said Heads of Local Government Administration(HOLGAs) according to our findings are Level-17 officers and higher than DAGS in rank but Mrs Izuogu has relegated all of them to the background, using level-16 DAGS to run the system, creating war, tension, disharmony and anarchy in all the 27 LGAs in Imo state. The HOLGAs, we gathered were appointed at twilight of the Okorocha administration but started work under the Ihedioha government with their Gen-35 and have been drawing salaries and allowances on Grade Level-17 till date. A recent resolution of Imo State House of Assembly mandating Mrs. Izuogu to recognize them and observe seniority rule in the local government system was not heeded to. Though some of these HOLGAs have retired but Mrs Izuogu rendered their appointment and offices inoperative, redundant and dysfunctional.
Another weightier matter of the law the LGSC Permanent Secretary has deliberately raped and abused is the promotion/appointment of Heads of the seven statutory departments in the LGAs. In this regard again, Mrs Izuogu’s destructive tendencies are manifest such that the HODs or Directors of the statutory departments viz; Administration, Agriculture, Budget/Planning, Finance, Health, Works and Social Development as contained in the Scheme of Service (2006) were not appointed based on seniority rule. And Izuogu, our investigation shows, only observes seniority rule in the appointment of DAGS(Administration), Treasurers (Finance), Internal Auditors, cashiers and HPMs, whilst handpicking any junior officer to head the remaining five departments.
It is however worthy of mention that Mrs Rosemary Izuogu on her own created new departments of Personnel Management, Statistics, etc, gave them due recognition and entitlements but maintained her HELL NO posture over statutory departments listed above and stifling life out of them all willingly.
Our newspaper gathered that Mrs Izuogu has caused more harm than good in the Local Government Councils in Imo by appointing for instance Level-14 officers to head level- 15 officers as heads of departments, a situation that has generated endless internal fisticuffs and bad blood, leading to poor input and output among the workers which is really giving the administration of Gov. Hope Uzodimma a bad name. Two cases in point, were one Okechukwu Okere and Uchehara Ndubuisi on Grade level-14 who were appointed Council Treasurers by Mrs Izuogu against their seniors on grade level-15.
A document sighted by our reporter clearly indicated that when one Mrs P.C Anyanwu then Perm. Sec LGSC died, that the Director of Accounts Mr Paul Anyanwu (most senior Director in the Commission) was acting as Perm Sec, even when there was a Director of Administration, Mr. S. Agbonye who was junior to the Director of Accounts, a pointer to the fact that seniority rule which Mrs Izuogu had long jettisoned is sacred and un-tamperable.
Recent posting and redeployment of staff to LGAs in the State done by Mrs K.R.O Izuogu show that seniority rule was only applied in Admin and Finance departments, whilst the rest of Directors or HODs of the remaining five departments and Clerks of Councils were muddled lopsidedly, in that two or more statutory and subsisting Heads of departments were posted to the same department in a particular LGA, leaving most LGAs with very junior officers to head the departments. Officers in the muddled areas have been in constant in-fighting on who becomes the superior thus distorting management structure and organigram. A source alleged that the Permanent Secretary collected huge sums of money from the officers she appointed or favoured in the recent postings across the 27 Council Areas of the state.
The LGAs set on fire under this unconventional approach of Mrs Izuogu according to a document in our possession are; Njaba-(Social Development and Works Depts), Ideato South-(Agriculture and Natural Resources dept), Isu- (Agric and Nat. Resources dept) and Nkwerre- (Works, Agric and Social Development depts.). Others are Ohaji-Egbema-(Works dept), Ahiazu Mbaise-(Agric/Natural Resources and Budget/Planning and Nwangele- (Works and Health depts.).
A source told our medium that Mrs Izuogu always brag that the governor cannot remove her because she is simply untouchable and again, it was the governor that gave her the nod to transfer and reshuffle workers in the Local Government Areas in the state.
“Mrs Rosemary K.O Izuogu is a bad example in Imo public service and she is giving the Shared Prosperity government of our dear governor, Dist. Sen. Hope Uzodimma a bad image. She was due for retirement in 2017 but again, we heard that she got waiver from the governor to stay till 19th of November 2020. We want the governor not to allow her stay extra one day after November 19th this year and she deserves no further appointment even after retirement because she has character deficit and emotions needed in serving the public. Her larger than life attitude is suffocating our LG system. Our governor should quickly do they needful by stopping her before she stops the government”, a stakeholder stated angrily.
Efforts made to reach Mrs. Izuogu on her mobile line to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the story and claims proved abortive as at the time of this report. Several calls put to her mobile phone line on Saturday 14-11-2020 and Sunday 15-11-2020 at about 5.22-23PM were not responded to.
On Saturday for instance, a male voice picked her call and refused to pass the phone to her for comments. On Sunday, the phone rang severally without anybody picking it and at some point got switched off.