Aggrieved stakeholders and civil servants in Imo State Local Councils have expressed utter dismay and disappointment over the continued stay in office of Mrs Rosemary K.O Izuogu who according to state government white paper was supposed to have retired since October, 2017 after clocking 60 years which is the mandatory retirement age for civil servants across the federation. The cries and shouts of no, no by these civil servants and stakeholders prompted Nigerian Newsguide to do a banner headline story in its last week edition where the many sins of the Permanent Secretary Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), Mrs. Rosemary K.O Izuogu were made public.
The crux of the matter is that Mrs Izuogu apart from the illegal retention of her position as Permanent Secretary after retirement has also been accused of favoritism, nepotism and flagrant violation of civil service rules on Seniority List. She according to our findings is a “Lord unto herself” and runs the Local Government Service Commission as her NGO and pet project of a sort. She has been accused of collecting graft and inducement from Directors of Administration and General Services (DAGS) alongside Treasurers of Councils to favor them alone, leaving five other departments to suffer neglect and reproach.
Mrs Rosemary Izuogu had according to our findings completely neglected Grade Level-17 officers who are Heads of Local Governments Administration (HOLGAs), the most senior civil servants in the 27 LGAs in Imo state and anywhere in Nigeria, and continued to run the council areas with DAGS. The most unpardonable sin of Mrs Izuogu is that she after allegedly having her hands greased, brazenly out of impunity appointed level-14 officers as Heads of departments to now boss Level-15 officers who hitherto were HODs but were removed by Izuogu. This development we can authoritatively report is the sole reason there is endless war in local council areas and lack of productivity among the workers.
The Principal Secretary to Imo State Governor Dr. Mrs Irene Chima has been fingered as the woman behind Mrs Izuogu, giving her all sorts of back-up and access to Mr. Governor.
A reliable source informed that several letters and memos written to Gov. Uzodimma aimed at intimating him of several ills in the LGSC, had all been reportedly thrashed by the Principal Secretary to the Governor Mrs Irene Chima. It was however said that the one month grace granted to Mrs Rosemary Izuogu which expired on 19-11-2020 was 100 percent the making of Mrs Chima.
To the shock and chagrin of most Imolites, the supposedly retired Mrs Izuogu had secured yet another extra three months again to stay in office.
Our source revealed that Gov. Hope Uzodimma is not aware of all the evils and obnoxious happenstances in the Local Government System, otherwise he would have since shown Mrs Izuogu the exit door.
But in a swift reaction, Principal Secretary to Imo State Governor, Dr. Mrs. Irene Chima has described all her allegations as false and null and void. She insisted that she has no hands or input howsoever in the continued stay in office of Mrs. RKO Izuogu.
According to her, “my duty is to convey Governor’s directive on any matter pertaining to civil and public service in the state. I have no hands or input howsoever in Rosemary Izuogu’s extension of service because that is governor’s prerogative. I was also not aware that she was due for retirement until recently because I am not the Head of Service of the state.”
“The truth of the matter is that Mrs. Izuogu started a very critical verification exercise in the LGAs in the state where a number of mysteries were unraveled to the extent that none medical and health workers were illegally payrolled with CONHESS and CONMESS, and had been drawing salaries in this structure for a long time now until the verification exposed them. The governor from what I heard is impressed so far with the Permanent Secretary LGSC but she is not yet done with the job even after the extra one month given to her which expired on the 19-11-2020. The governor therefore in his wisdom gave the woman another extra three months to complete this critical assignment. I see no reason I should be accused or maligned by any person or group of persons in a matter as official as this.”
The stakeholders and civil servants who anonymously spoke to our reporter had reiterated their support for the on-going verification exercise in the LGAs but however demanded the retirement of Mrs Rosemary K.O Izuogu because of her character and bad image she is giving the shared prosperity government of Dist. Sen. Hope Uzodimma, more so the fact that her mates in service had all retired since three years now.
“The whole thing boils down to morality because the legality aspect of it has been murdered. It’s a moral burden on Mrs Izuogu and all those supporting the supposedly retired permanent secretary who is currently signing retirement papers for civil servants, forcing them to proceed on retirement when she has bluntly refused to accept the fact that she is retired and honorably bow out of the stage. Our Governor therefore should for the good of his image, send this woman (Mrs Izuogu) packing”- a source hinted.