The claim by the Permanent Secretary, Local Government Service Commission Rosemary Izuogu that she had uncovered no fewer than 300 ghost workers in LGAs in Imo may not be completely correct but a ploy to decieve the governor with bogus figures to justify her illegal stay in office.
Accordingly therefore some stakeholders and civil servants in the LGAs in Imo are asking Mrs Izuogu who is also the Verification Panel Chair to summon the courage and publish names of the so called ghost workers and their aiders. Speaking to Nigerian Newsguide weekend and making reference to some national dailies where Mrs Izuogu made the bogus claim, the council workers made it emphatically clear that they were 100 percent in support of the governor’s efforts to rid the system of corruption and sharp practices but however observed that the DAGS and Treasurers of LGAs were reasonably behind the “ghost workers” Izuogu claimed to have discovered.
According to them, immediately Gov. Emeka Ihedioha was removed from office in January this year and Gov. Hope Uzodimma took over, TC chairmen were sacked and DAGS and Treasurers managed the councils for some months during which they illegally employed many of their family members and cronies and backdated their employment dates to 2017.
Our findings indicate that Owerri Municipal Council for instance has the highest number of these new staff employed by DAGS and Treasurers which Izuogu claimed were ghost workers. Our findings further revealed that names like Akuchie Emeka, Nlemadim Ogechi (Admin Dept), Asagwara Kelechi and Ibekwe Glory C(Finance Dept) among many others were those employed by DAGS and Treasurers in Owerri Municipal when Uzodimma came in newly and asked DAGS and Treasurers to manage the Councils pending the appointment of TC chairmen.
“All we want specifically is for Mrs Izuogu to publish names of these ghost workers and their sponsors. We equally urge her to strictly adhere to civil service rules on seniority list and appoint HODs based on seniority. We are pained that the woman has bluntly refused to recognize this seniority rule and curiously dismissed with a wave of hand a Resolution of the State House of Assembly in this regard and continued to appoint junior officers to boss their seniors. This is the singular reason the 27 LGAs in Imo state are sick and on life support under Izuogu. We support her and His Excellency the governor in whatever good intents they have, aimed at sanitizing the LGAs but we are only against the recognition of only two departments viz Admin and Finance, leaving the remaining five departments to suffer neglect and abuse by Mrs Izuogu”.
The LGA workers also begged the Governor and his Principal Secretary Dr Mrs Irene Chima to prevail on Mrs Rosemary Izuogu to publish the names of all officers in the LGAs according to their seniority. They claimed that Mrs Izuogu has the seniority list currently in her possession. Nigerian Newsguide learnt that the recognition of this seniority list and adherence to it during appointment whether for HODs or HOLGAs would not cost the government any extra dime or cost in the overall administration of the 27 Council Areas in the state.