BREAKING: FRESH CONTROVERSY OVER PRESIDENT BUHARI’S APPOINTMENT OF NEW PERMANENT SECRETARIES.
The last may not have been heard of the appointment of new Federal Permanent Secretaries by President Muhammad Buhari as senior civil servants are angry and have resolved to protest the appointment of five non career civil servants as Permanent secretaries in clear breach of Federal civil service rules.
It will be recalled that President Buhari had on Tuesday 10th November 2015 approved the appointment of 18 new Permanent Secretaries. In a statement released by the Special Advicer to the President on Media & Publicity, Mr. Femi Adeshina, President Buhari approved the appointment of 18 new Permanent Secretaries and redeployment of all 36 Permanent secretaries.
The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries include Mr. Louis Edozien, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Mr. Bamgbose Olukunle Oladele, Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, Mr. Ogbonnaya Innocent Kalu, Mrs. Nuratu Jimoh Batagarawa, Mr. Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, Mr. Bassey Apkanyung and Dr. Ugo Roy.
Others are Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, Mr. Taiwo Abidogun, Dr. Bukar Hassan, Mrs. Wakama Belema Asifieka, Mr. Jalal Ahmad Arabi, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, Mrs. Obiageli Phyllis Nwokedi Mr. Aminu Nabegu.
The appointment of Alh Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Mr Bassey Ekpenyong and Mr Louis Edozien has sparked serious controversy and bickering in the federal civil service. The workers are unhappy that President Buhari appointed the trio, who are non civil servants, as Permanent Secretaries in gross violation of extant civil service regulations which requires a minimum of 20years experience in the civil service before an officer can be appointed as Permanent Sectaries.
BREAKING TIMES has learned from the profiles of the new Perm Secs, Alh Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Mr Bassey Ekpenyong, Mr Louis Edozien that they were non civil servants until their appointment penultimate week. Dr. Edozien was recruited from the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) – a company which handled Billions of dollars investments in NIPP. Sources reveal that he once applied to join the Federal Civil service but his application was rejected on the grounds that he had neither a discharge nor exemption certificates from NYSC. Isa-Dutse, on the other hand, retired as an executive director of UBA in 2002. Prior to his appointment as Permanent Secretary, he had no career in civil Service whatsoever but is said to maintain a close relationship with Chief of Staff to President. Dr. Bassey Ekpeyong, aged above 60 years, was recruited from his position as Secretary of National Planning Commission to serve as new Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Internal Affairs.
We have also reliably gathered that Dr. Bassey Ekpeyong upon his appointment as new Permanent Secretary broke into the office of the incumbent Permanent secretary while the latter was away on official assignment on the approval of President Buhari. Dr. Ekpeyong sent all the staff in the office of the Permanent Secreatry parking without any official handover notes or protocols with the incumbent.
This development has caused serious disaffection within the civil service and many senior civil servants are alarmed at the level of impunity and improper conduct displayed by the newly appointed non career civil servants so far. Our investigations show that from1954 to date no Government has ever recruited an outsider into the main stream civil service and made him/her Permanent Secretary until this recent appointments by President Buhari.
Former President Obasanjo wanted to appoint Mr. Bode Augustus as Permanent Secretary Budget Office but the then Head of Service objected and drew the attention of the President to the impropriety of such action. He further advised that if he insist on appointing Bode he should be designated as Director General and Mr. President accepted and appointed him as the DG Budget Office. The administration of President Jonathan never had a non career civil servant as Permanent Secretary.. They ensured that due regard was had to existing rules and regulations in the appointment of permanent secretaries for the federal civil service.
Many civil servants insist that if President Buhari is desirous of keeping the non career Civil servants as Permanent secretaries, he should change the designation of the non career civil servants to Director Generals instead of Permanent Secretaries. To do otherwise will amount to a flagrant breach and abuse of laid down civil service rules by a government which has promised to effect change and ensure total adherence to rule of law.
Omolara Adegoke- Abuja
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