UMUAHIA, Nigeria — A move aimed at restructuring the Abia State Public Service, the state government has annulled all employments made towards the end of former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s tenure.
The announcement came through a circular dated August 31, 2022, signed by the Head of Service, Lady Joy Maduka.
The circular stated that Governor Alex Otti had directed the “disengagement of all staff employed into the Abia State Public Service from December 2022 till date.” It added that any further directions on this issue would be communicated in due course.
Governor Otti justified the move as an action of the State Executive Council.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko, the Governor said, “That recruitment was campaign recruitment, and we said we would not allow it. So, there is no way it can stand.”
According to the Governor, the previous administration had resorted to mass recruitment as it neared the end of its term, an action he deemed unacceptable and against the state’s interests.
“This isn’t about personnel; it’s about governance principles. The past administration engaged in mass recruitment towards its exit. Such actions should not be encouraged,” said Governor Otti.
The decision to nullify these appointments is part of an “on-going reorganization in the Abia State Public Service,” according to the circular.
However, the sudden disengagement has led to discussions about the fate of the newly unemployed workers and the potential repercussions on the local economy.
Experts suggest the move is complicated, involving political calculations and governance principles.
“While there’s a point in preventing politically motivated recruitment, the question arises: what happens to those who were genuinely seeking employment?” said Dr. Ngozi Adeola, a political analyst and public policy expert.
The Governor’s directive has directed departments to “take steps to implement immediately,” leaving no window for appeals or reconsiderations for the affected employees.
Their fate, for the time being, remains uncertain, pending any further directives from the Governor’s office.