Otti’s Government Acting in Bad Faith

Otti’s Government Acting in Bad Faith

By Don Norman Obinna (Agu Ibeku)

The renowned moral and social philosopher, Eric Hoffer, said, “No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life, and breeds ill will and suspicion, it is an evil government.”

The Dr Alex Otti-led government policies, connexions and philosophies are somewhat analogous to the quote vide ut supra.

From the annexation of the House of Assembly to the lopsided appointments, illegal suspension of permanent secretaries, propaganda, deceit, falsehood and dislocation of the civil service structure, everything is hugger-mugger and not a leave-taking from the old ways it pledged to reform.

Last week the government ordered the Lagos and Abuja liaison officers back to Abia State for verification and mooted redeployment to Umunneochi and Ukwa LGAs without considering definite exigencies and compelling dynamics.

A few apologists may reckon that transfer or redeployment is traditional in civil service. But to effectuate it, undermining constraints like the cost of relocation for the workers on minimum wage, the high cost of transportation, spouses who may be trading or working in other establishments and their children of school age is gross insensitivity.

Aside from this, the government stealthily sacked/forced over 7000 persons to resign after it suspended permanent secretaries and the HOS.

This erraticism is already disorientating the civil servants and exacerbating their adversity. It is a nadir for the administration that boasts intellectuals, financial and economic connoisseurs as sounding boards.

As a first-class economist, Governor Otti knows Nigeria remains a labour-intensive economy. He should have applied a pearl of common sense wisdom to know that now is not the best time to retrench, especially the low-income workers.

Just a few days ago, the Biometric Contractor, Mr Chris, in a meeting of 17 LGs HOS, Treasurers, Revenue contractors, and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, ordered all LG workers to henceforth clock in (biometrics) three times in a day.

Aside from setting the new fiat that every worker must get 80 per cent biometrics to qualify for salary, he also vowed to penalise all staff of the LG if its worker interrupts or destroys the biometric machine.

To think that these fiats and militarisation are happening when Borno, Edo and Ebonyi States governors are increasing salaries, reducing work days and introducing several palliatives to cushion the effect of subsidy removal on their workers is a mala fide exploitation of office by Dr Otti.

That Abians have been on tenterhooks and eager to celebrate the infinitesimal of achievement is not a premise to hoodwink them. Dr Otti knows that the short roads he recently flagged off led to no economic centre and cannot add to Abia State’s economic growth.

Fifty-two days have gone. We are yet to see capacity, direction and knowledge of the job, except impatient, zero tolerance for criticism, lies, insults and interminable blaming of the past government.

Unless Dr Otti wants us to suspect an ongoing underhanded contrivance, it is criminal for one’s relations to occupy sensitive positions in a democratic system. Opacity and job for the boys were our chagrin with the PDP government. Sadly, the new government added despotism to the malaise.

Otti should endeavour to be dissimilar to the proverbial woodpecker that boasted it would fall the Iroko tree with its beak at its father’s funeral and had boils infested its rostrum on the burial day.

He promised a lot. It will be cataclysmic if he fails now that power resides with him.

Don Norman Obinna is the Abia State chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).

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