Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has sacked his Special Assistant (SA) on Primary Health (Ebonyi Central Zone), Stephanie Ugo-Chima, for absconding from duty for over a month.
Hyginus Nwokwu, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), made the disclosure on Wednesday in Abakaliki, the state capital during a joint state Executive Council (EXCO) meeting at the council’s chambers.
Mr Nwokwu said that Mrs Ugo-Chima absconded from her duties and responsibilities as an aide to the governor within the period which necessitated the relieving of her duty.
“The insinuation that her sack was political is unfounded because all appointment or sack of public officers is political.
“There are laid down rules for such appointments, but the civil service rules are not applied in these cases because such appointees are not civil servants,” he said.
The SSG also clarified the issue of the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in the state, Elizabeth Ogbaga, who had also not been seen in her official duties and public functions for long.
“Ogbaga as far as the office of the SSG is concerned, is on leave,” he said.
“A Local Government Area (LGA) development centre coordinator and two LGA advisory committee members were also sworn-in during the council’s meeting,” he said.
Abraham Nwali, the Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the Governor on Religion and Welfare Matters, told journalists that the committee set up to discover the number of vacancies in the state’s educational agencies made some findings.
“The committee was set up by the governor to ascertain the number of retired, resigned and deceased staff of the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) and the Secondary Education Board (SEB) in both tutorial and non-tutorial categories.
“The number of staff who are either retired, resigned or deceased in SEB is 571, while the number of those in UBEB is 829, totalling 1,400.
“The committee is to evaluate ways of ensuring that these vacant positions are filled, especially with youths in both tutorial and non-tutorial categories,” he said.
He noted that the governor instructed that the committee continue its work and source the funds for the payment of the new recruits’ salaries without increasing the state’s wage bill.
“We will continue interfacing with the state Accountant Generals’ Office, both SEB and UBEB to ensure that this is achieved especially with the current economic meltdown,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that sacked Ugo-Chima is the wife of Innocent Ugo-Chima, former member of the House of Representatives and the governor’s ally.
Mrs Ogbaga, who also absented from duties is the wife of the former Minster of Steel, Goddy Ogbaga, who recently decamped from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC).