The Abia State Government has reacted to an allegation by the governor-elect of the state, Alex Otti, that the state government was engaged in employment racketeering.
Mr Otti, who won the 18 March governorship election in the state, had in a statement issued by his media aide, Ferdinand Ekeoma, alleged that some agents of the government and civil servants in the state were engaging in late-hour employment racketeering.
The governor-elect is expected to be sworn in as the governor of the state on 29 May when the tenure of the incumbent governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, will come to an end.
But reacting in a statement on Wednesday, the spokesperson to Mr Ikpeazu, Onyebuchi Ememanka, denied the allegation.
Mr Ememanka said it was “absolutely preposterous and outrightly anachronistic” for Mr Otti to claim that the alleged employments were illegal arguing that even if the employment was true, the actions of the government in power could not be said to be illegal.
“While making it abundantly clear that the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu is not aware of any form of employment racketeering in Abia State Public Service, it is also important to remind Dr Alex Otti that there is a government fully in place in Abia State with executive powers to run the affairs of the state,” he said.
The governor’s spokesperson urged Mr Otti to “take it easy” and that his hurry to become governor of the state was understandable, just as he reminded the governor-elect that Mr Ikpeazu remains the governor of the State until midnight of 28 May.
“Within this period, the governor is still enabled by all laws in this country to exercise the full powers to grant employment waivers into the state workforce, if he so desires.
“What Dr Otti can do, at best, is to review such executive actions after he is sworn in on the 29th of May. Anything else from him at this time is of no effect whatsoever,” Mr Ememanka stated.
He added that the governor-elect should wait for his four-year tenure to exercise the powers of the governor of the state.
“Dr Otti should also be reminded that every governor-elect is a potential former governor. At most and if God permits, he will spend eight years in office and while still in office, his successor will be elected too.
“When a new administration is elected into office, they will inherit both assets and liabilities because government is a continuum. What a new governor chooses to do with what he inherits will define its administrative strategy. Abians are eagerly looking forward to seeing the administrative expertise of the governor-elect,” he added.
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