THE UNJUSTIFIABLE ATTACKS ON ABIA STATE GOVERNMENT OVER THE TRANSFER OF NON-INDIGENES
BY CHIEF DON UBANI HON. COMMISSIONER FOR INFORMATIONS AND STRATEGY
For any Polity to develop positively, its members should be able to cherish and believe in the voracity of her circumstances. Human experience has always made it very explicit that truth is bitter but any society that summons the required courage to admit it has always been better for it.
On the contrary, any society known for double standard in assessing issues of socio-political development has always fallen short of proper evaluation of such issues. Double standard in assessing issues, more often than not, emanates from a combination of hypocrisy, sycophancy, deceit and falsehood.
In Nigeria’s nascent political engineering, in no development has double standard been witnessed than in the vituperation Imo State Government, Clones of Imo State extraction; few organizations and individuals have unwarrantedly and, of course, unjustifiably vomited against the Government and people of Abia State over the latter’s well thought-out policy of transfer of non-indigenes working in her civil service.
The first salvo against the policy was fired by an Umuahia based senior Priest who is an indigene of Imo State. He was spontaneous in issuing a press release in which he alleged that the Abia State Government’s policy was tantamount to injustice. He tried to instigate and incite non-Abians against the Stale Government. No sooner had the Priest failed in his bid to arouse negative sentiments against the Government of Abia State, than his home (Government -Imo State- launched her ever read} missiles against Abia State (Government.
On page 14 of Vanguard Newspaper of Tuesday, 4th October, 2011, the Imo Slate Commissioner for Information and Strategy Dr. Obinna Duruji, speaking on behalf of his State Government, described the Abia State Government policy on transfer of non-indigenes as ‘anachronistic, patently obsolete and completely reprehensible. He boasted that indigenes of Abia State who are in the civil and public service of his State, including the State’ s expanded Executive Council, would be quickly disengaged to exhibit Imo State’s retaliation mechanism.
Ironically and derisively, the Imo State Commissioner for Information alleged that whatever remained of Igbo Unity-has completely been rubbished by the Abia State Government policy.
What an uncoordinated and most hypocritical display of double standard by both the clergyman and the Imo State Government/Commissioner for Information and Strategy. To begin with, should nine years be too long for Imo Slate Government lo have forgotten that she successfully implemented a policy decision that led to the summarily, unnotified unceremonious and the most cruel dismissal of all Abia indigenes who were in her public service in 2000.
Could this religious leader help explain when and at what point in his comprehension of issues does sense of injustice arouse in him? Has he and the Imo State Government lost memory of the fact that despite the crudeness inherent in the manner Imo State Government dismissed her public servants of Abia extraction, that Abia State Government went ahead to make Chief Godwin C Duru, a native of Orlu in Imo State, the Executive Chairman of Aba South Local Government Council; Barr. Chuka Odum also from Imo State served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Commissioner for Special Duties, and Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development and later was successfully recommended as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The immediate past Chief Press Secretary of The Governor of Abia State and currently Special Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Kingsley Emereuwa is also from Imo State. So is Mr. Ben Onyenchere a Special Adviser and many other Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants. Can Imo State Government ever imagine a benefit of this magnitude accruing to an indigene of Abia State even in the next hundred years?On what premise should either the Imo State Government or the religious leader stand tall to claim to have forgotten that even recently (2010), the Imo State Government primitively and with extreme heartlessness bundled the files of her pensioners of Abia extraction, who had served her with all youthfulness, paying their taxes to Imo State Government and contributing to the overall development of the state, back to
Abia State for the latter to shoulder the pecuniary burden of pensioners who worked for Imo State ? Yet Imo State Government has the shamelessness of talking of Igbo Unity. Imo State Government should tell Ndi Igbo where she placed Igbo Unity when she ferocious and unadministratively dismissed all Abians working in public service nine years ago? If Imo State Government was oblivious of what she now calls ‘Igbo Unity’ nine years ago, what was her stake on ‘Igbo Unity just a year ago when she in the most sadistic display of inhumanity, bundled the files of her pensioners of Abia Extraction back to Abia.
Consequently, it must be stated here that Abia State Government is at pains to observe that both the Imo State government and the Umuahia based Church Leader, should exhibit this level of hypocrisy, parochialism and falsehood.
The fact of the matter is that Abia State Government, after an exhaustive consultation with relevant stakeholders in the State resolved to transfer the services of non-indigenes in her civil service to their respective States of origin*. The reasons for this very important decision are many and obvious but the most strategic being the determination of the state Government to cope with the extra wage burden heaped on the meager revenue profile of the Sate due to the unforeseen summarily disengaged workers and pensioners of Abia extraction by such States as Imo State.
However, unlike the crudeness shown in the disengagement of Abians by other States many years ago, Abia State Government has exhibited a human face in her transfer of non-indigenes by writing to the Governors of the effected states on this development, while the effected workers were well notified quite a long time before the implementation of the policy. The Government chose to the path of a civil, superior and high moral ground instead of adopting the same crude way of Imo State by secretly disengaging them without caring.
The decision of Abia State Government on this is legitimate, irrevocable and remains the best the State could take in the light of her compelling circumstances. The threat of Imo State Government to retaliate by sacking Abia workers in her employ is an empty threat, as her “sack policy” on Abians in her public service nine years ago was comprehensive and left no Abian in her public service. But where she imagines that there is any Abian she imperfectly omitted nine years ago, Abia State Government, hereby, calls her bluff to immediately transfer the service of any Abian, who must have been extremely lucky to have been omitted when she sacked all Abians in her service in 2002, to Abia State.
Moreso, to Newspapers and Organizations that feel that Abia State policy on transfer of service of non-indigenes is a negation of the principles of federalism. It is obviously doubtful that their feelings are a true comprehension of what federalism stands for. What are their answers to questions on, one: should a federal legislature make laws on salaries for States and Local Government Workers? And, two: should a Federal governverment control the revenue generating resources of a State? If these questions could be sincerely answered, it would be pertinent to agree that Abia State Government has not, in any way, run foul of Nigeria pattern of Federalism.