The Abia State Government has denied a report it sacked 10,000 civil servants, declaring it fake news.
This was revealed by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Culture, Okey Kanu, in an interview in Umuahia on Wednesday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
“The report on the sack of Abia workers by Gov. Alex Otti is fake and unfounded,” he said.
Furthermore, Kanu pointed out that some of the affected civil servants in this category had their appointment letters backdated.
He described the employment of these individuals as clandestine, designed to exert undue pressure on the current administration. He emphasized that no responsible government would tolerate such a situation.
He said some workers whose names were thrown up during the verification embarked upon by the government as illegally employed were affected too.
“This group comprises those who were illegally employed from December 2022 up until March and April this year.
“The employment of these individuals can be best described as surreptitious and a bait used to pile underserved pressure on the present administration, adding that no responsible government would allow such a situation to continue,” Kanu added.
Kanu clarified that no waivers were granted for the employment of workers from December to April.
He also stressed that due process was not followed in their hiring and urged the people of Abia to disregard the unfounded rumours concerning the alleged sacking of 10,000 Abia state workers.
The Commissioner affirmed the state government’s unwavering commitment to the welfare of its workforce, both current and retired. He reiterated the government’s determination to settle all outstanding salary and pension arrears.
Recall that, earlier in the week, the state Governor, Alex Otti, had been alleged to have initiated the dismissal of approximately 10,000 employees within the State Public Service who were hired from December 2022 up to the present.
This purported announcement was communicated through a memorandum addressed to All Commissioners, Heads of Ministries, Development Agencies, and Parastatals.
The memo, dated August 31, 2023, bore the signature of Lady Joy I. Maduka, the Head of Service.
The workers in question were civil servants employed by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration, based on reports.