The Aba Diocese of the Anglican Church of Nigeria has frowned at Abia State Governor Alex Otti’s sack of civil servants in the state.
In a communiqué issued after the 3rd session of its 17th synod in Aba, the Church stated that the layoff of civil servants in the state has worsened hardship in the society and fueled unemployment and social vices in the state.
Explaining it does not support the last-minute mass employment made by the outgone administration in the state, the church, however, advised the Governor to implement his campaign promises and revisit the layoff of the workers.
In the communique signed by the Bishop of Aba Diocese, Anglican Communion, Rt. Reverend Christian Ugwuzo and the clerical synod secretary, Venerable Innocent Ogbonna, the church urged the state government to explore opportunities for development in areas like building modular refineries in oil-producing areas of the state.
The church would also want the government to establish air and sea ports, promote tourism and industrialize the rural areas to be able to boost the economy, create employment opportunities and generally improve the lives of residents.
The Synod constituted by 12 Bishops, 147 clergymen and 203 members of the house of laity who also participated in the activities marking the golden jubilee anniversary of the Diocese, decried the abrupt removal of the petroleum subsidy without adequate preparation to cushion its devastating effects on the economy and the lives of the citizens.
“Given the station of Aba as an outstanding commercial nerve centre in the South East, the protracted dilapidation of most roads in the city strangulates business life, increases hardship in the land, stalls development, exposes the citizens to untold health hazards and scares away industrialists thus occasioning unemployment, armed robbery and all manner of insecurity in the town and its environs.
“The Synod therefore calls on all tiers of government to urgently declare a state of emergency on the road network in Abia, especially Port Harcourt, Ohanku, Obohia and other roads in Aba and its environs.”
The communique condemned the government’s penchant for borrowing and the high debt profile which portends great economic danger for the present and upcoming generations in Nigeria.
Synod equally frowns at the incessant industrial action in the nation’s tertiary Institutions, hike in tuition, procurement of other academic materials including accommodation and calls for an urgent intervention of the Federal government in the educational sector
It further condemned the increasing use of illicit drugs in society and the attendant danger it portends to future generations and calls on all and sundry to join the crusade against all forms of substance abuse.
The synod urged Nigerians not to be disillusioned by the outcome of the 2023 general elections but to have faith in God and live a Christ-centred life.
Recall that, during the campaign for the 2023 general elections, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti, whiie reacting to the allegations by the opposition parties of his grand plot to sack half of Abia workforce if elected Governor, Dr. Otti had in one of his campaigns vowed he would never sack any Abia state worker, rather he will create more jobs for Abians, citing the unemployment ratio and hardship in the country.
Barely one month after assuming office, Otti pounced on Abia workers, branded them ” GHOSTS, destroyed the civil service rule by sacking permanent secretaries without any query of wrong doings, and replaced them with junior workers and even gave command promotion to others and indication that, the permanent secretaries are gone for good.
As at the last count, he has sacked more than 10,000 Abia workers on flimsy reasons, despite having over N60 billion in his kitty and taking a loan of N22.3 billion that was recently approved by Abia state House of Assembly
Apart from running his office as a Sole Administrator, he had also usurped the functions of the third tear of Government, the Local Government Administration by having in his custody, the payment seals of all the 17 LGAs of the state, by implication, relegating the Local Government administration.
As it stands now, Otti is the Governor and overall LGA Chairman of the LGAs in Abia state
This, Otti has failed on his campaign promises to the people, not to sack workers which many now consider deceitful to grab power.