Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, has warned that promotion of civil servants in the state will henceforth be based on their performance in agriculture rather than length of service. Umahi handed down the warning while swearing-in four newly appointed special assistants at the Government House in Abakaliki, the state capital. He also said that any teacher who fails to embrace the agricultural policy of the state government will be shown the way out. “Promotion of civil servants will no longer be based on length of service but on merit, indicating how far the person performed in the area of agriculture”. Umahi who lamented the deteriorating state of the nation’s economy, emphasised his administration’s resolve to diversify the state’s economy through agriculture and internally revenue generation (IGR).
He charged the Special Adviser on Primary Education, Mrs. Nwali Helen Chinyere and the SSA on Higher Education, Dr. Adaeze Nwuzor, to ensure that every child in the school has a farm. “Every child in primary and secondary school should have a farm. I am told that the teachers are shunning agriculture. Let me warn that I will sack any teacher that is not embracing agriculture,” the governor said. The governor told the new appointees and other political office holders to realise that their appointments were not for political patronage, but to harvest more ideas on how to overcome the present economic challenges facing the state.
He charged the SSA on Security, Dr. Ugballa Kenneth Igwe, to ensure that cases of robbery, kidnapping and cultism were not recorded in the state and directed him and the SA on SSA on Infrastructural Maintenance, Mr. Ali Odefa, to ensure that the culture of maintenance and regular inspection of government facilities were enshrined. One of the new aides, Mr. Ali Odefa, is a former Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, who now becomes the SSA on Infrastructural Maintenance. Ali had resigned his appointment as SSA on Security following his misunderstanding with the governor over the state’s candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party National Vice Chairman (SouthEast) position. His insistence to contest the post during the May 2016 PDP zonal congress in Enugu was considered as an open confrontation with Governor Umahi. Many in government and political circles in the state were surprised that the governor could allow Odefa to return to his cabinet so soon.