From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Col David Imuse (retd), has criticised what he termed ‘unwarranted delay’ by Governor Godwin Obaseki in announcing a cabinet more than three months after resuming office for a second term.
Imuse said while some of the governor’s supporters say he is busy searching for competent hands and bidding his time to avoid making mistakes, the situation is inexcusable, where ‘he has more or less turned a Sole Administrator.’
The APC state chairman, in a statement through the party spokesman Victor Osehobo, reminded the governor that when he announced the appointment of the Secretary to the State Government on November 16 last year, he had promised to make all other appointments in the first week of February this year.
According to Imuse, the governor’s delay on appointments has not only crippled government business but demonstrates that he is a man whose word is not his bond.
‘Edo State can ill-afford further delay by the governor to make these vital appointments. Section 192 of the Nigerian Constitution, as amended, is clear on the issue of state commissioners, and permanent secretaries cannot do much as they look up to commissioners, for direction on policy issues,’ the state party chairman said.
‘The section gives the governor a public mandate, rather than private, to appoint commissioners to form not just the state’s executive council, but also the think-tank for the development of the state’s economy and well-being of the people.
‘Right now, the day-to-day operations of the different state Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), have come to a halt, while the coordination of important government businesses has become weaker with the unnecessary overload on the Secretary to State Government.
‘Since the governor assumed office in November last year, over 100 days ago, with his disabled State Assembly, using Permanent Secretaries as acting heads of ministries, whose capacities are limited, he has more or less turned a Sole Administrator,’ the statement said.
It urged the governor to act fast in the public interest, saying that the people of Edo are disappointed by the governor’s attitude and tired of his excuses.
Meanwhile, Governor Obaseki has directed the chairmen of the 18 Local Government Councils in the state to hand over to their respective councils’ Head of Local Government Administrator (HOLGA) following the expiration of their tenure on Friday this week.
The directive was contained in a memo dated March 2 to the Council Chairmen by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.
The memo, titled, “Handing Over by Local Government Council Chairmen”, was signed by the Permanent Secretary, ME Jos-Bazuaye. It said that councillors and all political appointees of the 18 councils are also affected.
‘I am directed to refer to the above subject and to request that all Local Government Council Chairmen are to hand over the administration of the 18 Local Government Councils to the respective HOLGA in their various Local Government latest by Friday the 5th March 2021,’ the memo read.