Abia PDP Slams Gov Otti’s Reversal of Over 8 Years Civil Service Promotions, Labels Move as Obnoxious, Anti-People | #NwokeukwuMascot


PDP Reacts to the Reversal of Command Promotions in Abia Civil Service by Gov Alex Otti | #NwokeukwuMascot

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Umuahia, Abia State – The Abia State chapter of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) has sharply criticized Governor Alex Otti's recent directive to reverse all command promotions in the state's public service that were made in the past eight years. Describing the move as "punitive, obnoxious, and anti-people," the PDP contends that this action undermines established civil service rules and disrupts the lives of numerous state employees.

Recall that we previously reported how the Abia State Governor directed the reversal of all command promotions made by the immediate past administrations in the state public service commission.

The Abia PDP's statement signed by Elder Abraham Amah, the party's Vice Chairman and Acting State Publicity Secretary, took the opportunity to reiterate the party's commitment to advocating for the welfare of Abia's civil servants.

Titled "Reversal of All Command Promotions in Abia Civil Service is Punitive, Obnoxious, and Anti-People," the party highlighted previous actions by the governor, including the suspension and subsequent dismissal of all permanent secretaries without adherence to civil service regulations shortly after assuming office. Additionally, they pointed to the mass dismissal of civil servants, including some directors with over eight years of service who were not yet due for retirement, and the termination of over 15,000 civil servants.

The PDP also raised concerns about the financial struggles of remaining civil servants, many of whom have gone without salaries for the 13 months of Governor Otti's tenure. This, despite increased state earnings from the Federation Allocation Account Committee (FAAC).

"Two labor unions—the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) branch of Abia State University and the organized labor groups comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Abia State—are reportedly preparing to take action against the governor over unpaid salaries and the refusal to implement a federal government-approved N35,000 wage award."

The PDP claims that Governor Otti's selective implementation of federal policies, such as the certification of civil servants, while ignoring others, has negatively impacted worker morale and productivity. The party criticized the reversal of promotions as an attack on governance structures, accusing the governor of harboring animosity toward the PDP and the previous administration.

The statement reads in full, “The attention of the Abia PDP has been drawn yet again to one of the many punitive and obnoxious directives by the Abia governor, Alex Otti, aimed at destroying the Abia State civil and public service. This time, Alex Otti has directed, forthwith, the reversal of all command promotions made in the Abia State public service in the past eight years prior to April 2023.

“This directive is clearly anti-people and against the Abia State public and civil service rules, and Governor Alex Otti has cultivated the penchant for not following due process in dealing with the Abia Civil Service. A few days after he assumed office as the governor of Abia State, Alex Otti summarily suspended all the permanent secretaries in the civil service without due process and later sacked all of them without recourse to the provisions of the Abia Civil Service rules.

“A few weeks into his governorship, Alex Otti sacked all civil servants who had served as directors for upwards of eight years, even when they were not due for retirement, sacked more than 15,000 Abia civil servants without following due process and civil service rules, and subjected the remaining ones to endless verifications, with many owed salaries in the past 13 months that he has been governor. The issue of salary payment has become an existential threat to Abia workers, even in the face of increased earnings by the state from the Federation Allocation Account Committee, FAAC. 

“Presently, two labour unions—the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU branch of the Abia State University, and the organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, both of the Abia State branch—are spoiling for war with Alex Otti on account of unpaid salaries in his 13-month tenure and his refusal to pay the N35,000 wage award approved by the Federal government. But Alex Otti is always quick to implement other policies from the federal government, like the one that has to do with the certification of civil servants. The selective implementation of policies by this administration is not only barbaric but also unproductive, as it has the potential to affect the morale of workers adversely. 

“Reversing the command promotions made by the previous government, which followed civil rules, is a pathetic anathema that speaks to the continuous destruction of Abia governance structures by Alex Otti, and this reflects his undying hatred for the PDP, especially the immediate past government. Incidentally, he has failed to learn, and this is made manifest in the embarrassing mistakes he has made in government, which he has surreptitiously tried to cover up by bringing back the sacked civil servants as consultants. 

“Abia PDP considers it insensitive that Alex Otti will reverse the promotions and order the civil servants to return to the prior levels, including the reversal of their salary grades, in the face of excruciating hardship, soaring inflation, an economic downturn, and rising food prices. Couldn’t the government have devised another method of implementing this policy going forward than reversing a promotion and a salary that workers have built family structures in the past eight years? 

"The Abia PDP calls on governor Alex Otti to have a humane face in dealing with personnel issues, and for the umpteenth time, let Alex Otti understand that Abia civil servants are not members of the PDP, and every attempt he makes to take revenge on Abia PDP using Abia civil servants will backfire and fail on his face. 

"We call on Abia civil servants to continue to engage peacefully and meaningfully with the Alex Otti government for the reversal of this punitive and anti-people policy and others that are destroying the fabric of the Abia civil service. And Alex Otti should understand that government is a continuum that survives different operators. He should not destroy the good things he inherited on the altar of hate."

This controversy marks the latest in a series of conflicts between the Abia State government and its civil servants. The reversal of promotions affects workers' career progression and financial stability, raising concerns amid an already challenging economic climate marked by high inflation and rising living costs.

As the tension escalates, all eyes are on Governor Otti's administration to see whether it will heed calls for reconsideration or maintain its current stance. The outcome will significantly impact the morale and livelihood of many state employees and the broader stability of Abia State's civil service


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