The administration of Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State says it sacked 10,000 workers from the state’s civil service on assumption of office because they were loyalists of its predecessor.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Theodore Ekechi gave the clarification Thursday while speaking at an Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) radio phone-in programme, Dial-A-Disc.
IBC is the operators of Orient 94.4FM and Orient TV Channel 59. The programme was anchored by the Director-General of the corporation, Mrs Esther Obong Egbuna with two journalists, Messrs Chidi Nkwopara and Gele Agbai joining her to interview the commissioner.
Chief Ekechi submitted that the ousted employees were deployed during the 2011 governorship election by former governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim.
According to him, no responsible government would want to retain such people who worked against its emergence.
The commissioner maintained that not responsible government would also deliberately deny its citizens the opportunity to genuinely serve their state.
He was responding to a question on why government would sack workers employed on the 10,000 Job Scheme only to turn round to say it was now recruiting 15,000 new workers into the civil service.
Ekechi disclosed that the administration has already recruited 7,000 of the 15,000 workers into its teaching service.
The commissioner stated that no governor was not averse to rendering account of the money that had accrued to councils in the state as demanded by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof Viola Onwuliri.
He however submitted that government’s grouse was the motive behind the demand for accountability and the fact that the demand was coming from quarters that are not altruistic.
The commissioner disclosed that the massive infrastructural facilities being provided by Okorocha’s administration in parts of the state should convince people that the government meant well and is judiciously spending funds available to it.
Ekechi justified the planned movement of the Ministries of Information and Strategy and Youth and Sports to IBC premises and Dan Anyiam Stadium respectively, saying it would cut cost and improve efficiency.
He disclosed that he was working on the inclusion of IBC pensioners in the State Consolidated Pension Scheme as a panacea to the intractable pension problem bedevilling the corporation.
Ekechi stated that the development which has seen some courses in Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri losing accreditation should not raise much eyebrows as efforts were being made to ensure that such courses regain accreditation.
According to him, the administration has shown much interest in education by declaring and funding free education at all levels and splitting its Ministry of Education into two with one of the ministries catering solely for tertiary education.
He reiterated the administration’s open-door policy, saying that the administration has nothing to hide.