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Monday, March 4, 2024

Group calls on Wike to be wary of public servants extending tenure

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A Civil Society Organisation under the aegis of Transparency and Accountability in Public Service, has called on the FCT Minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike, to be wary of some top management staff of the Administration who have extended their tenure for selfish ambition.

The group in a statement issued by the National Coordinator, Barrister Chidi Ejifor, and made available to journalists said public servants extending their tenure has raised questions amongst civil servants of the Administration.

The Coordinator maintained that in recent scrutiny, a top public servant has come under the spotlight for overstaying his designated service years, sparking concerns about transparency and accountability within the public sector.

The group alleged that the current Director of Operation Planning and Strategy in the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Prince Samuel U. Atang, has consistently amended his service records, thereby elongating his stay in service.

According to the group, “we have empirical evidence to show that Prince Samuel U. Atang has overstayed his welcome in public service.

“Recall that one Mr. Senen Udo, who retired from the services of Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in July 2021, was Atang’s mate during the one year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

“It is also on record that when Mallam Bashir Mohammed, was appointed as Director of Human Resource management, Prince Atang could not hide his grievances and told everyone who care to listen that he was the officer who documented Bashir at the point of entry into the service.

“He alleges that they gave the position to his junior because he is not from the northern part of the country and not a Muslim.

“It may also shock you to know that his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Okoli Atang, retired last year as Director of Pension in FCT Administration after attaining the mandatory age of 60 years. By and large, those who served with him, and those he documented as staff including his wife have left the service after putting in 35 years or attaining 60 years of age. Atang remains the “old soldier never dies or the last man standing”.

Ejifor affirmed that the prolonged tenure of this individual has raised questions about the adherence to established guidelines and the potential impact on organizational dynamics.

He also noted that while public servants play a crucial role in serving the nation, it is essential that their terms of service are respected to maintain a fair and equitable system.

In his words: “The overstaying of service years not only violates established protocols but also presents a challenge to the principles of meritocracy and the infusion of fresh perspectives within the public sector.

“This situation prompts a broader examination of the institutional mechanisms in place to monitor and enforce adherence to service timelines.

“Addressing such cases is crucial not only for maintaining the integrity of the public service but also for fostering a culture of accountability and responsibility”.

He, therefore, called on the FCT Minister to critically look into the issue with a view to rebuilding trust and maintaining the credibility of the public sector.

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