As we have come to know, Kogi State has earned a reputation as a civil service state. In fact, the civil service system is the core industry that is existing since the creation of the state in August 27, 1991. This segment of the society represents no fewer than twenty percent of the over four million population of true citizens of the state.
At this juncture, I want to make it public that I was once a civil servant in this God forsaken state where ninety nine percent of the Civil Servants were/are fantastically corrupt. I am relying on official records at my disposal.
Recall that an official enquiry set up by the former governor Idris Ichala Wada to scrutinize the official records identified eight ministries that are bastion of corruption. These ministries include ministries of agriculture, finance, head of service, accountant general office, health management board and local governments service and chieftaincy affairs.
Other Agencies and parastatals identified as veritable sanctuary of corruption are SPEB and Board of Internal Revenue among others.
Viewed against this background therefore, it has become a common knowledge that the civil service system is rotten, decayed, unproductive and useless to the growth and development of the state.
As a former civil servant in the state, precisely a bonafide former staff of the ministry of information and art and culture deployed as a correspondent with the Graphic newspaper, I have an informed practical knowledge of the rot in the civil service system before the coming on board of the the present administration of Governor Yahaya Bello.
In view of the forgoing, I was so glad when the present governor decided, in his own wisdom, to carry out holistic and mother of all screening intended to put an end to the status quo ab initio.
This prolonged screening exercise have achieved largely the noble intention behind the exercise. I am aware of the challenges and side effects of such exercise which is normal in my own opinion.
Let us go back to the intent and purpose of this letter.
Yes, it is common knowledge that Kogi civil servants are all active politicians as I have seen in the last ten years of my personal experience as a political office holder cum core civil servant before I literarily hang the gloves.
If my memory serves me correctly, the governments of Wada and Ibro have openly canvassed and encouraged full participation by civil servants in Kogi politics for their own electoral gains.
In conclusion therefore, it is my wish that the present government of Governor Yahaya Bello should have the political will to put an end to this nonsense and abuse of the Civil service system ahead of the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
Anybody who wants to be a politician shouldn’t feel free to resign voluntarily and join any of the political parties. The time has come when civil servants should abide by the civil service rules and remain apolitical. We want to know those on the payroll of Kogi State government so that everybody would begin to get alerts as and when due.
Long live Governor Yahaya Bello
Long live Kogi State
– Otori Ozigi is a former Public Relations officer of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Journalist and Public Relations Expert