Following Governor Yahya Bello’s victory in the supplementary election held in the state, his administration made a bold statement to rid the state of the ghost workers and to essentially get an overview of the state workforce so as to effectively distribute the bailout funds to civil servants. The state valiantly took to work with the screening committee headed by one retired General Paul Okuntimo.
The dreams were tentative and short lived as complaints of highhandedness, irregularities marred and overshadowed the process. The governor replaced him with Dr. Jerry Agbaje who was the then acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of culture and tourism. Having worked with the state government for a long period of time, one wouldn’t have thought of any kind of disappointment.
The governor reiterated his commitment to plug loopholes and stop outright embezzlement of fund meant for the infrastructural development of the state. He explained that the exercise wasn’t to witch hunt but to put the state on the right track for accelerated development. Those dreams were ephemeral as the result of the exercise was brusquely dumped into the trash bin as it was said that there were issues of maladroitness and ineptitude in the exercise that was carried out. The backup committee accused the main committee of frauds and high level irregularities. The galling outcome generated a lot of heat and disparagement. All types of contempt and derision were sent at the governor and the appointed committee members.
The plaintive announcement was that the screening exercise was to be continued and this time, it was to be headed by the state’s Auditor General, Yakubu Okala. The main committee was disbanded and the backup committee was upgraded to continue the exercise. The result of the screening exercise which was to be submitted on August was never heard of until December. Chorus of disapproval from different section of the state soon greeted the result when it came out. Many Parastatals, organizations, bodies critically condemned the outcome of the result describing it as a premeditated attempt to sack some workers. After series of strikes and outcries, the governor inaugurated a 32 man committee to look into the plight of the cases of the workers and charged the committee to submit a comprehensive report to him within six weeks.
In this state of melancholy, one doesn’t need a wizard or witch doctor to explain that this series of event are calculated and deliberate propaganda to keep the bail-out fund for exactly a year in the bank to yield interest into the coffers of some despicable politicians before giving the workers their dues. The puissant toying with masses. They and their greedy sycophants have succeeded in playing out their cards. It shouldn’t be forgotten that one who plays with the lion’s food might end up in the lion’s belly. They are the few and the masses are the many and when the many grows tired of the few, they would be shown the way out of power.