Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has told the state’s governor elect, Dr. Alex Otti, that he is still the governor of the state and that he should wait until he takes over governance on May 29,2023.
Ikpeazu stated this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Onyebuchi Ememanka, while reacting to alleged employment racketeering in the Abia State Civil Service ahead of the expiration of the tenure of the present government.
The governor elect had in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma, accused the state government of engaging in employment racketeering in ministries and parastatals of the state with the new employees issued backdated letters.
The statement added that this action is geared towards laying landmines for the incoming Labour Party government in the state.
“Confirmed reports backed by empirical evidence show that there’s presently a bazaar of illegal employment going on in different ministries and parastatals, with all the so-called employees being issued with backdated employment letters.
“This action, which is geared towards laying a needless landmine for the in-coming government of Alex Otti, has shown how unpatriotic and selfish the perpetrators are”.
However, Ememanka, who said there is no form of employment racketeering in the state public service, reminded the governor elect that there is a sitting government in place with executive powers to run the affairs of the state.
“Assuming, though by no means conceding that the state government offered employment to Abians, what is illegal about it?
“Dr. Otti should take it easy. We understand that he has been trying to be Governor since 2015. His hurry is understandable but he must know that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu remains governor of Abia State until midnight of 28th May, 2023.
“Within this period, the governor is still enabled by all laws in this country to exercise the full powers of his office, including the power to grant employment waivers into the state workforce, if he so desires.
“What Dr. Otti can do is to review such executive actions after he is sworn in on the 29th of May. Anything else from him at this time is of no effect whatsoever.
“Dr. Otti will have 4 full years at the first instance to exercise the powers of the governor of Abia State, from 29th of May, 2023.
“He should wait for his time. Dr. Otti should also be reminded that every Governor Elect is a potential former governor. At most and if God permits, he will spend 8 years in office and while still in office, his successor will be elected too.
“Our advice is simple. May 29th is almost here. Please be patient. If you have waited since 2015 till now, you can wait for another 2 months.
“When a new administration is elected into office, they will inherit both assets and liabilities because government is a continuum.
“What a new governor chooses to do with what he inherits will define its administrative strategy. Abians are eagerly looking forward to seeing the administrative expertise of the Governor Elect”, the commissioner noted.