The appointment of Mrs Rose Izuogu, former Permanent Secretary of the local government service commission as chairman of the Imo State Local Government Service Commission has continued elicit mixed reactions from staff of the Imo State local government system and concerned Imolites, most of who have expressed reservation over what they described as celebrating and rewarding arrogance, pride and high handedness.
Mrs Izuogu whose tenure as permanent secretary was trailed by mass complaints and accusations ranging from giving the governor false situation reports that culminated in the non payment of salaries and pensions of staff of the various local government councils in the state, to being used by the government o transact and cover up what many described as shoddy deals at the expense of Imo people and refusing to bow out honourably long after her retirement from service, among others.
On the contrary,a top government official who pleaded anonymity said, “Mrs Izuogu is an honest, credible and transparent person who does not cut corners. Those who blackmail and say all kinds of negative things about her, do so because they are part of the rot in the system and are not comfortable with her sanitization agenda”. “Some of them were questionably converted to the health category because of the higher remuneration. When the former permanent secretary got wind of it, she corrected the anomaly, and brought them back to where they should belong. The only problem she has is that, she is overbearing, proud and arrogant. As regards the extension of her tenure, it was first done by former governor Okorocha before Governor Uzodinma extended it a second time”.
The source also stated that Mrs Izuogu’s appointment as chairman of Local Government Service Commission has nothing to do with her career as a retired civil servant because he has formally retired from service.
However, another top government official who commented on the development expressed disappointment that the governor despite all the protest and controversy that trailed Mrs Izuogu’s tenure as permanent secretary, still went ahead to appoint her as chairman of Local Service Commission. “This gives credence to speculations that the woman is really being used to facilitate and cover up some shoddy, illicit and questionable transactions by some people at the helm of affairs in the state hence, they find it difficult to let her go”.
Responding to a question, the source said, “what is the basis of her honesty and transparency when staff of the local government system suffered and are still suffering untold hardship, lack and deprivation arising from the non payment of their statutory entitlements. Their welfare and working condition was nothing to write home about under her watch as the permanent secretary? It is obvious that now that she has been elevated to the position of chairman for probably doing her master’s bidding, the staff are in for a worse and terrible condition”.
He described the former Permanent Secretary, now Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission as the arrow head of the rot, in the local government system and the indignity suffered by the staff whose plight is pitiable.
Some staff of the local government system who spoke to this reporter described the development as very sad and pathetic because “Madam is not only insensitive but unaccessible, inconsiderate, aggressive and unwilling to listen to complaints, what more addressing them. Honestly, we are in for the worst”.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper in one of it’s publications last month highlighted some of the excesses of Mrs Izuogu, as chronicled by staff of the local government system and a cross section of Imo people hence the sceptism and disappointment elicited by her recent appointment.