Umahi goes tough, suspends LG commissioner over selection of youths for empowerment program
The Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi, has suspended the state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters/Rural Development, Barr. Samuel Okoronkwo.
Okoronkwo’s suspension is believed to be as a result of the lopsided selection of youths for the Industrial Training Fund, ITF, programme in the state.
The governor, who earlier directed the most senior officer in the ministry to take over from Okoronkwo, later directed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance to take charge.
Governor Umahi, who announced the suspension while declaring open the ITF programme in Abakaliki, also disbanded the state’s Committee on Empowerment.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Emma Anya, quoted Umahi as saying: “The Commissioner for Local Government is hereby suspended from office effective from now. And the highest officer, a civil servant, should take over and be attending Exco until further notice.
“This administration from day one has been built on the principle of justice, equity and fairness. In most of our programmes, we do equality of Local Governments. But in this kind of empowerment, we do equality of wards, so what I expected to see here would have been for them to borrow a leaf from what we are doing to empower about 3,000 of our women and youths.
“We are doing this and everybody is happy. We are called to build Ebonyi State where nobody will say I am from North, South or Central and I think we are succeeding. Anybody that is going to take us back to the dark ages will be resisted.”
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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