Abia State government has denied reports that it carried out a mass sack in the State’s civil service to the tune of about 10,000 workers.
It accused the former administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of employing many workers between December 2022 and April 2023 whose appointment letters it said, were backdated to legitimize the deal.
These disclosures were made by Okey Kanu, Abia State Commissioner for information and culture while addressing journalists in Umuahia after an Executive Council meeting.
He faulted the reports in some media houses which claimed that up to 10,000 workers were recently laid off by the Otti administration, saying that the figures were not in tandem with reality.
Kanu, however, acknowledged that workers who were allegedly employed through the back door between December 2022 to April 2023 by the immediate past administration were recently laid off, adding that the former administration used the employment of such persons to pile undue pressure on the government that was then, about to take over from it.
The Commissioner acknowledged that some workers whose names were thrown up as ‘ghost workers’ during verification exercise in the State were also affected by the sack, explaining that no genuine worker was sacked by Otti’s administration.
“This group comprised those who were illegally employed from December 2022 and up until March and April this year long after the current governor had been declared as the duly elected governor of the State.
“Some of those in this category had their appointment letters backdated. Their employment was surreptitious and a bait with which to pile undue pressure on the then incoming administration of Alex Otti.
“No responsible government will allow such a situation”, Kanu declared.
He urged Abians to disregard the reports that the State sacked legally employed staff, saying that such reports were spread by agents of fake news.
He further reiterated that all salary and pensions arrears in the State would be cleared by the present administration.