Benue govt revokes Ortom’s last-minute appointments

BENUE State government has revoked last-minute appointments by former governor Samuel Ortom.

The state governor governor Hyacinth Alia announced the decision through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS) Tersoo Kula, on Wednesday, June 7.

Alia also reversed postings and transfers in the State Civil Service from October 2022 and directed affected staff to return to previous positions.

The nullified appointments include those made by Ortom’s administration from May 2022.

“All Civil Servants and or persons appointed Permanent Secretaries from the month of January 2023 to date should revert to their previous positions forthwith,” a statement released by the governor’s spokesperson said.

Retired Civil Servants who are yet to vacate office were also ordered to exit their duty posts with immediate effect.

“All those who have retired but are yet to vacate their offices or duty post either because of extension or contract appointment are to proceed on retirement forthwith. All Civil Servants due for retirement but are yet to tender their letters of retirement or notice of retirement should do so forthwith and proceed on retirement immediately,” Alia directed.

Shortly before his exit as governor, Ortom appointed five new Permanent Secretaries, among others, into the State Civil Service, whom he said were chosen based on sound character, commitment to duty, discipline, fair representation and reward for excellence in service.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue state had challenged the new appointments, which were made a few weeks before Ortom’s exit from government.

The APC claimed that the intention behind the selection was to strategically position the officials to impede the take-off of the new administration.

The party urged the appointees to reject Ortom’s appointment offer.

“Those who refuse to heed to this warning and take up such appointments will be treated as saboteurs and enemies of Benue people by the incoming administration of Alia,” the Benue APC Publicity Secretary Daniel Ihomun warned.

However, Ortom, through his CPS Nathaniel Ikyur, defended his actions, saying he reserved the right to make appointments until a new government is inaugurated.

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org or @ije_le on Twitter.

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