From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was on Monday charged to immediately remove the state Head of Service,(HOS) Mrs. Deborah Ogunmola, for over staying in Office.
The Chairman of a concerned Kogi Forum Group, Mr. Daniel Subaru sated in a statement on Monday that the extension of her service after her retirement over one year ago negates all known civil service rules.
Subaru stressed that her continued stay in office was against the circular signed by the same principal Officer, ‘Ogunmola’ that the practice of indiscriminate extension of service for civil servants who has attained 35 years of service or 60 years of age would not be tolerated as that will deprive others the opportunity of ascending to the position before their retirement.
This position was clearly stated in Public Service Rules in section 020810 subsection 1 & 2 that: “The compulsory retirement age for all grades in the service shall be 60 years and 35 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier.
No officer shall be allowed to remain in service after attaining the retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier”.
The group who described the governor as “a man of honour, integrity, fairness and justice, as rooted in his New Direction Administration, called on the Governor to compel Ogunmola to step aside so as not to be a black sheep that will dent his administration that has done so much to reform civil service in kogi state.”
“This development, if not stopped, will never allows some Permanent Secretaries that are her junior to attain the position of Head of service until they are retired.” the Group added.
“It would have been difficult for Ogunmola to become Head of Service if others before her have decided to remain in office after their retirement. It is only fair for her to respect the laid down civil service rules which gave her the opportunity in the first instance”.
It would be recalled that the HOS, Ogunmola before her retirement had released a circular calling on government to avoid any pressure from any quarter for the extension of the service of any civil servant, who has attained the mandatory 35 years of service or 60 years of age as stipulated by law, which are clearly stated in the public service rules.
The group also commends the Governor, Yahaya Bello for taking a bold step to reform the civil service in kogi state. “This is one salient achievement that will forever be appreciated by Kogites.”
The group appeal to the Governor to direct the Head of Service to vacate the office to pave way for others to attain the zenith of their career.
The group also call on the state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress to prevail on the Head of service to as a matter of necessity obey the constitution that guides the civil service rules and regulations.
“Civil service reform cannot be meaningful if an important aspect of the Public Service Rules is fragrantly disobeyed by the number one Civil Servant in the State.”