By Chris Chimezie
Ahead of the 2019 General Election, Ondo state governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has threatened to sanction any civil servant who engages in partisan politics in the state, stating that politics should be left for politicians.
Akeredolu said this at the swearing-in of new permanent secretaries and members of the Judicial Service Commission held at the International Event Centre, The Dome in Akure.
“Civil servants, leave politics to those who want to play politics. If you want to play politics, leave the service. We must not politicise our service, it will be unfortunate. It has happened severally, but I am not going to encourage it.” the governor warned.
He said, “I will tell you, if anybody brings any campaign material, be it APC vest, and gives you to wear, tell the person you won’t . The governor will not sanction you for not wearing it. Our civil service must be insulated from politics. If others fail, some of us will not fail because I believe it should be like that.”
He noted that “Politics is good as I said, it must, however, be left to those given the latitude by law to engage in it. If people tell you that by law now you can be playing politics, it would not be in your interest because if you play politics now, if time changes, and you don’t have an Akeredolu coming to become governor, and those ones say you used to wear Labour vest or you used to wear PDP vest, so you are not going to be promoted, what will happen?
“We have warned you before, most of you here have put on Labour, you have put on PDP vest, but I am here, I have promoted you, and I will promote you, I am not bothered about all those ones. So I appeal to you, don’t wear any vest, leave politics to those who want to play politics, concentrate on your work as civil servants” the governor charge.
He also urged civil servants in the state to bear with his administration, as he is determined to ensure they have their salaries paid before Christmas.
He said, “You are all aware of the precarious situation in the state, and in the country. We are all aware of the fact that we are in a financial straight jacket. There is no money, money is scarce everywhere, I know.
“Some time ago, we were getting between 10 and 11 billion naira as monthly allocation from Abuja, but now the highest we get monthly is between 4 and 4.5 billion naira. There are some things that are our desire to do, but there is paucity of funds.
“This administration will remain committed, we are in search of funds, and I am trusting in God that we will get enough money to prosecute our projects.
“Let me tell you here that there are things that will demand of all of us to be prepared to bear for some time, particularly those of us in the civil service. We have tried since we came to make sure that we don’t owe. It is important that you are paid, you must have a good Christmas, we will pay from whatever we have.
“I can assure you, we intend to see that out of the arrears we owe you, we will pay very soon.”
The governor who took out time to congratulate the appointees also urged them to see their appointments as service to the state.
“Let me once again congratulate our appointees for this deserved recognition, a recognition of worth. You are worthy of this appointment. This poses a lot of challenges to you, the people of this state now expect some commitment from you.
“The people of this state expect industry, loyalty, transparency, they expect all these from you while you serve them. You are being called to service, it is an enormous task.
“As you return to work, please note that you have just started, this is your own beginning. You must use your leadership position to redirect the work thinking in government offices because we cannot continue to treat government’s business the way we treat it now.”