By Chukwuemeka Opara
Abakaliki – Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has told his appointees that the door was open for them to quit instead of grumbling in his administration.
Umahi made the pronouncement on Tuesday in Abakaliki while distributing 68 vehicles (SUVs) to some appointees who include Senior Special Assistants (SSA) Special Assistants (SA), Permanent Secretaries and members of the state House of Assembly.
The governor said it was baffling to see appointees grumbling in spite of having new vehicles and earning salaries as such persons were putting themselves in a terrible spiritual situation.
“Do you want to be like the people in the village? Everybody here, including myself is privileged and we are not better than those not in this position.
“Nobody should take him or herself as a superstar as you cannot be in the system and still be castigating it.
“Those who know what they are doing don’t have time to grumble but invent things but when you have nothing to offer, you gossip and complain to cover things,” he said
He said the government was “watching such persons with one eye”’, stressing that the vehicles still belonged to the government in spite of being used by the appointees.
“The vehicles are 99.9 per cent owned by government and 0.1 percent by the appointees and if you are leaving government, you will give us the vehicles.
“There is no calculation in this as the number of days you will ride the cars is your own benefit,” he said.
Umahi said that the appointees’ transportation allowances were embedded in their consolidated emoluments as the vehicles were meant to assist them perform optimally in their various duties.
“The old appointees will not get new vehicles but car loans which is optional and this is because the poverty in the land is much.
“I cannot be giving new vehicles every four years, our people are suffering and need our attention as their population gives us the little we have,” he said.
He called on the state’s leaders to make sacrifices because of the people who mostly could not get a meal to eat, adding that the vehicle he was using was used by his predecessor for eight years.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Kenneth Ugbala, thanked the governor for providing the vehicles, noting that they cost millions of Naira.
“The vehicles would be distributed to some SSA’s, SA’s Permanent Secretaries, 13 Coordinators of Local Government Areas (LGA) development centres, among others.