Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Wednesday announced the sack of the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Emeka Wogu.
He announced the decision at Government House, Port Harcourt, while swearing in six new female Permanent Secretaries.
Although no reason was given for the Commissioner' s sack, THISDAY gathered that Wogu incurred the wrath of the governor because of the poor handling of Tuesday's fire incident at Ikoku Motor Spare Parts Market in Port Harcourt.
Reports said the poor response of the state Fire Service led to the destruction of houses, cars and other properties worth millions of naira. The fire service could not salvage anything because their vehicles were said not to have water.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Mr. David Iyofor, said Amaechi had already appointed Mr. Omunakwe Dickson, as the new Commissioner for Special Duties.
According to the statement, "Those sworn-in are Dr. Offor Nnesochi, Mrs. Iragunima C. M. Clara Gogo Princewill, Mrs. Amie Nemi Iwo, Mrs. Wihioka Comfort and Dr Justina Jumbo.
"This was as Governor Chibuike Amaechi relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Emeka Wogu, of his appointment and replaced him with Mr. Omunakwe Dickson, whose name will be sent to the Rivers State House of Assembly for confirmation."
Congratulating the new Permanent Secretaries, the governor said they were appointed on merit and urged them to be fair and just as they contribute to the growth of the state.
"A civil servant is supposed to be a non-politician, but in the Nigerian context all Nigerians or nearly all Nigerians are politicians, nearly all and that is because the economy is not productive.
"So the only productive part of the economy is government and that is because government takes money from oil and everybody wants to be part of the sharing of that money, but the moment the economy becomes productive a lot of Nigerians would not want to be in politics.
"But we hope that as we increase our desire to improve on our sub-national economy, like all of you the women would contribute to this growth and the way to contribute to it is to ensure that you are fair, you are just and that you work hard and that you are also able to punish those who don't work hard," he said.
Reacting to his removal, Wogu said he was in his village in Omuma Local Government Area when he was informed about the fire incident.
He said he immediately called the state fire service to move to the scene of the incident but was told that there were only two trucks on ground and that the drivers available could not drive them.
"We sent four of our trucks for refurbishing. We have mobilised them and the contractor is still working on them. The two trucks available have eight gears each and the drivers available said they could not drive them," he said.