Nigeria: Akwa Ibom Governor Suspends Top Govt Official

The Akwa Ibom government has suspended the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission in the state, Valentine Attah.

Mr Attah's suspension, announced Wednesday through a press statement from the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government (SSG), Emmanuel Ekuwem, came few hours after the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, sacked the commissioner for agriculture and food sufficiency, Uduak Udo-Inyang.

The SSG, Mr Ekuwem, said the governor suspended Mr Attah for "unauthorised" recruitment of persons into the state civil service.

Mr Attah would remain suspended, pending an audit into the recruitment exercise, the SSG said.

"To this end, the appointments of those who benefited from the said recruitment are hereby declared null and void," the SSG added.

Mr Attah, hitherto seen as a respectable technocrat within the public service in Akwa Ibom, has served before as the chairman of the hospital management board in the state.

Considered to be a political leader in Uyo Local Government Area, Mr Attah was among those who worked for the re-election of Governor Emmanuel in the just concluded general election.

Ahead of the inauguration of Mr Emmanuel's second term administration on May 29, there are fears within political circles in the state that cabinet appointments and other appointments may be a departure from the tradition where political connection is considered a big advantage.

"I can tell you this, the governor is going to clean up a lot of mess in this state and put the state back on the path of rebirth. It's not going to be business as usual; appointments will be given strictly on merit," a senior government official told PREMIUM TIMES, a few days before the suspension of Mr Attah and the sacking of the commissioner.

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