Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has reportedly ordered nine permanent secretaries in the state civil service to go on compulsory retirement. It was gathered that some of the affected senior civil servants were not up to the 60 years mandatory retirement age for the civil servants while some of them also had not spent up to 35 years in the state civil service.
It was also gathered that some of the affected permanent secretaries had been given the retirement letters since the beginning of the week. The action of the governor did not go down well with some of the affected people as some of them who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said they would challenge the action in court.
One of them alleged that the governor did not take the action against them in good faith, alleging that he (the governor) showed them the way out of service untimely in order to pave way for his ‘anointed’ candidate to succeed the current Head of Service, Mr Toyin Akinkuotu, who was said to be going on retirement in August 2019.
He said, “He (the governor) retired nine of us (permanent secretaries) because the governor wants an Owo indigene to become the next state Head of Service and the person is junior to some of us, the affected permanent secretaries. That is unfair.”
However, a senior civil servant in the governor’s office who craved anonymity, confirmed the development to our correspondent. He said the governor did it in order to appoint a trusted person in the office of the Head of Service.
“What happened is not a new thing in government service. When Mimiko was there, he appointed an Ondo man to be the head of service. So if Akeredolu appoints his kinsman as the head of service, heaven will not fall; he has the exclusive power to do it. He can appoint anyone that pleases him,” he stated.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Yemi Olowolabi, said the affected persons were not sacked but asked to retire voluntarily after serving in the office for more than eight years.
Olowolabi said, “There is an extant circular to that effect, that any permanent secretary who has served for more than eight years could be retired either reaching retirement age or not and the least of the affected permanent secretaries had spent nine years in the office.
So the governor did not give the order to favour anybody. The affected permanent secretaries were not sacked but they were called for a meeting where they were told to retire voluntarily.”