A former Secondary School Principal of Western Boys High School,Benin City, Mr U.X Orhue, was among the eighteen new Permanent Secretaries sworn in by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, Governor Oshiomhole said the new Permanent-Secretaries were appointed purely on merit, saying “our campaign against godfatherism means even in the civil service, appointment should not be based on who you know, but what you know.
“This morning, I have had the honour of swearing-in a teacher as PermSec. The import of this is to send a clear message that the fact of your being in the classroom does not make you less important. You represent a constituency that is central to the development of our state.
“The second person I want to mention is our brother who had an accident in the recent past and now he is battling between the wheel chair and crutches. Yes, that the accident has affected his physical structure but not his brain and it won’t affect his ability to discharge his duties effectively. And as you can see, the accident has not stopped us from swearing him in.”
Dispelling rumours of possible retirement of workers from the service, Oshiomhole said “nobody will be retired. On the contrary we have a lot of vacancies in the service. Civil servants and teachers are assets and not liability. They are instruments of growth. We have not carried out any retrenchment and we will not”.
The Governor who urged the new Permanent Secretaries to be diligent in discharging their duties said “in discharging your responsibility, you should be firm, just, you protect government secret to the extent that they are classified as secret and that you will put your job before any other consideration. I believe you are capable of doing all of these. This government is founded on one principle, that every human being is capable of doing good and evil and I assume that every human being would rather good than do evil.
“I believe In hard work, I have a deep heart and deep commitment to the development of our state and I ask you to join me in this commitment.”
The governor said “we have tried the best we can to stick to merit and I have tried as much as I can to abstain from political consideration ,because they say whoever God must give power He must give wisdom. Power without wisdom will lead to self destruction. We have done what we think we should do and I am convinced that we have injected new blood into that core of leadership of the civil service and the state would benefit from their industry, commitment and sense of duty which has characterized their career and at the end we expect nothing less”.
“In spite of our own open-mindedness, our determination not to discriminate we still have people who three years down the line, they prefer for personal reasons to work as agents of those who do not wish Edo State well. Today it is an open secret that some of our officers have procured photocopying machine to photo copy documents and passing them to certain individuals” he added.
Expressing his belief in the principle of accountability, Oshiomhole said “our documents are open to investigation and indeed we have been investigated. But I hope that one day those who are investigating would be investigated. They have to be investigated over the N300billion for the Ore -Benin road. We make payments for work done. We do not make payments for failed contracts. From Edo South to North to Central we have not awarded any failed contract”.
Responding on behalf of others, Dr H.O. Iyoha thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve the state.
“I affirm that we shall carry out our duties loyally and deligently to the glory of God and the benefit of the state “he said.