A group of public sector workers, under the auspices of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reshuffle his kitchen cabinet.
They made the appeal sequel to the scandal surrounding the reinstatement of the dismissed former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the Federal Civil Service.
In a statement, on Wednesday, ASCSN’s Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, expressed sadness that Maina, sacked in 2013 for sharp practices in respect of about N2 billion pension funds, was smuggled back into the Federal Civil Service by key government officials believed to be close to the president.
"Information at the public domain shows that the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the Minister of Interior, Lt-General Abdulrahaman Dambazau, cannot be entirely extricated from the conspiracy that led to the illegal re-absorption of Maina into the Federal Civil Service.
"Thus, the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has again dismissed Abdulrasheed Maina from Service is good news but what the public now expects is for Mr President to instil sanity into the inner core of his administration by sacking those who are bent on ruining his reputation as a man of integrity,’’ the Union emphasized.
The ASCSN posited that the consistent and persistent acts of impunity by some powerful individuals in the cabinet had continued to embarrass the Government.
"If the President does not act to replace some of his personal aides that are besmearing the image of his government, the impression will continue to be created that he may be privy to their ignoble acts.
"Besides, apart from dismissing Abdulrasheed Maina from Service, relevant Government Agencies should take necessary steps to bring him to justice,’’ the Union added.
According to the ASCSN, it was really absurd that somebody declared wanted by the EFCC and the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) could arrive the country and resume duty as a Director in the Ministry of Interior of all places without being apprehended by the security agencies.
"It is this type of impunity that continues to create the impression before the international community that Nigeria is a lawless country. This is very unfortunate,’’ the Union emphasized.
The ASCSN recalled the case of an officer above the age of 60 years who was smuggled into the Service as a Permanent Secretary.
It regretted that the fellow who is about 63 years now is still serving inspite of the fact that retirement age in the Civil Service still remains 60 years.
The Union also posited that Public Service Rule 030413 stated clearly that any officer who abandoned his or her duty post would be dismissed from Service.
"This is the more reason why those who conspired to reinstate Abdulrasheed Maina into the Federal Civil Service and gave him double promotion must be disciplined and brought to account so as to act as deterrence to others.
"We cannot continue to behave as if Nigeria is a Banana Republic where anything goes,’’ the Union added.