Attah Attacks Udom *Says leadership is not about bureau-du-change, selling or buying of shares in Zenith Bank
*Overrules State Exco decision on Nurses
*Draws battle line with Ekereobong Akpan, describes State Head of State as an opportunist
Chairman of Local Government Service Commission, Sir Valentine Attah has descended heavily on the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the State Head of Service, Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan and the Ministry of Health over the decisions taken by the State Government on 8th February 2017 during the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council meeting presided over by the Governor – in – Council Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
While Attah described Ekereobong Akpan who conveyed Exco’s decision to him and others touched by the decision as an opportunist and a far junior colleague of his, he did not have a soft tongue for the state Chief Executive as he roared that leadership is not about doing bureau-du-change and selling/buying of shares in Zenith Banks.
THE INK gathered from top sources in the Ministry of Health that Sir Val Attah is pained that he couldn’t be made an Head of Service by Akpabio and had however lobbied that Udom makes him chairman of Civil Service Commission, but alas, he couldn’t make any of the position he lobbied for.
Sources say, this could have been responsible for the high handedness Attah has applied in the discharge of his duties in his capacity of Chairman, Local Government Commission.
This development, our source said had pained Attah so much that he has to plot every means of frustrating the Head of Service and some staff in the Local Government system.
Information gathered by THE INK from the office of the Head of Civil Service indicates that during an Akwa Ibom State Executive Council meeting held on 8th February, 2017, that the Akwa Ibom State government had made some approvals on the redemption of the period of training of students in-take in nursing between 1982 to 1985, as ungraded with some modifications.
In a document obtained from the office of the HOCS, dated 6th June, 2017, the circular reads in part “Arising from mass retirement from service, resignation of appointments, conversion/transfer to other cadre by the Health Personnel (particularly nurses), the health sector has experienced dearth of qualified nurses to serve in health facilities in the state.”
“In order to reinvigorate and sustain the health sector, the Governor-in-Council at AKSEXCO 2017/2nd meeting held on 8th February 2017 approved the redemption of the period of training of the students in take in nursing between 1982 to 1985, as ungraded, with some modifications.”
The release which has five more items was personally signed by the Head of Service, Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan.
When the release was received by the Local Government Service Commission, the Permanent Secretary of the Commission, Elder Etim I Mfon in a release stamped confidential had also issued a circular addressed to Transition Chairmen and Heads of Local Government Service.
The release captioned: Correction and Effective Date of first appointment and adjustment of effective date of retirement from the public service for nurses employed between 1982 and 1985.
THE INK can authoritatively report that the release which is dated 30th August, 2017 reads in part “in line with the Head of Civil Service Circular No. 1/2017 with reference number HCS/AKS/S/VOL 11/243 of 6th June 2017 on the above subject, the Local Government Service Commission writes to inform and direct all the local Government Councils in the state to put the names of nurses who had retired between January and May 2017 on their payrolls.
Service records of nurses who were employed between 1982 and 1985 should be updated as contained in the circular attached.” The letter from the Permanent Secretary was also copied the salary consultant in the office of the State Accountant General.
But Sir Val Attah in an apparent display of rudeness, brute force, high handedness and egoism competent sorces say have faulted both the Governor and the Head of Service claiming the duo are ignorant of what is obtainable in the system.
Attah, THE INK gathered had surreptitiously and nicodemusly consulted and retained the support of Mr. Idongesit Ntekpere a legislator representing Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in order to have a legislative backing to stop the payment of salaries to nurses mentioned in the circular.
THE INK findings reveal that when Sir Val Attah was confronted with the negative implications of what his actions intend to portray, he quickly formed a committee and christened it Verification Committee.
Our reporter was informed that members of Val Attah’s verification committee are; Mr. Okopide Udo Akpan (HOS, Uruan) as Chairman while Mr. Kingsley Akpan (Hos, Ini) is also a member of the Committee.
Attah, it was learnt had instructed the committee members to come up with a sweeping verdict against the circulars from the Head of Service and Permanent Secretary LGSC.
Sources say, this verdict, as illegal as its committee is, is the basis in which the chairman of LGSC sits to implement the civil and intellectual fracas that he is currently executing against nurses in the state.
And as pre-empted, the former Permanent Secretary in a letter he personally signed and delivered to the salary consultant of the Accountant General’s office relied on what private investigators described as a cooked report of his planted committee to take a decision nurses in the state described as highly ridiculous.
Sir Val Attah in a letter dated 14th February, 2018 and unaddressed wrote with a title: “Authority to Stop Salary Payment in Respect of Retired, Unidentified, absconded and dead staff of Unified Local Government Service.”
The body of the letter personally signed by Sir Val Attah reads “further to the recommendations made by the Committee on Verification of Staff of the Unified Local Government Service Commission on 13th February, 2018, I hereby direct you to stop further payment of salary to the staff enlisted on the attached list totaling 365 (three hundred and sixty five) with effect from February 2018. Please comply and treat as important.”
Sir Val. Attah has also been accused of sponsoring a negative media report on the State Head of Service, Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan in a state based tabloid (not THE INK) last week.
When contacted on why he supported the illegality of the stoppage of payment of salaries to nurses employed between 1982 and 1985 and to the extent he thinks his legislative backing will sustain Sir Attah, Ntekpere who spoke through his aide pleaded ignorance.
He said he is not aware the letter of the HOCS was self explanatory until he got a copy.
Ntekpere, THE INK gathered had maintained that he was not properly informed by the chairman of the Local Government Service Commission.
And wondered why a man in the wake of Attah would condescend so low to putting spanners into the works of a government he is meant to serve.
Meanwhile, affected nurses by Sir Val Attah’s position have launched an appeal to the State Government to help them.
While exchanging views with THE INK reporter in a certain location in Uyo, numbering about twenty, the body cried out saying that an individual cannot be more powerful than the Government and wondered why Sir Val Attah would be so mean in his dealings with nurses.
The affected nurses also promised to take their plea to the relevant Government agencies in the coming days.
Source- THE INK NEWSPAPER