About one thousand, six hundred employees serving in the seventeen local government areas of Abia state have been relieved of their positions because such officers had forged their certificates before entering into service or after, or that such officers falsified their ages aimed at cheating government in serving longer than the statutory sixty years of age, and or thirty-five years of services.
In a release from the office of the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya, more than three hundred of the fake certificate-bearing workers were discovered in Aba South LGA alone while Arochukwu had one of such officers (in the Environmental Health Department). The list of staff disposition in the state shows that while Aba South had the highest number followed by Umuahia North, Arochukwu council had the least number of staff (of less than seven hundred).
Speaking to Aro News on the issue, an executive member of the Staff Welfare Association of the council who works in the Finance Department (and who pleaded anonymity) disclosed that ‘with the coming of the present government in the state, the workers of Ngwa extraction who used to make up three-quarters of the population of Aro council staff in the past, sought transfers and left the council on the emergence of one of their own, and the trend has continued till today. Others posted to Arochukwu give large sums of money in bribes and gratifications to those in Umuahia to enable them to avoid going to Arochukwu because of lack of salaries, bad roads, mosquitoes and several bad working conditions in the town.’
Meanwhile, the state branch of NULGE (the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees) under the leadership of the Abam-born Ijeoma Onyelucheya, had organised an award ceremony for the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, on Friday, 17 March 2017, in apparent move to appease the state government towards rescinding its decision to lay off those certificate-forging workers.
According to news monitored in Arochukwu, the governor had promised to look into the matter as of the time of filing in the report.