Gov.Rochas Okorocha & His Bloated Cabinet
Despite numerous entreaties by eminent persons of civic and intellectual standing asking Rochas Okorocha to do the right thing, the new Governor has, in an unprecedented move, made appointments that run counter to his professed principles of professionalism in public administration; appointments that are a slap in the face of the government career service. On Tuesday July 19, 2011, Okorocha announced an alarming retinue 32 appointees in the categories of Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants apart from the Commissioners manning the Government Ministries in the State.
He also announced the appointments of three new Mayoral and their members. More disheartening is the fact that the governor appointed aides into offices which people see as out of focus. For example, he appointed a Nollywood actress, Nkiru Sylvanus, who won the Face of Hope on the Okorocha Foundation, as the Special Adviser on Lagos Affairs making people wonder what he has to do with Lagos State.
Despite this, he also appointed someone as the Senior Special Assistant on the Lagos Liaison Office just as he appointed another as the Senior Special Assistant, Government House Chaplain. Another sordid appointment is the Chief Comedian of Imo State. The appointments also included Special Assistant on Print Media and another one for the Electronic Media. Ace-footballer, Kanu Nwankwo, a former captain of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, was appointed Special Adviser in the State.
With these appointments, Governor Okorocha has surrendered the moral high ground and descended into the swamp of political accommodation. Perhaps the Governor thought such appointments into portfolios deemed 'nonstrategic' would not affect governance, but by converting such agencies into convenient receptacles for unemployed politicians, Okorocha failed to discern the bigger picture-that such appointments set the moral tone of his administration. It is this moral tone, more than any specific political act that is the administration's claim to superiority over other dispensations. Absent that moral dimension, it is merely a cabal of scheming politicians.
When he became governor, the first thing he did to win the confidence of the people was to slash the tuition fees of students of the state University by over 75 per cent. He also slashed the security vote for the governor and other beneficiaries of the state to N2.5 billion from the former N6.5 billion promising to spend the N4 billion on his free education programme. The question on the lips of those who commented on the various social networking sites on the internet including Facebook and Twitter is whether he is focused. Critics say he is too erratic while his detractors allege he is unpredictable and mentally unsteady. The grapevine has it that the Governor intends to transform the state to a comedy zone. A government source, who expressed dismay at the appointments, said such appointments are expected to drain the finances of the state as they would be paid salaries, there would be basic travelling allowances and other entitlements and the government would continue to ensure maintenance of government vehicles to be attached to the appointees. But Okorocha has maintained that the objective of the appointment is to make sure he covers every sphere of human endeavor adding that those appointed are to help fast-track and speed up rural development in State.
While congratulating the appointees (the list is published with below), the governor reminded them that the era of greedily filling their pockets or working for their personal interest had long passed. He said he appointed them based on his choice as he was not influenced in the appointment.
LIST OF APPOINTEES OF GOVERNOR OKOROCHA'S The list includes: (A) MAYORIAL AFFAIRS OWERRI DEVELOPMENTAL ZONE COMMITTEE
1.Chief Jonathan Anukam- SSA Owerri Mayoral Affairs.
2.Mrs. Esther Ebuche-Member
3.Hon. Chidiebere Augustine Ezeigbo-Member
4.Chief Bona Ibebuike-Member
5.Lucky Charles Ukachi-Member
6.Mr. Chima Anumnini-Member
7.Arnold Iheanyichukwu Nelson-Member
(B) ORLU DEVELOPMENTAL ZONE COMMITTEE
1.Ichie Mbanaso Uche-SSA Orlu Mayoral Affairs
2.Mrs. Njideka Akuma-Member
3.Chief Ezesor Williams-Member
4.Mr. Tochukwu Udoeze-Member
5.Capt. Chris Ibekwe (Rtd)-Member
6.Mrs. Ngozi M. Obiefule-Member
7.Mr. Celestine Aladum-Member
(C) OKIGWE DEVELOPMENT ZONE COMMITTEE
1.Engr. Ifeanyi Ukachu-SSA Okigwe Mayoral Affairs
2.Mrs. Collins Obi-Member
3.Hon. Chukwuemeka Anayoyi-Member
4.Mrs. Comfort Obi-Member
5.Mr. Julius Onyeneho-Member
7.Chief Igna. M. Owums-Member
LIST OF SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANTS
1.Barr Okey Okorocha-SSA, Security Admin.
2.Pst. Mrs Henrietta Jacobs-SSA, Religious Affairs.
3.Ibezim Sebastian-SSA, Assets & Liability.
4.Prince Charles Onuoha-SSA, MDG.
5.Mrs. Queeneth Okehie-SSA, Finance.
6.Engr. Chuks Ololo-SSA, Info-Tech & Statistics.
7.Hon. Chiadi Sunny-SSA, Special Duties.
8.Dr. Kachi Nwoga-Senior Technical Assistant.
9.Hon. Ngozi Njoku-DG, Imo Foundation.
10.Princess Gloria Akobundu-SSA, Abuja Liaison.
II.Daniel Kanu-SSA, Agriculture.
12. Ibebuchi Ethelberth-SSA, Administration.
13.Barr. Benjamin Okemire- SSA, Justice & Fairness.
14.Barr. Lady Rebecca Anozie-SSA, NDDC.
15.Chinyere Uwandu-SSA, Lagos Liaison.
LIST OF SPECIAL ASSISTANTS
1.Mr. Chimezie Duru-SA, NEPAD.
2.Onyema Onyebuchi-SA, General Duties (Deputy Gov.).
3.Mrs. Chinwe Victoria Ike-SA, Admin (First Lady).
4.Barr. Mrs. Joy Oluchi Umealor-SA, Legal Affairs (First Lady).
5.Pst. Bunmi Babs-SA, Govt. House Chaplain.
6.Donald Weife Ejifugha-SA, Advance Protocol.
7.Mrs. Ogechi Ololo-SA, Domestic.
8.Chiekezi Dozie-SA, Investment.
9.Roy Amadi-SA, International Donor Agencies.
10.Alh. Abubakar Ozuh-SA, Inter-Party Relations.
11.Mr. B.B. Ibekwe-SA, Intra-Party Relations.
12.Nze Ben Osuji-SA, Chieftaincy Affairs.
13.Pst. Frank Clement Onwumere-SA, Production & Studio Documentary.
14.Onyema Opara-SA, Media (DGov) & Chief Press Secretary.
15.Mr. Alfred Ononugbor-SA, Protocol.
16.Prof. Emma Okoronta-SA, Technical Assistant.
17.Mr. Raymond Duru-SA, Transport.
18.Barr. Chukwuma Ume-Asst. Chief Legal Officer (Gov.).
19.Mr. Ebere Uzoukwa-SA, Media (Print).
20.Liza Asumugha-SA, Public Affairs.
21.Nnanayereugo Onoaji-SA, Diaspora.
22.ChiefEbonyi Ohiri-SA, OrIu Zonal Security.
23.Engr. Cletus Amaraegbu-SA, Igbo Affairs.
24. Mr. Ugochukwu Onyekwu-SA, Owerri Zonal Security.
25.Mr. Innocent Okpokoro-SA, Okigwe Zonal Security.
26.Mrs. Florence Nwaife Anichebe-SA, Special Duties (First Lady).
27.Mrs. Marie Ihediwa-SA, Events (First Lady).
28.Wilson Nwachukwu-SA, Non Formal Sector.
29.Henry Nwabueze-SA, Youth.
MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE ON SPORTS
5.Mr. Tony Dike-Member
COMMITTEE ON PROJECT MONITORING & EVALUATION
1.Prince Akanor Macdonald-Chairman
2.Engr. Frank Nwachukwu-Member
3.Engr. Charles Egwim-Member
5.Engr. Chibuzor Njoku-Member
6.Engr. (Mrs.) Angelina Nwole-Member
7. Barr. (Mrs.) Patricia Nwole-Member
MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE ON DUE PROCESS &. BUDGET ADMINISTRATION
1.Hon. Agwu Ifeanyi-Chairman
2.Mr. Lawrence Nwaobodo-Member
3.Mrs. Queenet Okehie-Member
4.Mrs. Umar Ngozi-Member
6.Mr. Asonye Igwe-Member
D.COMMITTEE ON RECOVERY OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTIES
1.Chief (Dr.) Placid Ekwueme-Chairman
3.High Chief Uche Njoku-Member
4.Chief Ugochukwu Nnawuihe-Member
6.Hon. Larry Ajero-Member