By NBF News

Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun has explained why he retired 19 serving permanent secretaries, adding that it was in the best interest of the state.

Amosun's position came just as indications emerged at the weekend that no fewer than  five more permanent secretaries and 10 serving directors in the state  civil service might be relieved of their positions soon.

Nineteen permanent secretaries out of  the 33 in the state were compulsorily retired by the government recently.

The retirement, which came as a surprise to many of the affected secretaries, however, did not surprise few, who were already preparing for their retirement.

One of such was the former permanent secretary in the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Babajide Oyeti, whose disengagement from service came the day he was celebrating his retirement. Although many people in the state had read political interpretations to the retirement, Daily Sun reliably gathered that  it was borne out of the desire of Governor Amosun to maintain moderate civil service, 'because the system is over-bloated.''

A reliable source close to the Oke-Mosan Governor's Office said: 'The governor believed that there were too many permanent secretaries in the state public service, hence his decision to send many of them on compulsory retirement. She adds: 'There is nothing serious about the retirement, most of them before their retirement had few years to spend in the service and arrangement had been concluded to treat them well in areas of their entitlements, so there is no cause for alarm.'

Justifying his action,  Amosun, during the presentation of  an award to the State Head of Service, Princess, Iyabo Odulate-Yusuf said the retirement of the 19 top civil servants was done in the interest of the state.

According to him,  there was an understanding between the government and those retired and he confirmed that there were too many permanent secretaries in the state.

In what appears as a reaction to the insinuations that the retirement was political, the governor said: 'Recently, some permanent secretaries were retired. I have heard so many things that their retirement had political undertone. It is not so. We asked them to go in the overall interest of the state and nothing else. It was done so that the state can develop.

'We talked with some of them before we retired them. We have a lot of people there. Some of them have just one year or so to go, for me, it is not about where Mr. A or B belongs or comes from, it is about performance. We should dwell more on things that can unite us.

'I believe that at the end of our tenure, we will leave nobody in doubt, of our determination to build Ogun State. Amosun will come and go. It is not about me. I know that power is transient, when we leave office, we want to look back and see that we have left indelible legacies,' the governor concluded.