Governor Godwin Obaseki’s Cousin, Don Pedro Obaseki, narrowly retained his job in Ovia South West Local government Area of Edo State during the compulsory Council staff verification/staff Audit held across the 18 Council Areas of the State in a nervous state on Friday last week.
The exercise, ordered by the State government, was met to engender reforms in Local government Administration and fast track regular and prompt payment of salaries of workers through the deployment of technology likewise their counterpart in the State Civil Service and avert unnecessary aversion.
Authoritative sources that are familiar with the incident, stated that ‘Don Pedro’ cleverly averted a double whammy in deference for his mother’s funeral ceremony ahead of the verification exercise at Iguobazuwa, headquarters of Ovia South West Local government Area.
In a rare glimpse, invited guests, friends and well-wishers at the funeral at Ekpoma, Esan West Local government Area of the State, waited for hours for Pedro to beat the deadline for him to submit his credentials and appear before the Council’s Committee last week.
In a memo that was seen by our Correspondent, the Director of Administration Department in Ovia South West Local government Area, Mr Justin Oravbiere, directed all staff in the Council “to make themselves available for the exercise on Friday 30th June, 2023 without fail”.
The memo, which also directed staff to ensure that they come with all relevant documents to the venue of screening, partly read, “I am directed to inform all staff that His Excellency, the Executive Governor, has directed all Local government to conduct a thorough Staff Screening and submit their reports not later than Monday next week.
“In this direction, all Heads of Departments are also directed to be on ground for identification of all staff accordingly”, the memo, which was delayed due to technical glitches, according to sources.
Mr Pedro, who was already on his way to Ekpoma, headquarters of Esan West Local government Area for the funeral when he got a phone call to attend the one-day workers’ screening, had to make a U-turn to attend the screening.
He was said to have initially sounded hypothetical until he got a phone call by a Council official who hinted that Governor is indisposed to extension of the exercise that expected to check ghost workers at the third tier of government unless the forces of history conspire in their favour.
Our Correspondent learnt that Don Pedro appeared before the screening Committee, after logistics challenges before embarking on the funeral at Ekpoma, Esan West Local government Area of the State.
A significant number of workers who got the circular late, were not captured on the exercise. A dependable source said it will help to bypass the hurdle of unpaid entitlements of Council workers and provide life saving assistance for administration of the Councils.
The source hinted that Ovia South West Council workers and their counterpart in other Council areas that were captured during the verification, have started presenting salary cheques to screened workers in batches across the Local government Council Areas before the end of July 2023.
TheNewspad reports that if the ongoing reform in Local government administration, which use to be under the supervision of the office of the State Deputy governor, succeeds, is seen as a spoiler for corrupt Council workers.
who consider public offices as bonus.
The measure will among reforms help to eliminate ghost workers in the Councils and clip the influence of the State Civil Service Commission and corrupt government officials alleged to have made the third tier of government a lame duck.