Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi, on Friday suspended the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters/Rural Development, Samuel Okoronkwo.
The development, it was gathered, was connected to the lopsided selection of youths in the state for the Industrial Training Fund programme.
Umahi has also directed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Ignatius Unah, to take charge. He will be assisted by the most senior officer in the Local Government Ministry.
The governor, who announced the suspension while declaring open the ITF programme in Abakaliki, also disbanded the state’s Committee on Employment.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Emma Anya, quoted Umahi as saying: “The Commissioner for Local Government is hereby suspended from office effective from now.
“This administration from day one has been built on the principle of justice, equity and fairness.
“In some of our programmes, we do equality of Local Governments. But in this kind of empowerment, we do equality of wards.
“So what I expected to see here would have been for them to borrow a leaf from what we are doing to empower about 3,000 of our women and youths.
“We are doing this and everybody is happy. We are called to build Ebonyi State where nobody will say I am from North or South or Central.
“I think we are succeeding. Anybody that is going to take us back to the dark ages will be resisted.”
Umahi called on the youth of Ebonyi State who were jobless in other parts of the country to return home and find something meaningful to do under his government’s youth-oriented programmes.
His words: “Every Ebonyi youth in other parts of the country, especially Lagos, should please come back home; we are ready to create jobs for them.
“A day is coming when nobody will be willing to seek political office because of the current reality.
“One day, there will be no kobo from the Federation Account. So it high time we started thinking outside the box.”
The governor said his administration would create over 100,000 jobs for the youth and women, especially in the agriculture sector.