Okwe Obi, Abuja
Three months after leaving office, portraits of former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh and his State counterpart, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri are yet to be removed from the walls of the ministry and some sister agencies like the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) and Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN).
Although, Lokpobiri might not be reappointed minister because he has joined the governorship race in Bayelsa State, there are speculations making the rounds that Ogbeh might be brought back.
Our correspondent gathered that most staff of the ministry were currently at loggerheads with most political aides of Ogbeh who were still carrying out duties meant for staff, an act which was enabled by some directors.
Also, a source who preferred anonymity said Ogbeh’s personal effects were still in the minister’s office pending the appointment of new ministers.
Our reporter gathered that the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Umar Bello, had allegedly questioned the continuous stay of some political aides most who claimed to be on secondment, but he had ordered them to present their letters to that effect but none of them has been able to do so about the time of filing this report.
But the ministry’s Director of Press, Mohammed Nakorji, made a case for one of them, claiming to have heard that she is on secondment.
He said: “One of them told me that she is on secondment, but I have not seen any letter. Secondment is part of civil service rule which lasts for two years before it is renewed. But the secondment is only for civil servants.”