After what seems as a near-impossibility, the Presidency has ordered the immediate redeployment of the permanent secretary, Ministry of Science & Technology, Dr. Amina Shamaki, over her alleged ‘troublesomeness,” to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, THE WHISTLER has exclusively learnt.
The directive is coming on the heels of several spat with the supervising minister of the ministry, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
Our correspondent also reliably gathered that before her posting to the Ministry of Science & Tech, she has had running battles with all the ministers she has had to work with in other ministries.
Our source disclosed that after similar spat at the Ministry of Health, she was posted to that of women affairs and it “was practically war with Mama Taraba (Senator Aisha Alhassan) as the perm sec had no scant regard for her minister,” The WHISTLER gathered.
“She feels she is untouchable because she has access to the Villa, therefore, she believes she can bully even her supervising ministers. She has no inkling what human relationship,” another source alleged.
The straw that must have informed the decision of the Presidency to send her out of the ministry and most likely where she cannot have direct dealings with her bosses could be linked to the ‘caustic correspondences between her and Dr. Onuh,” our source hinted.
One of our sources, who spoke to this newspaper on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak, said “our minister, who is a complete gentleman has gone through hell in the hands of the perm sec. She talks down on him, disobeys directives and can simply ignore him for over a week.”
In March, staff of the ministry demanded for Shamaki’s redeployment by the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, over unpaid training and other allowances as well as her overbearing nature.
Chairman of the ministry’s union, Comrade Christian Usino, accused the perm sec of not giving “us our rights such as staff welfare and other necessary demand of the staffs. In fact, there are lots things that make up this welfare I mentioned and most especially is that she deny us departmental projects that actually promotes the image of the ministry.”
Days before the protest, the staffers had locked her office for two days and it took the intervention of the Office of the Head of Civil Service to get the staff to bulge after the police had refused to get involved on Shamaki’s invitation.
The most telling aspect of the workers anger is the fact that the perm sec stopped them from writing promotion exams last year, a situation most of them complained was against their advancement in the service.
“You won’t believe what this woman (perm sec) has cost us. Last year she denied us the opportunity from writing promotion exams with our mates. The implication with the new system is that there is no more notional seniority, therefore, when one loses an opportunity to write exams with others, your junior by level can become your boss.
“How can anybody be this mean and deny people the opportunity to grow,” a staff, who asked not to be named, asked.
Another of Shamaki’s belligerent nature came to fore when she stormed a public hearing by the House Committee on Science & Technology and asked that staff of the ministry and all the agencies under it should leave the hearing.
It was an enraged chairman of the Hon. Beni Lar that tongue-lashed her and wondered why any public official would have the temerity to try to scuttle the work of the National Assembly.
“There is a development that is recurring when this public hearing was going on, two hours into the public hearing the permanent secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology walked in and issued a directive that all ministries, departments and agencies should walk out of the public hearing and not honour it. I’m shocked!
“If she did not put it in writing I will think someone is joking. How can you want to stop the National Assembly from carrying out its constitutional role on public hearing on bills? She has no right to walk into the National Assembly and order members of the public seated here to walk out from a public hearing by any committee. Nobody has any such right and if they try it the National Assembly will react,” Lar noted.
Efforts to get the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and Ministry of Science & Tech to comment on the development went unanswered.