Residents of Abian state are now divided over the suspension of the powerful Chief of Staff to Abia State government, Dr ACB Agbazuere by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. Agbazuere was suspended from office via a terse statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Barr Chris Ezem today.
The statement reads that the Abia State governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has directed the immediate suspension of the chief of staff. However, no reason was given for his suspension.
NewsCritic reports that the suspension of Agbazuere might not be unconnected with the visit of controversial man of God Prophet Odumeje ( Indaboski) to his office yesterday. A short video clip that has gone viral captured the suspended chief of staff with Odumeje in his office spraying currency notes as the pastor dramatizes in his characteristic manner.
Abians are now divided over the suspension of Agbazuere with some speaking for and against the suspension. Some concerned Abians are of the view that the money spraying incident is not enough reason to suspend him given that it was only two wraps of notes that the chief of staff sprayed on his visitor at his office to show love.
Agbazuere has remained a strong and powerful member of the Dr Ikpeazu’s government and the governor according to sources might find it a bit difficult to dispense with his service. He has remained a strong force and a stabilizing factor in the Ikpeazu’s government. Former governor T.A Orji once suspended his deputy chief of staff, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya from office for similar demeanour but later recalled him.
It is said that the Ngwa elites will not let Ikpeazu sack the chief of staff because he represents the interest of the Ukwa-Ngwa stock in the government. But the critics of the chief of staff are of the view that his suspension did not come as a surprise as Agbazuere is said not to be carrying himself well in a manner that is befitting to the office that he occupies.
Legal minds opined that by spraying money inside his office, the chief of staff ran afoul of the law that prohibits abuse of the Naira as passed by the National Assembly.
Again, it was argued that the chief of staff now sees himself as a demi-god to the extent that he recently summoned a meeting of Governor’s Ikpeazu’s aides to inform them that all correspondence to the governor must be addressed to him, failure of which will not augur well for the said aide.
But one thing that goes for Agbazuere is his commitment and sense of duty to the Abia project. As General Manager ASPIMS, Agbazuere did not owe workers’ salaries as his agency remained the only government agency that was up-to-date in terms of salaries payment. His record of service as the former General Manager ASPIMS helped to burnish the image of the state government which was then suffering from non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.
But the Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said it received the news of the suspension of Barr. ACB Agbazuere, Chief of Staff to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu with surprise because the action that led to the suspension is serious.
“What the Chief of Staff to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu did was a huge slap on the faces of Abia Health Workers and other Government workers that are being owed backlogs of salaries, according to a release, signed by Comrade Benedict C. Godson the publicity secretary.