Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State, has suspended newly-appointed Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Home Affairs, Mr. Olaiya Atibioke, for two weeks.
The suspension was announced, on Saturday, following the Commissioner’s unauthorised departure from the venue of a three-day retreat for members of the State Executive Council and Permanent Secretaries.
The retreat, which was held at Bishop Adetiloye Hall, Trade Fair Complex, Ado-Ekiti, was aimed at enhancing the performance and productivity of the state government officials.
The retreat commenced had, on Thursday and featured presentations and discussions on various aspects of governance, such as policy formulation, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and feedback.
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Governor Oyebanji had sworn in 19 commissioners and 14 Special Advisers, last Monday, to complete the formation of his State Executive Council.
Mr. Atibioke was among the new commissioners who took their Oath of Office and allegiance at the Government House, in Ado-Ekiti.
However, Mr. Atibioke was nowhere to be found when the commissioners were called upon to sign the performance charter at the end of the retreat on Saturday.
According to a statement signed by the Special Adviser (Media) to the governor, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, the commissioner had left the venue of the retreat without permission.
The statement said that the suspension took immediate effect and that the commissioner had violated the administration’s zero tolerance for indiscipline and poor performance.
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Governor Oyebanji had reiterated this principle in his presentation at the retreat, where he also outlined his vision and expectations for his cabinet members.
The statement added that the suspension was meant to serve as a deterrent to other government officials who might want to act in a similar manner. It also urged all government officials to be committed and dedicated to their duties and responsibilities.
The suspension of Mr. Atibioke has generated mixed reactions from the public. Some people have commended the governor for his swift action and his insistence on discipline and accountability.
Others had criticised the governor for being too harsh and unfair to the commissioner who might have had a genuine reason for leaving the venue.