* Warns that failure in their duty could jeopardise national security
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Vice-President Kashim Shettima has advised presidential political aides to always exercise discretion in both their public and private lives and to avoid any actions that could tarnish the reputation of the present government.
Shettima gave the charge Monday while declaring open the retreat and sensitization programme for political aides on administrative procedure and governance in the public sector organised by the State House at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja.
According to him, “From today, your words and actions will undergo more intense scrutiny, occasionally even rigorous criticism.”
Addressing the participants which include political aides and senior civil servants on the topic ‘Forging a Path to Responsible Governance: A Call to Political Aides’, the vice-president told them that: “The responsibility you carry isn’t merely about fulfilling your role; it encompasses the aspirations of our entire nation.”
He pointed out that the “retreat is designed to facilitate your transition and equip you with the fundamental tenets of public sector administration and governance”.
Restating the vision of President Bola Tinubu’s government, Shettima said: “Our mission too is clear: to uplift the lives of our citizens impartially and inspire lasting change.”
He emphasized that: “Leadership, for us, means breaking down barriers of inequality and fostering a safe, peaceful society. To truly expand educational opportunities and empower our youth with knowledge for self-reliance, we must fully dedicate ourselves to our duties within the State House.”
The vice-president admonished the participants, saying: “As many of you take your initial steps into the realm of public service, especially at the federal level, let it be clear that your competence is beyond doubt. You are here because of your formidable skills, and our confidence in your potential to catalyze change.
“We yearn for fresh and imaginative ideas to harmonize with established practices.”
On the sensitive nature of their roles as political aides, Shettima said: “From this very moment, you are bound by the laws of our land in all matters of official correspondence. These laws outline the consequences for both intentional and unintended mishandling of the information entrusted to your care.
“Should you falter in this duty, the consequences would ripple far beyond the intricate fabric of governance. They could erode public trust, jeopardize national security, and undermine the very integrity of our administration.
“Understand that your credibility, that of your team, your superiors and indeed, the entire government, rests in the balance, and history reminds us that very few have emerged unscathed from the aftermath of such ethical lapses.”
Shettima also reminded the participants that: “The State House is a bastion of order. It’s the engine room of our nation’s public service. Within its precincts, operations pivot upon a hierarchy, wherein each role and position adheres to well-defined protocols and communication procedures.”
The vice-president further called for synergy and team work, stating that: “Your primary instinct should always revolve around the recognition that you are part of a team, united in the pursuit of a shared objective. There is no need for rivalry. This, precisely, is the essence of your presence here.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Funso Adebiyi, disclosed that the training was aimed at registering the commitment of the political aides towards actualizing the goals of the President Tinubu-led administration.
According to him, participants would be exposed to techniques of information and documents management systems in order to ensure the smooth running of the new administration.