Many senior officials were absent when Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State undertook a surprise tour of some local government areas in the state within the week, meeting almost empty secretariats.
The governor visited six local government areas in southern and central Borno to monitor the quality of governance at the grassroots and assess ongoing projects.
It was gathered that he departed Maiduguri on Wednesday and drove to Chibok, Bama, Gwoza, Damboa, Konduga and Askira-Uba where he passed the night before heading back to the capital on Thursday evening. The state government had two weeks ago, directed top officials and senior civil servants to report to work after easing the lockdown to prevent spread of coronavirus.
Zulum took the officials by surprise as not even his security details knew he was travelling far from the capital. The governor said in one of the local governments: “None of the heads of department was around, neither the secretary nor other principal officers are reporting for duty. Look at the secretariat, termites all over, an indication that nobody is operating in the secretariat.
“We have been pleading with them for quite sometime to be operating from these local government areas so that citizens will feel the impact of governance at the grassroots but from all indications, many are not listening. “We will take punitive measures because we cannot allow this system to continue.”
The governor, in each of the six local government areas, visited council secretariats and taken a roll call of absentee officials.