Gov. David Umahi of Ebony has suspended the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Matters and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Okoronkwo.
Umahi, who announced the suspension when he declared open the ITF programme in Abakaliki on Saturday, also disbanded the state’s Committee on Employment
He said that the suspension was with immediate effect, adding that his administration would not tolerate any action that would take the state back to the dark ages.
The governor, however, did not give reason for the commissioner’s suspension.
“The Commissioner for Local Government is hereby suspended from office effective from now, the highest officer, a civil servant, should take over and be attending Exco until further notice.
“This administration from day one has been built on the principle of justice, equity and fairness.
“In some of our programmes, we do equality of local governments, but in this kind of empowerment, we do equality of wards.
“So, what I expected to see here would have been for them to borrow a leaf from what we are doing to empower about 3,000 of our women and youths.
“We are doing this and everybody is happy. We are called to build Ebonyi State where nobody will say I am from North or South or Central.
“I think we are succeeding. Anybody that is going to take us back to the dark ages will be resisted,’’ Umahi said.
He, however, said that his administration was committed to develop the capacity of the youths to become self-reliant and employers of labour.
He called on the youths of Ebonyi that were jobless in other parts of the country to return home and find something meaningful to do under his government’s youth-oriented programmes.
He said “every Ebonyi youth in other parts of the country, especially Lagos, should please come back home; we are ready to create jobs for them.
“A day is coming when nobody will be willing to seek political office because of the current reality.
“One day, there will be no kobo from the Federation Account, so, it is high time we started thinking outside the box.’’
The governor said his administration would create over 100,000 jobs for the youths and women, especially in the agriculture sector.
He said the state currently would focus mainly on mechanised system of farming, noting that agriculture without technology was death.
Umahi promised the trainees of financial assistance to enable them set up their businesses after acquiring necessary skills from the programme.
Earlier, the ITF Area Manager, Enugu and Ebonyi, Mrs Linda Egbonu, said the programme was organised to develop the mindset of the youths in areas of entrepreneurship and skill acquisition.
“This training programme is designed and organised to develop the mindset of youths in the areas of entrepreneurship and skills acquisition,’’ Egbonu said.