The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje, has faulted the appointment of Hakeem Muri-Okunola as the new Head of Service.
In a statement by his campaign organisation on Thursday in Lagos, Mr Agbaje said the action sacrificed career progression and was politics taken too far.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had on Monday sworn in 46 year-old Muri-Okunola as the 21st Head of Service (HOS) in the state.
Mr Muri-Okunola, who was a Permanent Secretary until his appointment, replaced Folashade Adesoye, who retired in December 2018.
Reacting to the development, the PDP candidate described the appointment as “insensitive, unjust and disruptive” of the civil service hierarchy.
He alleged that the government had forcefully retired no fewer than 21 senior and more experienced permanent secretaries to pave the way for the new man.
“There is a sense of shock and injustice in all these. It is bound to create bad blood and injustice within the system.
“These are seasoned personnel capable of fitting perfectly and effectively in that office.
“But in this era of impunity, they have been offloaded prematurely,” he said.
Mr Agbaje said Mr Muri-Okunola served as the Personal Assistant to former Governor Bola Tinubu and that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had imbued him with very abnormal privileges.
“Muri-Okunola lacks that broad-based exposure, which makes him a misfit for the post on which he has been imposed.
“Whoever becomes HoS is usually a civil servant with widespread exposure, as he must be abreast of all issues related to the bureaucracy and governance.
“But all these rules and traditions have been bent for this appointment,” he said.
Mr Agbaje said the development portends grave danger to the state’s bureaucracy, founded on the foundations of merit-nurtured progression through the rungs of the career ladder.
“It is befuddling to imagine how officers who are 15 years older than the new HoS will take orders and directives from him.
“From all indications, this might be too farfetched and difficult, and it has a way of impacting negatively on governance, taking into cognisance that the Civil Service is the engine room of not just government but the society,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Ambode has confirmed the appointment Adetokunbo Fabamwo, a professor, as the new Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos.
LASUTH’s Public Relations Officer, Anifowoshe Bello, said on Thursday in Lagos, that Mr Fabamwo had served in some notable capacities at the hospital.
His appointment is for a three-year term with effect from January 1.
The new CMD is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at LASUTH, whose professional experience spans over three decades.
He graduated from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in June 1978 and won various prizes and awards.
“The state government expresses confidence in Fabamwo’s capacity to successfully lead the institution thus in approving the appointment, due cognisance has been taken of his track record.
“Fabamwo, a member of several professional bodies, is not new in the history of LASUTH, as he had served in some notable capacities.
“Worthy of note is his tenure as the Pioneer Director Clinical Services and Training, (DCST) and Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), April 2000 to February 2007.
“Until his recent appointment, Prof, Fabamwo is a member of the Institute of Fertility Medicine and Chairman, Medical Care Audit,” Mrs Bello said.