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Senior LG officials absent from work as Zulum visits Boko Haram hotspots

Some ranking officials of six local government areas in Borno were absent from work when Babagana Zulum, the state governor, visited the councils on Wednesday.

The governor was said to have paid an unscheduled visit to Chibok, Bama, Gwoza, Damboa, Konduga and Askira-Uba LGAs before returning to Maiduguri, the state capital, on Thursday.

Most of the LGAs are known to often experience attacks from Boko Haram insurgents.

The state government recently directed top government officials and senior civil servants to report to work after easing its lockdown imposed on the state to curb the spread of COVID-19.

But a statement from the governor’s office said most of the secretariats were empty when Zulum visited the areas in southern and central Borno.

“Even before COVID-19 outbreak, senior officials at local government areas in Borno are notorious for abandoning their local government to operate in Maiduguri only to return there for few days when FAAC allocations are received, or when they know the Governor is heading there,” it said.

The governor was quoted as saying: “None of the heads of department is around, neither the Secretary nor the other principal officers are reporting to duty. Look at the Secretariat, termites all over, an indication that nobody is operating in the Secretariat. Government cannot allow this situation to continue.

“We came from Maiduguri to determine the presence of senior public servants at their places of work. 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 indication, many are not listening.”

Zulum added that his government will take measures against the defaulting officials “because we cannot allow this system to continue”.

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