President Bola Tinubu has been urged to immediately ‘cancel and review’ the recently conducted promotion exams from Directorship cadre to Permanent Secretary over controversies and irregularities.
A civil society organization, Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) raised the alarm in a press statement signed and issued by its Convener, Femi Lawson at the end of an extended executive meeting Friday in Abuja.
The accountability watchdog says it is calling for total cancellation of the entire process after keenly following the recently concluded promotion exams from Directorship cadre to Permanent Secretary and having seen it was marred with controversies, interest and underhand dealings.
The group also accused the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOS), Dr. Folasade Yemi- Esan of attempting to plant her stooges and having a hidden agenda to influence the outcome of the exercise from inception.
Adding that most of the qualified Directors had expressed lack of confidence, bias, non-transparency and no trust in the Examiner Committee which was set up by the Head of Service.
It will be recalled that, 85 Directors from 5 states of the federation under two zones, namely North Central and North East zone sat for promotion exams on the 6th of November, 2023, with results released on the 7th of November, 2023.
Part of the statement reads: “It was reliably gathered that long before this exercise, there has been complaint about the composition of the Examiners, as most of them are stooges of Head of Service under whose authority this exam was conducted with hidden agenda to influence the outcome from inception.
Most of the qualified Directors has expressed their lack of confidence, bias, non-transparency no trust in the said Examiner Committee because it was opined that, the Head of Service has interest in who to make pass the said exam, but despite this the exam was still conducted under serious controversy of lack of independence of the Examiners body set up by the Head of Service.
As a result of this long time controversy and lack of trust in the exercise, 4 of the qualified Directors refused to show up, nor write the said exam. Just as observed, out of the total number of 85 that eventually sat for the test, only 20 were listed to have passed the so called exam with 50% above while the rest were said to have failed.
This outcome further shows the level of failure and unpreparedness of the Directors, and one wonders why some of those that passed had a record of several attempts before passing the Directorship cadre exams, but surprisingly some of them passed this at one sitting.
This further buttresses what was earlier raised by the absentee directors and others that sat for the exam for sake of following laid down rules.
We will recall that the entire Examination process started during Oransanye period as Head of Service, and ever since the system has been adopted. But we noticed that there is no Year this was done that is not marred with controversy bringing the entire process to serious disrepute. The renewed hope mantra must review this, and ensure that best practices are restored to the entire process.
As a watchdog of the society, ensuring that the nation gets it right from inception of this regime we thus call for total cancellation of the whole exercise and if to be re- conducted a consulting firm should be made to set and supervise the entire exam process.
By doing so, there will be transparency and trust in the said process and the nation will be the one to benefit.
This we believe will go in line with the marching order of performance given by President Tinubu during the Ministers retreat and the newly laid down performance index rule.
As concerned members of the society, we issue this statement as a Pre-warning for the entire exercise to be reviewed before we call for mass action to press home our demand and call for public accountability and transparency in conduct of public activities as seen in the recently concluded exercise,” the statement read.