Anxiety and apprehension appear to trail the appointment of Winnifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, as the acting Head of Service, as Permanent Secretaries in the federal civil service fear abrupt retirement or sack.
The fear, Nigerian pilot gathered, stemmed from the fact that the 51 year old acting Head of Service is junior to a number of them in hierarchy. Should Oyo-Ita become substantive Head of Service, those who are senior to her would have no other choice but to resign or be compulsorily retired.
Investigations also revealed that some of the Perm Secs have negative security reports bothering on misconduct and corruption hanging over them.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterda appointed Ekanem Oyo-Ita as new the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation following the removal of former Head of Service, Mr Danladi Kifasi, who is due for retirement on January 1, 2016.
The 51 year old Oyo-Ita, a chartered accountant, hails from Adiabo community of Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State. Her office does not require Senate approval but a direct presidential appointment.
Oyo-Ita Ekanem was born in April 1964, and educated at the Queens College, Yaba, graduated at the University of Lagos in 1984 with B. Sc Accounting and holds a Master’s degree from the Nasarawa State University. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN.
It was gathered that the former Head of Service, Kifasi, also a chartered accountant and lawyer, was not really in the good books of the Presidency, but was allowed to tarry on because he was due to retire in December.
Another source attributed the change of guard at the HoS to imperatives of political balance, given that the SGF, Mr. Babachir Lawal, who hails from Adamawa state, is from the same geopolitical zone as Kifasi, who is from Taraba State.
Before her appointment, Oyo-Ita Ekanem was the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
Nigerian Pilot however learnt yesterday that the appointment of Oyo-Ita is generating apprehensions in the entire federal civil service owing to the aura of uncertainties in the top hierarchy of the service, particularly among senior permanent secretaries who were tipped as replacement for Danladi Kifasi.