Workers attached to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, have been issued a stern warning by the Presidency to desist from divulging contents of official letters and files to the public or risk serious sanctions.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, handed down the warning late on Monday, during a send-off programme organised for some officials who retired recently or were redeployed from his office for foreign missions.
The COS recounted an incident where a document signed by him found its way out of his office illegally recently, stressing that anybody linked to any leaked information would face the consequence as that wold no longer be tolerated.
In his words;
“One thing we cannot tolerate is letters and information going out of this office. I have seen one with my signature shown to me. I do not know who was responsible for that; I do not know why anyone should do that; but please make sure that such a thing does not happen.
“Anything that is written will come out anyway; it is not a secret; but the bad thing is for it to come out before it is publicly made by the relevant authorities.
“So, please do not fall into this trap of somebody asking you to bring a letter, because if by accident, you are found or the letter is traced to you, clearly it would not be something that we would tolerate.”
He also encouraged the workers to embrace the wind of change of the administration, and cautioned the workers not to abuse the privilege of working in the State House through mischief.
“For change to have meaning, we have to do things differently. This office is not about giving contracts. This office is not about peddling influence. This office is not about being paid to make somebody see the president,” he said.
The State House workers were further admonished to embrace discipline and dedication dedicated to their duty, and also warned to shun gossips, stressing that a situation where workers engaged in “small talks” during official working hours, at the expense of their jobs will not be condoned.
Kyari urged the officials to ensure the success of the administration and the prosperity of the country, as anything contrary would spell doom for the people.
“If this country works, it works for all of us. If it fails to work, it will fail for all of us,” he said.
Mr. Badamasi Gamawa, who retired at 60, speaking on behalf of the officers, thanked his colleagues for the honour and gave them the assurance that they would benefit from the discipline, punctuality, forthrightness of both the Chief Of Staff and the Permanent Secretary.
Other honorees were Mr. Kabiru Bala and Mr. Alexander Ajayi, on external posting to Bangkok, Thailand and New York, U.S., respectively, as well as Dr. Ohoji Okoko and Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, returning to the Ministry of Health and Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.