A government official in an Indonesian province has ordered a ban on female secretaries in a bid to tackle a series of extra-marital affairs wracking his office.

Rusli Habibie, the governor of Gorontalo province on northern Sulawesi island, said he ordered his top staff to replace their female secretaries with men.

“I received inputs that many government office heads here are involved in extra-marital affairs with their female secretaries,” he told AFP.

He decried officials who treat their secretaries “better than their wives”.

“For these reasons, I ordered them to replace their female secretaries with male assistants or with old women who are no longer attractive,” he justified.

There are currently 50 senior officials in the province who had hired female secretaries, he said.

Last year, the local government demanded 3,200 male civil servants to directly transfer their monthly wages to their wives’ bank accounts as part of efforts to rein in affairs, reports AFP.