Governor Udom Emmanuel has initiated the process of reshuffling his exco. The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong announced via the excerpts of the state executive council meeting held on Thursday that “five commissioners will be eased out” of the exco.
Following the issuance of timetable and guidelines for the forthcoming election by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), TheMail learnt that the governor during the exco meeting asked exco members who are interested in contesting for different elective political offices to resign.
It could be recalled that Pastor Sunny Ibuot resigned from his position as Commissioner for Labour and Manpower Planning on Friday. He is said to be interested in taking up a role as Director General of Campaigns for the governorship ambition of Senator Bassey Albert.
A guber aspirant, Mr. Akan Okon equally resigned on Monday as Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport.
TheMail Newspaper presents names of Commissioners who will put in their resignations to contest in the forthcoming PDP primaries.
Prince Akpabio: He is contesting for the Essien Udim State Constituency seat in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. He is currently the Commissioner for Trade and Investment.
Okpolupm Ikpong Etteh: Currently serving as Commissioner for Special Duties, Etteh is contesting to win the seat to represent Eket/Esit Eket/Ibeno/ONNA in the House of Representatives.
Glory Edet: Fresh from the drama that played out on Monday between her and the trio of First Lady Martha Emmanuel, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Ini Adiakpan and wife of the Ini LG council chairman, Edith Idaisin during the International Women’s Day celebrations at Ibom Hall, Glory Edet was conspicuously missing at today’s exco meeting. Her absence raised eyebrows, with many believing she may have been sacked before today’s exco session. But a colleague of hers in the exco informed TheMail Newspaper that she took permission from Governor Emmanuel to enable her travel to attend a pre-scheduled visa interview session. The former Commissioner for Women Affairs who is currently serving in the Ministry of Agriculture will leave the exco to pursue her ambition of representing Ikono/Ini in the House of Representatives.
Umo Eno: He is the governor’s preferred successor. He will leave the exco as Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources to concentrate more on his ongoing consultations ahead of the May 2022 guber primary.
Another exco member who was interested in running for election is Prof Eno Ibanga. But TheMail learnt from multiple government sources that he has been asked to shelve his senatorial ambition. The governor reportedly told him “I’m not ready to have another Commissioner for Works”. Prof Ibanga succeeded Akparawa Ephraim Inyang as Commissioner for Works in 2020. The governor believes that if Ibanga resigns to contest for the Eket Senate seat, appointing a third Commissioner for Works won’t help his much touted Completion Agenda with litany of road projects yet to be completed.
Meanwhile, TheMail learnt that though six Commissionership seats will be vacant by the virtue of the resignations, the governor is only appointing 5 new commissioners. The paper understands that there will likely be a meager of ministries like the governor has done in past exco reshuffling.