The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel has said that he may appoint more new commissioners into his state executive council before the year 2020 runs out.
The governor made this known on Monday when he swore in 7 new commissioners and one Special Adviser into his cabinet.
“Let me use this opportunity to appreciate some of our exco members who have served with us in the past 5 years, some are still serving. Some will bow out today not because they have not performed well but it is because if you are going on a journey, at some point you must pause as the captain to reappraise, re-assess and redefine each components of the parts that you need depending on the kind of terrain that you are running. I think the current terrain needs this. And don’t be surprised, we may have to do similar thing like this (swearing-in of new commissioners) again before this year runs out because are poised, charged to deliver on all fronts”, he said.
He said the present exco would run as a family, urging the outgone commissioners to still stick around as they are still part of the family but only titles have changed. He said his administration would still need their ideas and contributions of the outgone members of the state exco.
He warned the commissioners against using the now notorious cliché “mkpo ibaha” which has been regularly used by some state exco members to dissuade people from soliciting for financial support from them.
“Please, you are coming to serve the people, I’m tired of people going round, saying ‘Mkpo Ibaha’. When you hear of a Commissioner saying ‘Mkpo Ibaha’, he doesn’t know what to do. For any Commissioner who knows what to do, who is creative, there is a lot to do to serve your people. You are calling on people to support you so that you can serve them”, the governor said
Meanwhile, the Governor has eased out Dr. Dominic Ukpong as the Commissioner for Health. Ukpong has been under fire in recent times over his handling of Covid-19 situation in the state. The NMA also accused him of having poor inter-personal relationship with its members and other allied bodies, which affected his effectiveness in his post as Commissioner for Health.
We learnt that the governor found it difficult sacking Dr. Ukpong and had to ease him out of the portfolio by giving him a soft landing with an appointment as Honorary Special Adviser. He employed same method in easing Ephraim Inyang out of the Ministry of Works by appointing him Chief of Staff to the Governor.
The governor however said the Eket born medical doctor is over 70 years, and that he has over-stretched him especially during this period of Covid-19.
“He is over 70 years, so I can’t stretch him the way I’m stretching him now. I have over-stretched him, trust me I have. He doesn’t sleep, I ask him, even at 2am I do call him. I can call him anytime. And atimes, after talking to him I just feel bad. I say why am I stretching this man likes this? So I want to give him something that he can do. He will still continue to serve as Coordinator of the Covid-19 Incident Management Committee. He has so much knowledge in medicine that we cannot throw him out. His office will just be at Governor’s Office Annex so that we can keep tapping from his knowledge”, the governor said.
Earlier, the state government had issued a press statement announcing Dr. Dominic Ukpong’s new appointment.
“The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has appointed Dr. Dominic I. Ukpong as Honorary Special Adviser on Health Matters with immediate effect. He will be reporting directly to the Office of the Governor.
“This appointment is part of continuous drive to strengthen all organs of government for the actualization of the Completion agenda.
“Dr. Ukpong will however continue to serve as the Coordinator of the Akwa Ibom State COVID-19 Incident Management Team; a role he has performed meritoriously.
“Until his appointment, Dr. Ukpong was the Honorable Commissioner for Health. The Government of Akwa Ibom State thanks Dr. Dominic Ukpong for his services to the state and wishes him well in his future endeavours”, reads a statement signed by Charles Udoh, who as at then was still the Commissioner for Information.
NEW COMMISSIONERS/SA AND THEIR PORTFOLIOS
1. Ini Ememobong – Ministry of Information & Strategy
2. Dr. Imo Moffat – Ministry of Science & Technology
3. Prof. Augustine Vincent Umoh – Ministry of Health
4. Dr. Ini Adiakpan (Ms) – Ministry Of Women Affairs and Social Welfare
5. Enobong Udemeabasi Mbobo (Mrs) – Ministry of Education
6. Hon. Frank Archibong – Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs
7. Prof. Eno James Ibanga – Ministry of Works & Fire Service
8. Elder (Hon.) Amanam Nkanga – Bureau of Political & Social Re-orientation