An Akwa Ibom astute politician in the Nigeria’s 21st Akwa Ibom State has returned as a Commissioner to the same office eight months after he was relieved of the post.
He is Udo Ekpenyong who was removed as a Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs by Governor Udom Emmanuel on January 5, 2018 in a curious manner.
During the period, Linus Nkan, the Commissioner for Finance was overseeing the duties of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Ekpenyong who was re-appointed as a Commissioner by Governor Emmanuel on September 20, screened by Akwa Ibom House of Assembly on September 21 and sworn into office on September 28 by the governor.
Meanwhile, Friday’s swearing in of new Commissioners and Special Adviser in Akwa Ibom State has led to a minor cabinet reshuffle in the state Executive Council.
Consequently, the five new entrants have been assigned new portfolios, 14 old commissioners retain their portfolios while two old hands have been re-deployed to new ministries.
Governor Udom Emmanuel who has given a stamp of approval to the postings has congratulated the executive council members.
Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the Secretary to the State Government, who made this known in a press release issued October 1 in Uyo, said under the new dispensation Ekong Sampson, a former Special Adviser, Bureau of Political/Legislative Affairs and Water Resources is now deployed as the Commissioner for Economic Development, Labour and Manpower Planning.
Pastor Sunny Ibuot takes over as the Special Adviser, Political/Legislative Affairs and Water Resources while Prince Ukpong Akpabio goes to Ministry of Investment, Commerce and Industry.
In the new scenario, Otuekong Raphael Bassey as the Commissioner for Housing because housing was excised from Special Duties to stand on its own as a full-fledged ministry while Mr. Akan Okon heads the new Ministry of Special Duties and Aviation Development.
Ekuwem, therefore, enjoined “We wish all members of the re-invigorated and re-branded State Executive Council well in the discharge of the onerous task of joining hands with Governor Udom Emmanuel to vigorously pursue Project Akwa Ibom geared at sustainable development for the people of the state.’’
“We pray the good Lord to grant you good health, wisdom and knowledge in the discharge of your responsibilities.”