In what appeared like a minor shake-up in the State Executive Council, Governor Udom Emmanuel has dropped three Commissioners, elevated three to higher positions and re-assigned two.
The dropped Commissioners are Dr. Ekong Sampson who oversaw Environment and Petroleum Resources, Dr. Iniobong Essien who was in charge of Science and Technology and Professor Victor Inoka who ran Labour and Manpower Planning.
Dr. Dominic I. Ukpong who was Commissioner for Health has been reduced to Honorary Special Adviser on Health Matters to be reporting to the Office of the Governor.
Before now, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen, who was Commissioner for Works, had been appointed Chief of Staff to the Governor; Professor Nse Essien who was Commissioner for Education has been appointed Vice-Chancellor for Akwa Ibom State University while Hon. Udo Ekpenyong who oversaw Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs is now the state Chairman of PDP.
In a press release signed and issued Monday evening by Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the Secretary to the State Government assigning portfolios to old and new Commissioners and Special Advisers, the names of the three dropped Commissioners were conspicuously absent.
However, Dr. Imo Moffat who supervises Science and Technology takes over from Dr. Ini Essien.
Mr. Charles Udoh was moved from Information and Strategy to Environment and Petroleum Resources, hitherto manned by Ekong Sampson.
Pastor Sunday Ekanem Ibuot was moved from the Bureau of Political and Legislative Affairs to the Ministry of Labour and Manpower Planning where Professor Inoka held the fort.
Meanwhile, the Governor who administered the oath of allegiance at Banquet Hall, Government House, Uyo to the new Exco members on Monday reminded them of achieving purpose and commitment towards service as their ultimate goal and thanked long-serving members for their contributions.
Emmanuel said, “We are poised, we are charged to deliver on all fronts, this is the era of creativity, ideas and imagination, you need to open your mind to see what you can do. You are coming in at a very challenging time, post COVID-19, the world has experienced change so the way we do things and our thought process must change so what will make a difference is prayers, pray to God to give you knowledge and wisdom not to fail the people, you must achieve purpose and you must represent your people well”, he explained.
The State Chief Security further tasked the appointees to unravel programmes that will directly revitalise the economy especially investments in agriculture rather than promote politics alone.
“…We need to deliberately do something about our economy please don’t work towards destroying the economy, we must reorganise ourselves. This is the time we must try as much as we can to encourage those who are into agriculture, we are working around the globe once they open international flights we will try to bring agro-processing companies in”.
Emmanuel sought moral support against criticism to be given to the new appointees, stressing on the need to complement their weakness through advice that will make them succeed, saying “we need your support we need your prayers everybody will have a role to play give these people a chance, give them advice you don’t need to criticize them in the social media we have only one state no human is 100 per cent perfect everyone survives on one another let your strength support the weakness of your brother in order to succeed”, he said.
Governor Emmanuel congratulated the new Vice-Chancellor, Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) on his appointment and announced the appointment of Dr. Dominic Ukpong immediate past Commissioner for Health as now Honorary Special Adviser on Health Matters while also coordinating COVID-19 because of his wealth of knowledge.
Former ALGON Chairman and Chairman of Eket Local Government Area, Hon. Frank Archibong was instructed to hand over to the Chairman of Esit Eket Hon. Iniobong Robson as the next ALGON Chairman.