By EMMANUEL UNA
GOVERNOR Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, yesterday, suspended indefinitely, seven commissioners and 13 special advisers from the State Executive Council, SEC, for failing to participate in activities marking World AIDS Day.
The governor directed the affected commissioners and special advisers to hand over all government documents and property in their possession to their permanent secretaries.
A statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Michael Aniah, said the governor had approved the suspension of the affected commissioners and special advisers for not honouring a state function. He said only the governor and a few aides attended the World AIDS Day celebration.
The affected commissioners are Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Attah Ochinke; Commissioner for Finance, Etim Caifas; Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Edak Iwuchukwu; Commissioner for Social Development, Mrs. Patricia Endeley; Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Sandy Onor; Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Elemi Etowa; and Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. James Aniyom.
Special advisers suspended include Mr. Wilfred Usani, (Tourism Development); Eyo Okpo-Ene (Religious Affairs); Fabian Okpa (Special Duties); Gerald Adah (Investment Promotion); Effiong Bassey (Mineral Resources); Fred Osim (Political and Legislative Affairs) and Mark Obi (Legal Adviser).
Others are Francisca Nkoyo Effiom (Debt Management); Mrs Johnson Ebokpo (NGOs); Odo Effiong (Information and Telecommunication Technology); Prof. Temple Edim (Strategic Planning and Development); Eja Dons (Projects Monitoring and Evaluation) and Ntufam Odo Oji (Forestry and Biodiversity).
News of the suspension of the commissioners and special advisers yesterday evening took residents of Calabar by surprise as nobody expected it, even as Governor Imoke had continued to say there was no need for any cabinet shake-up as that would mean starting afresh in the learning and execution of government programmes and projects.