The dissolution of the Akwa Ibom State executive council has set the tone for serious lobbying for positions in the government. The sacked commissioners are, however, not giving up as many are determined to bounce back.
It was gathered that among the lobbyists were some members of the immediate past cabinet who still have the ambition to continue in office either as Commissioners or Special Advisers. The urge is especially so for those that served less than four years.
The state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel had last Saturday issued a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Etekamba Umoren dissolving the former cabinet that comprised of 20 Commissioners and two Special Advisers.
Meanwhile it was gathered that the governor has concluded arrangements to reconstitute his cabinet as soon as possible in order to avoid lobbyists.
A source privy to the workings of the Emmanuel administration told Vanguard that even before the dissolution was announced, that the governor had compiled a list of those who would replace those sacked from the cabinet.
The source said the list of replacements would be dispatched to the State House of Assembly within a week to underscore the governor’ commitment to continuity and to cut out the influence of lobbyists.
“If the governor stays for too long before he reconstitutes his cabinet he cannot stand the lobbying. All the same it is expected that those who have been in the cabinet for more than seven years have no basis to want to continue in office”
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor Mr. Ekerete Udoh who did not want to comment much on when the new cabinet would be reconstituted simply said, “I want you to quote me very well. When His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel is ready to reconstitute the state executive council the world will know.”
Vanguard learned that there is serious pressure on the governor from prominent citizens and stakeholders of the state to drop those who had served in the cabinet for more than seven years.
Vanguard recalled that serious controversy trailed the constitution of Governor Emmanuel’s cabinet after he assumed office in 2015.
It is being speculated that all those who had been in the cabinet for less than four years are likely to form the reconstituted cabinet even as many argue that apart from the governor that key political stakeholders in the state will definitely play key role in determining those that would be either be appointed or reappointed.
However, as many in the state wait to know the names that would make the list, some stakeholders have expressed the conviction that justice would be done in reconstituting a new cabinet.
Speaking, on Monday, on his advice regarding the reconstitution of the cabinet, the State Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP Mr. Ini Ememobong expressed the optimism that the governor in his discretion would ensure former cabinet members that are competent and experienced were retained.
“In any reconstitution, you cannot expect to have a completely new EXCO. So the governor in his wisdom knows the areas that are lacking and the areas that are doing well. My advice is that those who were doing well should be retained”, he stressed.
It is also being affirmed that the reconstitution of the new cabinet would for the first time give Governor Emmanuel to shape a government that is after his vision especially given the fact that the dissolved cabinet was mainly framed at the behest of the former governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio.