By Ugochukwu Alaribe
The All Progressive Congress, APC, Abia State, has berated Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu , over the delay in reconstituting his cabinet.
Ikpeazu had dissolved his cabinet in January 2021 and retained the Commissioners for Information, Health and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.
The party in a statement signed by the State Publicity Secretary, Ben Godson, noted that it is over four months the Governor has been running the affairs of the state without Commissioners.
“Gov Ikpeazu dissolved Abia State Executive Council in January, retaining only the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Information and the Commissioner for Health.
This decision of the Governor to dissolve the Executive Council retaining only 3 Commissioners was wildly reported. It actually means that about 23 Commissioners were removed making such positions vacant since January 2021.
“How can this be? Majority of them are meant to execute all what’s approved for their ministries in the 2021 Budget. They made inputs on how those ministries will be run this year, why are we derailing from how government should operate? The most embarrassing of all these drama is that the Governor still goes about referring to some of the people he never announced that he retained as Commissioners.
“This press statement is meant to ask the Gov Ikpeazu to tell Abians what kind of shadow Commissioners he’s using in Abia. It is also meant to remind him that Abia is not a hamlet he can administer as he feels.
The party further stated that the Governor has the right to dissolve his cabinet, but urged him to replace the former Commissioners with other qualified Abians without further delay.
“Why is Gov Ikpeazu finding it difficult to replace them? What’s holding him? Is 4 months not enough? Is there something happening behind that Abians need to know? Gov Ikpeazu please tell us? Yes, as a Governor he has right to remove any of his employees, but courtesy demands that he administer Abia as a state not a social club where he owes nobody any explanations.”
But in a swift reaction, the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, explained that Abia has a state executive council in place and assured that the Governor would soon expand his cabinet.
“There is a state executive council in place in Abia as required by law. We have five commissioners including the Attorney General and commissioner for justice and his colleagues for Health, Finance, Information and Works in addition to the Secretary to State Government and the Chief of Staff to the Governor.”