Only six out of the 11 commissioners in former Governor Godswill Akpabio’s cabinet retained their portfolios as Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State began to take a firm grip of his government.
The development, which has been applauded by residents followed criticisms that Emmanuel’s government remained under the control of Akpabio even after the former governor has relocated to Abuja as a senator.
Though most members of Akpabio’s kitchen cabinet remained in the cabinet they have been assigned what many in the state have not considered strategic ministries as new members of the State Executive Council take control of the strategic ministries.
Although Mr Godwin Ntukude, Dr Glory Edet, Mr Monday Ukoh, Aniekan Umana, Akan Okon and Barr Uwemedimo Nwoko retained their transport, women affairs, sports, information, finance and justice ministries, new entrants now hold sway in strategic ministries.
They include Mr Ephraim Inyang who was assigned to the ministry of works, Dr. Mathew Nathan Ekaette for agriculture and natural resources, Aniekan Simon Akpan for education, Dr. Dominic Ukpong for health, Dr. Iniobong Essien for environment and mineral resources and Mr Victor Antai for local government and chieftaincy affairs.
Chief Uwem Ita-Etuk is the new commissioner of Lands/Town Planning, Mr. Enobong Uwah has now been posted to the ministry of housing and urban renewal while Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem is now the commissioner of investment, commerce and industry.
Barrister Ekong Sampson is the commissioner of rural development, while Dr. Emmanuel Ating Onwioduokit is the commissioner for economic planning and development, Dr. Elizabeth Obot has been posted to the ministry of science and technology while Chief Emmanuel Ibiok is the commissioner for culture and tourism with Engr. Etido Inyang posted to the ministry of special duties.
The Bureau of Labour, Productivity and Manpower Planning is to be headed by Mr. Enyinna Ekpenyong while a former House Speaker Mr Anietie Etuk will head the Bureau of Political and Legislative Affairs as Special Advisers.
The governor had explained that the selection of the new cabinet members was based on competence even as he charged them to brace up for hard work.
“For the appointees, let me place on record that your selection was based purely on merit. If you are a returnee, your records spoke for you, and for the new entrants, you have been drafted into the team to contribute your quota in our quest to give quality service to our people. Endeavour not to derail from that path of trust and distinction.
“Competence, precedence and pedigree remain the determinants and the compass to navigate the contours of the land of promise. You have joined the crew at a very crucial point of the journey. The expectations are high, and you cannot afford to fail the people.
“We expect you to draw from your fierce analytic intellect to boost our programmes and policies. We want results not excuses, for like Benjamin Franklin said, “He who is good at giving excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Do not fail to deliver accordingly,” he said.

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