By Emmanuel Uffot
Udom Emmanuel, is no longer finding it funny with his Commissioners and other government
officials who grant unnecessary media
interviews without getting clearance
from his office which had on several
occasions embarrassed the state.
The governor believes that the officials are exposing the activities of the government to the Opposition All Progressive Congress,APC and which must be stopped. Perhaps to ensure the state the government appointees at the agencies and Parastatals including the Commissioners are properly put under his close watch, he came up with the decision to bar them from talking to Journalists.
The Value News cited the directive which was conveyed to the political appointees through the Secretary to the State Government Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, only making clear that only Charles Udo, the Commissioner of Information and Ekerete Udoh, the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Governor could talk to the press after getting clearance from the governor.
According the Ekuwen, the directive was to streamline information dissemmination to the public and to make it more coordinated. He was said to have made it clear that officials who violate the new directive would be sanctioned.
But findings by The Value News revealed that the reason for decision was not unconnected with a recent comment by the state Commissioner of Works Ephraim Inyangeyi which was against the people of Eket. The Commissioner who could not hide his feelings had exposed his penchant for always making unguarded statements and bullying disposition to people. He had accused the people of Eket that share same senatorial district with the governor of working against the interest of the governor in the state.
There are fears that the directive may widen the gulf between the governor and the political appointees who believe that is using his executive powers to intimidate them that he has secured a second term.
Political watchers fear that the governor may have shot himself on the foot as the aggrieved political appointees may fight back by releasing classified documents about the government to the press to arm the opposition All progressive Congress, APC, to hit back at the government. This is where the Akwa Ibom state governor may have to reach out to the Commissioners , Heads of the government agencies and Parastatals including the Special Advisers to reassure them of his Total Confidence in them to avoid throwing his government in disarray that would bring him into conflict with the people of the state.
Efforts to speak to Ekerete Udo,
the CPS, to the governor including
visits and phone calls did not not materialise.
At the State Secretariat ,
the governor’s decision has become the
topic of discussions by Civil servants wherever
they gather in group and in their offices.
Insiders informed the Magazine that since Ekuwen, the
SGS, came out with the directive , fear
appear to have gripped the officials
whose loyalty to the governor appear questionable.
Many believe that those found to be critical of the government decision may be dropped by Udom to pave way for new appointees ho would be ready to work with him without friction. Even the governor fears that the government could take advantage of the directive to volunteer information information which could strengthen the resolve of Godswill Akpbabio , a former governor of the state and Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria to support Nsoma Ekere, the party governorship Candidate in the gal tussle to remove him as the governor of the state at the Tribunal and the Court. At present Ekere , the APC, Candidate, with the support of Akpabio, his godfather has dragged Udom to the Tribunal insisting that he did not win the election, urging the Indeependnt National Electoral Commission to declare him the authentic winner of the 2019 , governorship election in the state.
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