Gov. Udom Gag Political Appointees To Save His Position.

 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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