Mixed reactions trail dissolution of Akwa Ibom State Executive
The dissolution of Akwa Ibom State Executive Council at the weekend by Governor Udom Emmanuel has continued to attract several comments from political stakeholders, analysts and opinion holders in the state.
While the decision took some by surprise, the majority of the citizens of the state considered the decision a long overdue process and thereby embraced it as a development that would further the improvement and growth of Akwa Ibom.
To those who embraced the dissolution, it was a welcomed development as the governor has turned deaf ears to calls that he should dissolve the executive in the past 19 months. This is because of perceived loyalty problems. Of the 17 commissioners and two special advisers, only about five were not inherited from his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Worthy of mentioned is the fact that, many of the commissioners in the just dissolved executive had been in government since 2007, and there were those that were seen as ‘supper commissioners’. This was why some political observers and analysts had persistently criticized the governor urging him to send some of the commissioners home and inject new blood into his cabinet; to help drive his vision successfully.
Some stakeholders across the party lines even concluded that Emmanuel’s decision to continue with the ‘old wine in the new wine bottle’ may not be unconnected with the alleged gentleman agreement reached between him and Akpabio.
Besides, other argued that, since Emmanuel came from a banking background into politics, it was pertinent for him to allow those old hands to help teach him the ropes on how to handle politicians.
Of these commissioners and Special Advisers, commissioners for Works, Health, Rural Development, Chieftaincy Affairs, Agriculture, Economic Planning/Development, Science and Technology, among others started with governor Emmanuel in 2015.
While many opinion leaders and analysts were of the view that the governor on his own would not have sacked the commissioners because of his loyalty to his predecessor, others posited that, the governor was only buying time due to the present economic realities in the country.
Be that as it may, Governor Emmanuel has finally done what many thought was impossible and as many observers noted, his is likely going to introduce new faces and technocrat into his cabinet to fast track his industrialisation policy.
Speaking on the development, Dr. Aniekan Brown, a criminologist and lecturer with the University of Uyo, said the governor has the constitutional right to do what he has done. He however advised that the governor should bring in technocrats to help fast track the development of the state.
“Now that the financial resources of the state is not as it used to be, it calls for people with creative minds to be brought in,” he stated, adding that the calls on the governor to look beyond political lines in appointing new commissioners was important because governance should be all inclusive.
On his part, the PDP publicity Secretary, Mr. Ini Ememobong said that with the dissolution, the governor has to bring in new hands into the system.
“In the assessment of the governor, those who did well should be retained. You cannot have an entire new executive, those with experience should be retained and the governor in his wisdom knows the areas that are lacking and those areas that are doing well,” he said in response to whether the governor should retain some of the old hands.
However, some observers agreed that experience couldn’t be wished away in governance “those found worthy from the lot should be retained.”
The governor, who is said to be outside the state maybe to avoid pressure from political stakeholders and lobbyists, has not said when the next cabinet would be formed.
According to his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ekerette Udoh, “When the governor is ready to reconstitute the state executive council, the world will know.”