Exclusive information gleaned by our intrepid reporter has revealed that many horse-tradings took place in the process that led to the emergence of the new Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem. The new SSG, a technocrat who is nationally and internationally recognized as a foremost telecommunications genius and had served as a former President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, President of Nigerian Internet Group, the immediate past Board Chairman of the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) and until his appointment, the President of the Teledon Group, hails from Ofi-Uda in Mbo Local Government Area of the Oro Nation .This is the first time a Secretary to the State Government would be chosen from that part of the State, and it is indeed a bold and audacious thing the Governor has done.
Our source revealed that the deal to appoint the new SSG was brokered sometime last year, the last quarter of last year to be precise at a high-powered meeting which took place at the A-Line, Ewet Housing Estate residence of the Senate Minority Leader, Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio. In attendance at the meeting were the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Hon. Nse Ntuen, and the House Member representing Essien Udim State Constituency, Barrister Ibanga Akpabio, the current Commissioner, Ministry of Labour, Productivity and Manpower.
At the meeting, it was agreed that the immediate past SSG, Sir. Etekamba Umoren had stayed beyond the initial plan which was for him to occupy the position for two years and would be replaced afterwards. The deal was thus brokered, where the Senate Minority Leader, in filling the vacuum to be created by the exit of Sir Etekamba Umoren was asked to nominate his cousin, Barrister Ibanga Akpabio for appointment into the State Executive Council.
The Senate Minority Leader thereafter, nominated his cousin, Barrister Ibanga Akpabio and he was subsequently appointed a Commissioner by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Efforts to speak with Ekerette Udoh, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, to comment on the issue were unsuccessful, as he did not respond to calls on his mobile phone number.