As the electioneering campaigns in Nigeria have come to a close, attention has shifted to who is likely to emerge in the next cabinet across the states where elections were conducted.
Since the end of the governorship polls in Akwa Ibom, there have been intense lobbying and power play, by those who wants to make the next cabinet in the state. Some have met with traditional rulers, who have the ears of the Governor, to intercede for them, while others have reached out to friends and powerful power blocs, to get recommendations into the State Executive Council.
In this analysis, Trail Reporters team examines the profile of those who may likely be appointed by Governor Udom Emmanuel, based on competence, performance and merit.
The present Commissioner for Works has had his fair share of the bad, good and ugly moments in the administration. He has been hated, spitted at, castigated, but still carries on with his job. He has been touted as the Governor’s man, and also seen as the Commissioner General in the cabinet. Overseeing the works Ministry is no mean feat.
The issue of compensation and payments, has dealt a great blow on his person, as many has had cause to disagree with the Commissioner, tempers have risen, abuses have rein in, yet Ephraim Inyang remains unperturbed. To him, he is answerable to the state Governor, and in service to father land. His tastily furnished apartments in his native Onna and Uyo, has been the cynosure of all eyes.
During the elections, he worked assiduously like he was the candidate. His mandate was to deliver the Governor for a second term in office. This he did, with vigor and commitment. Ephraim Inyang is likely to return to the cabinet in the next dispensation. But no one knows the mind of the Governor, if Ephraim will return to the ministry of works.
ARCH. IME EKPO
The Commissioner for Lands and Town planning, is a brain-box in the present administration. He has supervised top notch projects in the state, both in architectural and structural designs and implementation.
He has been rated as one of Udom’s committed and trusted Commissioners. For now, there is no trace of new properties to his name, as he still maintains his old residence in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. The regulation and allocation of lands for capital projects in the state has rested on his shoulders. So far, he hasn’t disappointed. Arch.Ime Ekpo currently oversees the construction of the 21 storey building and the construction of the international worship center in the state. The Governor is said to be disposed to him, due to his competence in assigned roles. He is likely to return to the state Exco in the next cabinet.
Elder Ufot Ebong, as he is fondly called, looks set to make it to the State Exco in the second term of the administration. Currently serving as the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Due Process and Technical matters. Ufot Ebong has shown capacity, and taken the industrialization drive of the present administration to the doorsteps of hard working Akwa Ibom people. What Ufot Ebong has achieved, is to convert ideas into wealth creation, interpreting the dakada message of the Governor through empowerment of young folks, the AKEES project, where we’ve had the plastic factory, toothpick, etc.
A seasoned Geologist who has distinguished himself in the multi national companies, before coming to serve the state.
Ufot Ebong is the Governor’s man, and is likely to be promoted from SSA, to a Commissioner.
The Essien Udim PDP chieftain, came to the state Exco, in what many described as the toughest political battle in the state, since 1999. With the defection of Godswill Akpabio to the All Progressives Congress, and the exit of Ibanga Akpabio from the State Exco, a voice was needed to fill the vacuum, and give the PDP and inroad to the local government area, which had look deadly for the PDP, with the defection of Akpabio.
Prince Akpabio had hitherto, been a made man, in the previous administration, coming into the Udom’s administration, as one who is stupendously rich. Not much has been heard of his new ministry, but feelers believe that, he will be used to consolidate the gains of the Party in Essien Udim in the next cabinet.
Aside being an Executive Director in the Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service, Leo Umana has gained prominence within the circle of youths in the state. Known to have founded the renowned Bachelors Must Marry by Fire Ministry (BMMBF), his philanthropic gesture has seen lots of marriages happen, and others, succeeding in his mentor ship. If the post of a Commissioner is done by voting through merit, Leo Umana would be unbeatable in the race. One distinguished lifestyle he has carved for himself, is to simplify governance, and create unhindered access to his office by all and sundry.
The Governor is favorably disposed to his youthful and exemplary lifestyle, haven contributed, in no small measure, to the increase in the revenue generation of the state, empowered a lot of persons in his native Ikot Ekpene, and beyond.
For now, no new properties have been traced to him, since coming into the government.
Leo Umana looks set to fill the slot of Ikot Ekpene Local Government, on competition, merit or performance.
ENOBONG UWAH/ MONDAY EYO
Between the duo, no one knows who is likely to make it to the next cabinet. Enobong Uwah has been Commissioner, and currently, the Chairman of Uyo Capital City Development Authority. He also served as the Secretary, Divine Mandate Campaign Organization, a platform on which the Governor’s second term was berthed. Described as the Champion of Uyo Politics, Enobong Uwah has contributed in no small measure, to the development of his native Uyo. What may count for him is his experience and network in government.
Monday Eyo, is currently the House of Assembly Member, representing Uyo in the State House, but pundits say, he was pacified to drop his second term ambition in the last minute for Aniekan Eka to emerge, with a negotiating of an appointment with the Governor in the next cabinet.
He has been seen to have done the ritual Constituency briefing and empowerment, usually carried out by Assembly men, but it remains to be seen what the Governor has in stock for him in the next administration.
BASSEY DAN ABIA JNR
The former House of Reps Member, who represented Eket Federal Constituency, has been touted to emerge as one of the Commissioners in the next cabinet. Findings has revealed that, his defection from the APC to the PDP, prior to the election, was neatly negotiated between Elder Benji Udobia, and Etebe, the incumbent Chairman, for him to cross over, and add boost to the PDP in Esit Eket, haven come from a stock, where the Elderly Bassey Dan Abia was also in the race for the Governorship, and a strong member of the APC. All that was needed, was a Junior Dan Abia to demystify that structure. Badans, as he is fondly called, is most likely favored to be in the next cabinet.
The Akwa Ibom State PDP Publicity Secretary has been tipped to be in the next cabinet. During the elections, he shone like a million star, and was always on the rescue to keep the APC on its toes. Ini understands information management, and has graciously made use of his office, and also breath life into the Publicity arm of the party. A former NANS President, Ini has empowered some persons and executed life touching projects in his native Ibiono, more than some service Commissioners.
He is sure a square peg in a square hole. Journalists, bloggers and conversationalists, have found in him, a friend and a leader. No one knows his next portfolio, but it is likely we will be having him in the next Exco.
To be continued…
Eneh John and the Trail Reporters team wrote.