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2015: AKPABIO-PRESIDENCY FIGHT DEEPENS AS GOVERNOR SACKS COMMISSIONERS, BOARD CHAIRMEN

2015: AKPABIO-PRESIDENCY FIGHT DEEPENS AS GOVERNOR SACKS COMMISSIONERS, BOARD CHAIRMEN

There are strong indications that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa-Ibom is heading for an implosion as the 2015 Gubernatorial and Presidential elections get nearer.
The first sign of trouble was when Presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak went to Akwa-Ibom to launch the Goodluck Support Group (GSG) without getting the Governor and the State Party Chairman involved.
What really angered the topshots was not the effrontery to leave them in the dark, it was the fact that the whole activity of the launch was planned and delivered by the stalwarts of the former Secretary to the State Government, Dr Umannah Umannah, a known enemy of Governor Akpabio.
Dr. Umannah reportedly fell out with his boss, Governor Godswill Akpabio over the Governor’s decision to zone the 2015 gubernatorial ticket instead of allowing democracy prevail. And his subsequent open declaration of his ambition.
It was shortly after Gulak’s visit that the Governor, after a PDP State Committee Meeting, openly declared that for equity and fairness, PDP will only present someone from Eket Senatorial District as Governor. This confirms earlier suspicion that Governor. Akpabio has settled on the new Secretary to the State Government, Emmanuel Udom,  as his successor.
Of course with recent reports that Ummanah, who is said to have a groundswell of grassroots support among the Ibibios, has the backing of the Presidency , the stage is therefore set for an all-out war between his supporters and those of the Governor.
Already the battle has claimed its first set of casualties as Governor Akpabio yesterday sacked some members of the State Executive Council. Though the official position is that the Governor wants to re-invigorate his cabinent, insiders say that the Governor is hitting all those who are against his plans.
The latest victims of the battle for supremacy are two commissioners: Bassy Akpan, Commissioner of Finance and Effiong Abia, Commissioner for Rural Development.
In a statement, the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Aniekan Umanah, said the Governor also approved the immediate removal of the Chairmen of some Boards of Government Parastatals and Agencies
The affected Chairmen include those for Akwa Ibom Property and Investment Company Limited, (APICO), Sunny Udom; Akwa Ibom Water Company Limited (AKWCL), Patrick Ifon; Akwa Ibom Newspaper Corporation (AKNC), Dan Akai; and Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, (AKBC), Alex Nyong. The Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Management Board( AKEPMB), John Asikpo; and that of Akwa Ibom State Agency for Community and Social Development, Tony Esu
Mr. Umanah said the decision to sack the commissioners and the aides became necessary “in view of the need to re-invigorate the machinery of government and drive further the Uncommon Transformation Programmes of the State.” He wished them well in their future endeavours.
It will be recalled that a similar scenario played itself out in the state in 2009 when the then Governor, Obong Victor Attah wanted to impose a candidate on the PDP. Then Commissioner Godswill Akpabio challenged Attah and with the support of the Presidency, defeated Attah’s candidate at the primaries and subsequently won the Gubernatorial election.
 

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