Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio
By Okon Bassey
In order not create a vacuum in the governance of the state, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, Wednesday administered oath of office on the newly-appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmaunel, who until the appointment was Executive Director of Zenith Bank Plc.
The new SSG takes over from Mr. Umana Okon Umana, who was said to have officially resigned on Tuesday, in order to pursue his 2015 governorship ambition in the state.
Among the stakeholders that witnessed the ceremony were the state Deputy Governor, Lady Valerie Ebe, the out-going SSG, state House of Assembly members, commissioners, heads of security agencies, traditional rulers and women groups, among others.
Administering the oath of office to the new SSG at the state banquet hall, Uyo, Akpabio noted that both Emmanuel and Umana posed intimidating credentials needed to run the state.
He said the changes were in response of meeting the demands and challenges of the uncommon transformation of the state, urging the people to accept changes now in the interest of the total transformation of the state.
“Today as you witness the change in the office of the SSG of Akwa Ibom State, you must remember that change is part of life and to sustain the momentum of what we are doing,” he admonished.
The governor praised the immediate past SSG for his meritorious service to the state, saying: “Mr Umana Okon Umana, goes down in history as the longest SSG in the state.”
Umana, the governor said, the state government and people of the state really acknowledged his contributions and service to the state especially his roles in government starting as a career civil servant that culminated in his appointment as permanent secretary, also elevation as the Commissioner for Finance and finally as SSG from 2007 to July, 2013.
“Umana, to me is a brother and not just a friend. He has displayed exceptional competence in the discharge of his official duties and contributed significantly right from the former regime of Obong Victor Attah to the present administration now name as a state of uncommon transformation.”
Noting the credentials of the new SSG, the governor said he would bring very strong skills in the discharge of his duties.
He advised him to note that the office like that of the governor, requires sacrifices as it was full of blackmail, character assassination, and cautioned him against any ethnic agenda as he does not belong to any of the local government area.
“You will discharge the agenda of the state. There is no time to make mistake and learn from the mistake because you are joining the administration in an injury time,” Akpabio told the new SSG.