By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, has denied he was considering resigning his job as a state executive council member of the government of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
There were rumours of a possible resignation of Ukah following the carving out of a directorate of orientation from the state ministry of information, a development which the rumour-mill in Asaba said did not go down well with the commissioner.
An overseas-based online publication subsequently flashed news of the planned resignation of the Delta State information commissioner.
However, a statement by Mr. Sam Ijeh, Media Assistant to the commissioner, and made available to THISDAY in Asaba, described the report as mischievous and baseless.
The statement said that the claim that Ukah’s grouse was over “Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s decision to split the (information) ministry”, was equally misleading and intended for mischief.
According to the statement, “The entire report is baseless, unfounded and tendentious. The story exists only in the figment of the imagination of Sahara Reporters, a medium very well known for its brand of terrorism journalism which it dubs as “citizens journalism”, whatever that means.”
It said that the clarification was necessitated by the need to “disabuse the minds of the unsuspecting reading public and the friends and associates of the Commissioner who have besieged his office with calls since the report was published.
“The Ministry of Information has not been split into two; and, as such no new ministry has been created even though the governor recently created a Directorate of Orientation out of the Department of Orientation in the Ministry to be headed by his Senior Special Assistant (Orientation and Social Mobilisation) now renamed Executive Assistant.”
On the rumoured removal of the ICT Department and Website from the information ministry to the Government House, the statement pointed out that the ICT unit had been moved “before Mr. Ukah was appointed Commissioner” for information by Dr Okowa.
“We all know the proximity and interdependency of the website and the ICT Department. That the two are housed in the same place was to ensure efficiency in their operations and engender better coordination”, it said.
“In the light of the foregoing, Mr. Ukah could not have contemplated, let alone threaten, resignation”, the statement said, adding, “Mr Ukah, for the avoidance of doubt, enjoys a good working relationship with His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, and is irrevocably committed to helping the Governor achieve his goal of prosperity for all Deltans”, he said.