Ikpeazu Dissolves Cabinet, Recalls Suspended Chief of Staff

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Okezie Ikpeazu

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu yesterday dissolved the State Executive Council (SEC) about one and half years after he appointed the commissioners to serve in his second tenure cabinet.

He also recalled his Chief of Staff, Dr Anthony Agbazuere, who had been on suspension since December 6, 2020 following a viral video depicting him spraying money on a controversial cleric, Prophet Chukwuemeka Odumeje.

This was contained in a statement signed by Ikpeazu’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka.

No reason was given for the dissolution of the cabinet, which the governor constituted in October 2019 after his mandate was renewed for a second term in office.

He, however, asked all affected cabinet members to hand over all government properties in their possession, together with their handover notes, to their respective permanent secretaries.

Ikpeazu expressed deep appreciation “to the 24 commissioners, comprising 21 men and three women for their services to the people of Abia State and wished them well in their future endeavours.

The recall of the governor’s chief of staff may not be unconnected with pleas and representations made to Ikpeazu by several groups including traditional rulers, Nollywood stars and youths.

The chief of staff was asked to take back his job with immediate effect.

Meanwhile three commissioners have been exempted from the cabinet dissolution.

Another statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Chris Ezem said the governor “has directed that the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uche Ihediwa, Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, and the Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji” should remain in office.

“They are to continue performing the duties of their office along with the Secretary to State Government, Chris Ezem,” the statement said.

Agbazuere’s suspension was announced in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government.

He said the suspension was with immediate effect.
Although Ezem did not give a reason for the suspension, a senior Abia government official said Ikpeazu decided to suspend Agbazuere following a video which captured him spraying naira notes on a controversial Nigerian prophet, Odumeje, inside the Government House.
The source said: “He shouldn’t have done that. I can assure you that the governor was not aware that Odumeje was even in the Government House). The governor was away from the state when it happened.”