Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, yesterday swore in Mr. Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei as the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG), urging him to be steadfast and diligent on the job.
The Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office were administered by the Registrar of the Bayelsa State High Court, Mr. Amaebi Orukari, inside the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Yenagoa.
The office became vacant last year following the resignation of the former SSG, Dr. Konbowei Benson, to contest for the Bayelsa Central Senatorial’s ticket under the ticket of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), which he won.
Ekeuwei has returned to the office he once occupied during ex-Governor Timi Sylva’s administration between 2008 and 2011, becoming the first in the history of the state to be sworn in twice as SSG.
He was the 7th and now the 13th SSG in the 26-year-old state.
Governor Diri explained that the event was scheduled to hold on February 13 but had to be rescheduled following the sudden passage of his father, Pa Abraham Michael Diri, on February 12.
The governor urged the new SSG to bring the energy and competence that distinguished him from several equally qualified candidates to bear on the task before him in order to deliver good governance to people of the state.
He stressed that his capacity, integrity and team spirit would be tested as he was assuming office at a period of heightened political activities.
According to the governor, the appointment was done with careful consideration of Ekeuwei’s outstanding pedigree and sensitivity to the exigencies of governance at this time.
He said: “With your vast experience and as a critical member of this administration, you must create a seamless working relationship with the Government House from where most of the policies and programmes will be coming and ensure all Ministries, Departments and Agencies will comply and fast-track governance.”
Diri averred that in the last three years, his administration had worked hard to justify the confidence of Bayelsans to deliver inclusive prosperity to all, without consideration to political or personal interests and charged him to emulate the tradition.
“The consequence of bad governance does not discriminate along political party lines. That is why I keep insisting that as a government, we will not play politics with development.
“You must, therefore, view your appointment as an opportunity and challenge to contribute to solving the issues of development that our people urgently need.”
Until his appointment, Ekeuwei was the Executive Chairman of the Bayelsa State Physical Planning and Development Board.