The Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has replaced Sir Etekamba Umoren, an Akpabio associate, with an Oron man, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, as the Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom state, with immediate effect.
The changes were announced in a release by Mr. Charles Udoh, commissioner for Information and strategy. The press release stated that the appointment of Dr. Ekuwem was to “Regig the governance in the state”.
Part of the commissioner’s press release reads:
“The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has announced the immediate appointment of Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem as Secretary to State Government.
“This appointment is part of a continuous effort to rejig the governance structure of state which started with the swearing-in of 2 new commissioners less than two months ago.
“Dr. Ekuwem; who replaces Sir Etekemba Umoren, holds a Bachelors degree in Engineering Physics, Masters Degree in Physics, Masters Degree in Electronic & Electrical Engineering (Microcomputer-based Instrumentation and Control Engineering) and a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering (Computer-based Instrumentation and Control Engineering).
“Until his appointment, Dr. Ekuwem was the Founder and CEO of Teledom Group, a former National President of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and a former President of Nigeria Internet Group (NIG). He is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority ( NEPZA ), NEPZA.
“He hails from Ofi Uda in Mbo Local Government.
“The newly appointed Secretary to State Government will be sworn-in at 2pm on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at the Government House Banquet Hall, Uyo.
The Government of Akwa Ibom State thanks the erstwhile Secretary to State Government Sir Etekemba Umoren for his services to the state and wishes him well in his future endeavours.”
It will be recalled that Mr. Etekamba Umoren was one of the strategic positions conceded to the immediate past governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, after he had successfully brought the incumbent governor, Udom Emmanuel to power. The relationship between the two me has been a subject of tension as there seems to be no love lost between the two for now.
The rupture in their relationship came as a result of a statement credited to the Senate Minority leader who had in a comment in Abak given some condition for his support and that of his constituency for the governor in the governorship election in 2019.
The move to replace Akpabio’s kinsman with an Oron man is predicated on the continued cries of marginalization of the Oro people by the governments of Udom Emmanuel and his predecessor. It is also seen as a way of assuaging the feeling of Oron people and build a support base in the event that the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District decides to go with the former governor of the reported feud between the two persists.