Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio, on Wednesday began the process of consolidating his grip on political power in the state, summarily sacking his commissioners and special advisers.
The move, his aides say, is to create room for fresh blood to be injected into his cabinet ahead of his 2015 exit date.
In a terse statement by his spokesperson, Anietie Ukpe, the governor directed all the former commissioners to hand over to the permanent secretaries in their respective ministries and departments.
“His Excellency, Chief Godswill Akpabio Godswill Akpabio, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, has directed the dissolution of the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council,” Mr. Ukpe said in the statement.
“The dissolution takes effect from Wednesday, April 4, 2012.
“Governor Akpabio expresses his appreciation and that of the entire people of Akwa Ibom State to the outgone members of the State Executive Council for their services and wishes them well in their future endeavours.
“With this dissolution, the outgone members of the State Executive Council are directed to hand over to their respective Permanent Secretaries.”
Although most of the sacked commissioners and special advisers had worked with the governor since his first term in office, the dissolution of the council caught almost of them unawares, despite widespread speculations they might be dropped.
The governor was said to have surfaced in Uyo after a few days out of the state to issue the directive to Mr. Ukpe to announce the immediate sack of the council before returning to Abuja in a chartered flight to attend the meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Wednesday night.
It was gathered that some of the former commissioners and Special Advisers, whose loyalty to the governor is considered unwavering might be retained but reassigned to new ministries.