The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has likened his administration to a speeding train, saying nobody can stop it from moving forward.
Mr. Emmanuel who is enmeshed in a political feud with his estranged godfather, Godswill Akpabio, made the comment on Tuesday at the Government House, Uyo, during the swearing-in of a new Secretary to the State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem.
The former SSG, Etekamba Umoren, was sacked by the governor on Monday.
Like several other officials of the present administration, Mr. Umoren’s appointment was influenced by the governor’s predecessor, Mr. Akpabio, the Senate Minority Leader, who until now had a firm grip on the government and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.
Mr. Emmanuel, during his remarks at the swearing-in ceremony, read out a newspaper headline on his feud with Mr. Akpabio, “Udom takes fight to Akpabio, sacks SSG”. He expressed annoyance with the headline.
“What nonsense!” the governor said. “Government is like a moving train, nobody stops the government, not even for one minute.
“Let us not make mistake through stupid journalism and bring ourselves down,” he said. “How do we sell ourselves so cheap to the outside world through stupid journalism?”
The governor praised Mr. Ekuwem as “a pride of our state and a man the world has celebrated”. He told the new SSG that the administration has a lot of work to do.
The governor said the unity of the state was non-negotiable and that whoever tries to destroy the state would not succeed.
“We have only one project – project Akwa Ibom State. And let me also say it here, let no man try to put asunder in this one big family that we call Akwa Ibom family.
“Nobody ever predicted where he was to be born. You can never tell who the saviour is by the roadside. God can never come down himself to touch men. So, let’s treat each person with absolute respect,” the governor said.
Dignitaries present at the swearing-in ceremony included the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, the State Chairman of the PDP, Paul Ekpo, and the former SSG, Etekamba Umoren.