The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has given credit to God for the appointment of a new head of civil service for the state.
The head of the civil service is Effiong Essien, a geologist, and a former permanent secretary in the ministry of works.
Mr Essien’s appointment was announced in May by Governor Emmanuel.
The head of civil service occupies the sixth position in the state government protocol list, coming after the governor, deputy governor, the chief judge, Speaker of the House of Assembly, and the secretary to the state government. His job is mainly to oversee the running of the state civil service.
Mr Emmanuel said on Sunday at Lutheran Church, Obot Idim, that it was God, and not him, who appointed Mr Essien to the position.
The governor was in the church for a thanksgiving service organised by Mr Essien and his family for his new appointment.
“He himself, so am I, we didn’t know he was going to be the next head of the civil service,” Governor Emmanuel said when he addressed the congregation.
“When you see people on the road, don’t underrate anybody.
“God will never go for a man that is qualified, I keep saying so; he takes a man and he qualifies a man. That’s the nature of God.
“Today, only God knows why it has to be him because God chose him, not man, not me,” the governor said.
Mr Emmanuel, who described Mr Essien as a “good man”, said he disqualified others who sent people to lobby him for the position.
Mr Essien also praised God for his appointment which he said he “never dreamt of”. He promised to do his best for the growth of the civil service in the state.
Mr Essien said he was a director for more than nine years and was praying for a promotion to the rank of a permanent secretary until Governor Emmanuel came and did just that.
“I was still celebrating my promotion as a permanent secretary when the appointment as head of the service came,” he said.
He told the governor, “God use you to lift me”.
Governor Emmanuel, who announced a donation of N20 million to the Lutheran Church, and a bus to the church choir, praised the church for creating a channel through its school, the Lutheran School, Obot Idim, for the training of many political and business leaders in the state.
“Our forefathers brought this church here, so this church must also grow in our own hands,” the governor said.