All the new appointees except one served as commissioners and special adviser in the cabinet of Mr Eno’s predecessor, Udom Emmanuel.
Mr Eno, who repeatedly addressed the newly sworn-in commissioners as “my colleagues”, served as a commissioner for Lands and Water Resources in Mr Emmanuel’s cabinet, before he resigned to contest the governorship election.
At the swearing-in ceremony, held at Government House in Uyo, on Thursday, the governor told the new appointees that they already have a well-condensed roadmap to guide them in the execution of the responsibilities of their different offices.
Why I returned former commissioners
Many people, including members of the ruling party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have expressed disappointment at the governor for reappointing all the commissioners.
Mr Eno, in his reaction, described his former colleagues as his “foot soldiers” that have to be rewarded, adding that besides being tested, they possessed vast experience to deliver his economic blueprint.
“You do not abandon your foot soldiers shortly after a successful execution of an election victory. As old blood, we were together in all of the campaigns.
“A lot of you took bullets for me, a lot of you stood up for me when no one believed I could ever emerge, spent several nights strategising for me. My conscience would not allow me to throw you away.
“Therefore, it is only fitting that we bring back tested hands with the right experience who understands the system to join us and work for the continuation of peace, growth and transformation of our state in line with the Arise Agenda,” he said.
Speaking further, the governor announced the creation of the Ministry of Internal and Waterways Security and said the new ministry is to collaborate with security agencies to ensure peace and harmony in the state.
The governor directed that all other smaller security groups that feature at government functions would henceforth be trained and coordinated by the new ministry.
The Secretary to the State Government in a statement released hours after the swearing-in assigned portfolios to the commissioners.
Checks by PREMIUM TIMES shows that about 80 per cent of the commissioners have been returned to the former ministries they left less than two months ago.
Those who are to resume work in their former ministries include, Eno Ibanga – Works and Fire Service, Ini Ememobong – Information; Uko Udom – Justice and Attorney General; Monday Uko – Youth and Sport; Linus Nkan – Finance; Iniobong Ekong – Lands; Bassey Okon – Special Duties and Ibom Deep Seaport; Imo Moffat – Ministry of Science and Technology; Augustine Umoh – Health; Frank Archibong – Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Others are, Ini Adiakpan – Women Affairs and Social Welfare; Idongesit Etiebet – Education; Raphael Bassey – Housing; Bob Emem – Economic Development; Aniefiok Nkom – Labour and Manpower Planning; Offiong Offor – Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
For other commissioners, it is a redeployment from their former ministries to new ones.
For instance, Charles Udoh, former commissioner for Environment has been moved to Culture and Tourism, while Orman Esin who headed Culture and Tourism before has been moved to Transportation. Uno Uno is moved from Transportation to Environment and Mineral Resources.
Others include Camilus Umoh, now assigned to the Ministry of Power, Enobong Moffat, Water Resources and Sanitation, John Etim, Trade and Investment.
The only new commissioner, Koko Essien, is assigned the newly created Ministry of Internal Security, while Amanam Nkanga retains his portfolio as Special Adviser – Bureau of Political and Social Re-orientation.
The newly sworn-in commissioners are to attend the first cabinet on Friday, 28 July according to the governor.
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