Umana Umana resigned his position.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor has appointed a new Secretary to the State Government, SSG, to replace Umana Umana.
The new appointee, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, is an Executive Director at Zenith Bank.
Mr. Umana eventually resigned his appointment after a turbulent 48 hours.
The new government scribe is to be sworn-in on Wednesday morning.
Not much is known of Mr. Udom’s political background, apart from the fact that he hails from Onna Local Government Area of the state and was, until his appointment, an Executive Director on the Board of Zenith Bank PLC.
The resignation of Mr. Umana, announced late Tuesday night at about 11 p.m., brings to an end the political crisis that engulfed in the past week after the former SSG made public his ambition to succeed Mr. Akpabio as governor in 2015.
Mr. Umana’s exit comes despite repeated claims by his political associates that he was not asked to resign or be sacked after he declared his gubernatorial ambition last Thursday.
Prior to his declaration, there were reports that he was asked to vacate office and drop his ambition, reports that his political camp dismissed as blatant lies and fabricated rumour.
There were also reports that he was recently rejected and barred him from running for the office after he was presented to the President Goodluck Jonathan as the state’s gubernatorial candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
Mr. Akpabio is currently on his second term and is ineligible to contest in 2015.
PREMIUM TIMES had also reported the submission of Mr. Umana’s name, alongside two others, for appointment as the next Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The nomination, which was reportedly packaged as a soft landing for him, kicked up serious disapproval from indigenes of the major oil producing communities of the state, as it violated the provisions of the NDDC Act, requiring only indigenes of the major oil producing areas of the Niger Delta to be appointed into the office.
On Monday, the political intrigues took a new twist when Mr. Umana’s office, located directly opposite the governor’s office within the Government House, Uyo, was sealed off by armed security operatives allegedly on the orders of Mr. Akpabio.
No official reason was given for the action, as no government official was ready to comment on the issue. Though the governor was reportedly out of the state at the time the former SSG’s office was sealed, he visited Mr. Umana in his private residence on Tuesday on his return to the state, where they held a private meeting for more than an hour.
Sources close to the two men said it was at the meeting that Mr. Umana was asked to resign, a decision he agreed to.
Mr. Umana, who shared a long political relationship with Mr. Akpabio, was considered in political circles in the state as a major stabilization factor in the administration, particularly against the powerful political opposition from the major ethnic group in the state, which he belongs.
He was believed to be one of the influential forces instrumental to Mr. Akpabio’s emergence as governor in 2007, a reason that qualified him to be entrusted with the most important office in government as Secretary to the State Government after a brief stint as Commissioner for Finance.
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