Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has kept his supporters from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and indeed from other political parties gazing about the names of commissioners who are likely to make the list to be sent to the state House of Assembly for confirmation.
Eno, who was inaugurated on May 29 having been declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the ticket of the PDP following the March 18 governorship elections, has announced the appointment of personal aides but has yet to send the names of the likely commissioners to the state assembly.
Last week, he approved the appointment of additional media aides and created a special office of website and multimedia streaming where an aide to former Governor Udom Emmanuel was appointed as senior special assistant and Frank Ekpenyong as the senior special assistant on Information and Communication Technology and digital services.
These were in addition to other media aides including his chief press secretary, senior special assistant on media, senior special assistant on research and documentation, among others that had earlier been appointed.
So far, Eno has appointed at least 10 personal aides and one economic adviser, a clear departure from the previous administration which did not have a portfolio for an economic adviser, perhaps relying solely on the Ministry of Economic Development for matters of the state’s economy.
Though the outgone administration had reportedly requested from the incoming governor to work with the former members of the state executive council by reappointing many of them, with only a member opting out of the arrangement, the need for the appointment of new commissioners became urgent and pressing as the governor has recently announced the award of road contractors in Uyo, the state capital.
Accordingly, he announced the construction of Ndiya street, internal roads, drainages and installation of solar-powered electricity in Akpan Andem market in Uyo, the state capital. He said the decision to construct economically viable streets across the state was a “symbolic proof of his high regards for entrepreneurs and small businesses.”
It is against this backdrop that many of his supporters across party lines do not have any clue as to who are those likely to be members of the state executive council.
Umo Eno, was himself a member of the state executive council until his decision to contest the governorship election.
According to them, the state appears to be operating without openness and transparency, adding that knowing those to be so appointed would be a morale booster to the administration.
“We would know the direction of the government,” one of the supporters said.
Though some of the commissioners are said to be working behind the scene having been assured by the governor that their names would make the list, it does not in any way according to observers prevent the governor from including their names among those to be sent to the state assembly.
For instance, one of the former commissioners publicly announced on his social media platforms that he represented Governor Umo Eno at an event in Uyo recently.
This may be a pointer that the governor may not be in a hurry to have members of the state executive council inaugurated since many of the former members are said to be working behind the scene, throwing their support behind the governor.
How long his supporters will continue to wait for the appointment of commissioners and the inauguration of the state executive council to direct the affairs of the state can only be imagined according to observers.