By Sylvia Etta
Nine members of Governor Liyel Imoke’s Executive Council who are vying for various elective political offices in the forth coming general elections have resigned their appointments from the state executive council CrossRiverWatch can report.
Available information from the office of the SSG names the nine former State Executive members as Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Mike Aniah, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Legor Idagbo, Commissioner for Works, Mr. Peter Ojie, Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Special Adviser, Investment Promotion, Mr. Gerald Adah, Mr. Peter Oti, Special Adviser, Budget, Monitoring and Evaluation, and acting chairman State Internal Revenue Service who are all vying for the governorship of the state.
Others include, Mr. Edim Temple, Special Adviser on Strategic Planning who is vying for Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency, Mr. Tom Ogar, Special Adviser on Information and Communication Technology, vying for Bekwara/Obudu/Obanlikwu federal constituency and the Chief of Staff to Governor Imoke, Dr. Alex Egbona who is vying for Abi/Yakurr federal constituency.
CrossRiverWatch learnt that they have been given up to next week to hand over the affairs of their ministry, departments and agencies (MDAs) to the Permanent Secretaries or the most senior officer in their MDAs.
Their resignation is the climax of an ultimatum that was handed down by Governor Imoke to his aides who have political aspirations in 2015 to resign and concentrate on their campaigns.
CrossRiverWatch also gathered from the SSG’s office that unlike the previous era where political appointees who resigned to contest for elective political office failed and returned to their former positions or were assigned new portfolio, “the point has been made clear that this time around, all those who have resigned to vie for any elective office and fail will no longer enjoy that privilege.”
Former Commissioner for Works, Legor Idagbo told CrossRiverWatch after his resignation that “I need to leave to solicit the support of Cross Riverians across the eighteen local governments, it is not an easy job, it is not something you can combine with your work. I commend His Excellency for the ultimatum he gave us. So I am cashing in on that and I intend to move around consulting in preparation for the primaries.
“I have not been anointed, His Excellency has not anointed any body and does not intend to. Anybody that will win to be governor has to learn, we must present ourselves to the grassroots and I believe that I have the requisite goodwill which I intend to utilize to the fullest in my consultations.”
Besides the six aforementioned persons, the former Group General Manager, Crude, NNPC, Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba, the former SSG in Cross River State, and present Executive Secretary, National Planning Commission, Mr. Fidelis Ugbo, Senator Ben. Ayade, former commissioner in the state, Dr. Julius Okputu, Mr. Francis Bulum, among others are equally vying for the governorship of the state on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
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