By Ushang Ewa
Following the decision of Cross River governor, Ben Ayade to expand his cabinet there has been clashes between some of his appointees over role definition findings by CrossRiverWatch reveal.
Notable among these clashes are those between Youth and Sports Commissioner Asu Okang and Sports Commission Chairman, Orok Duke with the latter claiming independence of the former which has seen him make statements which the former views as role invasion which has led to a cold war between the duo.
This has led to the placing of an embargo on press releases from both, to be aired or published by the State owned media outfits, by Information Commissioner, Rosemary Archibong.
While the State Commissioner for Sports recently announced that the Federal Ministry of Sports had extended the grace time to host the National Sports Festival to the second quarter of 2016, the Chairman of the Sports Commission a few days later announced in a press briefing that the state can only host the event after the Olympic games.
Also, there is a rift between the Transport Commissioner, Saviour Nyong and the Special Adviser, Department of Public Transport (DOPT), Gab Okulaja. The rift reportedly began when the former met with Keke (Tricycle) riders which offended the latter who said it was his duty with an open exchange of words ensuing. It is said the former allegedly told the latter that he is under him.
Furthermore, there have also been reports of a rift between the Commissioner for Power and the Director General of the State Electricity Agency which is threatening the smooth functioning and implementation of the state power agenda.
Among the lower cadre of appointees also, there are reports of conflicting roles between the several Special Advisers, Special Assistants and Personal Assistants in one portfolio.
Example is the situation where the governor appointed an ICT Commissioner, has a Special Adviser on ICT, a Special Assistant on ICT and a Personal Assistant on ICT.
Several other portfolios are also replete with such duplications leading to avoidable tussle and hampering progress of work. But just yesterday, the governor announced another set of appointees including a Special Assistant on Marketing.
The increase in the number of appointees has seen Ayade appoint almost more people than his predecessors, governor Duke and Liyel Imoke did in 8 years, which has attracted as much criticisms as it has attracted praises. This has seen several Departments upgraded to Ministries, new ones created.
CrossRiverWatch findings so far show that the most notable challenge for the appointees has been office space and accommodation which has seen the over five government lodges renovated in record time to accommodate some of them.
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