By NewsCritic Reporters
Abia State Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu today Wednesday October 16, 2019 sworn in the new commissioners designate with a charge on them to align with the vision of the administration in a bid to achieve its mandate within the remaining period of time. The composition of the new cabinet came almost five months after his inauguration on May 29.
However, the announcement of the portfolios assigned to the commissioners was delayed as Governor Ikpeazu and the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Chinedu Orji had issues resolving the allocation of portfolios to the newly sworn in commissioners.
It got to a point where the Governor had to start making a new list with long hands while seated in between Rt. Hon Orji and the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu. As the governor was seen discussing with the speaker, the gestures from Rt. Hon Orji is often that of disapproval as they try to mend the list of the commissioners and their portfolios.
The governor who before then has been invited to mount the podium to deliver his speech after the commissioners took their oath of office delayed the programme for about ten minutes, a situation that led the MC to call for music interlude when it became evident that the governor was not in a hurry to mount the stage, as he was busy writing and also giving attention to the speaker who was talking to him quietly without attracting unnecessary attention or suspicion.
It was gathered that the issue of who gets the Finance Ministry and the Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs was the bone of contention right from the early stages of the nomination. While the governor is said to be rooting for a candidate of his choice, Hon Orji wants another candidate to handle the portfolio. The duo had to settle for a middle ground whereby they agreed to shift grounds and accommodate the others interest another way to allow peace to reign.
Analysts said some people tried to be funny a reason why the assignment of portfolios had to be altered right at the point of announcing it. They also said what transpired at the International Conference Centre venue of the swearing in ceremony between Ikpeazu and Orji confirms the insinuation that Engr. Orji is truly the power behind the throne in Abia.
At the end Dr Aham Uko was assigned the Finance portfolio, while Sir GC Onyendilefu got the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. Engr. Emma Nwabuko was assigned the Public Utilities and Bob Chidozie Ogu became Works commissioner.
Ikpeazu charged the commissioner to be dedicated to their duties and not to use the excuse of lack of logistics to fail in their respective duties. He promised to remove anyone who could not live up to expectations without delay.
COMMISSIONERS AND THEIR PORTFOLIOS
1. Chief Chimaobi Ebisike – Special Duties
2. Chief John J. Okoro – Joint Projects
3. Lady Loveth Uwaoma – Culture and Tourism
4. Dr Cosmos Ndukwe – Trade and Commerce
5. Chief Ugbaja T. Odionyemfe – Housing
6. Mr. Onyema Wachuku – SME Development
7. Sir G. C. Onyendilefu -Local Govt and Chieftaincy
8. Chief Emeka Ikwuagwu – Youth and Sports Development
9. Barr. Bob Chiedozie Ogu – Works
10. Hon. D. K Uduma – Budget and Planning
11. Chief Ekele Nwaohanmuo – Transport
12. Chief Mrs Ukachi Amala – Women Affairs
13. Prince Ezekwesiri Ananaba – Cooperatives
14. Dr Solomon Ogunji -Environment
15. Chief Ikpechukwu Onuoha – Petroleum
16. Prince Dan Okoli – Homeland Security
17. Alh. Suleiman Ukandu – Lands
18. Dr Aham Uko- Finance
19. Hon. Chijioke Madumere – Science and Technology
20. Dr K. C. K Nwangwa- Education
21. Chief Mrs. Uwaoma Olenwengwa – Industry
22. Dr Joe Osuji – Health
23. Engr. Emma Nwabuko – Public Utilities