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Akpabio dribbles Umana Umana and Sir Umoren, settles for Zenith Bank chief as new SSG

By News Express on 31/07/2013

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, last night played Maradona when he surprisingly picked a man without previous government experience as the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG) afer raising the hopes of erstwhile SSG, Obong Umana Okon Umana, and the man initially penciled down to eeplace him – Sir Etekamba Umoren, the Permanent Secretary at the Government House.

Chief Akpabio, who had been out of the state, was expected to swear-in Sir Umoren on his return yesterday evening. But in a move that took everyone by surprise, the governor drove straight from the Uyo International Airport to the residence of Obong Umana, where bot men discussed behind closed doors. After the meeting, Obong Umana announced that he had not resigned as reported by the media, thus raising hopes about his possible return to his office, which was locked Monday by the police ostensibly on Akpabio’s orders. The two friends have lately fallen out following Akpabio’s refusal to endorse Umana’s ambition to succeed him and the latter’s public announcement of his insistence to contest fast-forwarded his exit from the cabinet.

To complete the drama, Akpabio late last night went public with the name of banker Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as the new SSG “with immediate effect.”

Udom, who hails from Onna Local Government Area of Eket Senatorial District, Akwa Ibom State, was until his appointment an Executive Director on the board of Zenith Bank Plc from December 2006. He also doubled as Non-Executive Director, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) from 2008 to date and Director, Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems (NIBBS) from 2009, Non-Executive Director, Zenith Bank, United Kingdom; Zenith Bank – Gambia; Zenith Bank – Sierra Leone; Zenith Insurance; Zenith Pensions and Custodian; Zenith Securities; Zenith Trustees and Zenith Registrars.

A statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, described Udom as “a great Ibibio son . . . A corporate strategist and an experienced private sector player” with “wide experience in various blue-chip organisations such as Price Water House and Diamond Bank plc.”

Gov. Akpabio in the statement “expressed appreciation of the Government and the good people of Akwa Ibom State to the erstwhile Secretary to Government, Obong Umana Okon Umana, for his dedication and contributions to the uncommon transformation of Akwa Ibom State. The Governor further described Obong Umana Okon Umana as a brother and a friend who displayed exceptional competence in the discharge of his duties in the last six years. He wished Obong Umana Okon Umana success in his future endeavours whilst congratulating the new appointee, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.” 

•Photo shows Governor Akpabio.

Source News Express

Posted 31/07/2013 11:06:06 AM





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