Drama over appointment of commissioners in 12 states
Chairman of the ruling party (PDP) in Cross River State, Ntufam John Okon, told journalists last week that they had to delay the announcement of would-be commissioners in the because each chapter of the party, at ward and local government levels, had been asked to screen and nominate names.
"Having passed that stage, the party agreed with our leader in the state, Governor Ben Ayade, when he said all the nominees must be subjected to tests and appraisal.
"This is what is still going on. I am very certain that before long, their names would be formally announced just as names of some special advisers were announced last week," he added.
Okon explained that the potential commissioners were to go through integrity tests to determine how honest they would be in their positions of responsibility. The tests, he added, would also ascertain if they could give true account of themselves in terms of ICT capability and exposure.
In his explanation, Governor Ayade had stated that though he would reserve 30 per cent slots to the opposition to be part of his government of unity, he needed to have people who would be truly acceptable by their own people; who would be directly selected by their communities.
National vice chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for South-South, an indigene of the state, Prince Hilliard Eta, is however reported to have warned that no member of the party accept offers from Ayade. Nearly five months after they took their oath of office, some state governors are yet to appoint commissioners, an important component that would ensure service delivery to the people. In other states, the list is hanging at the House of Assembly while in another, the governor is operating with only five commissioners. strategy to drive with a new spirit and new mentality.
Speaking on the matter, a chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who pleaded anonymity, said the governor was waiting for the outcome of the election tribunal before appointing commissioners. Governor Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who has been reelected for another term of four years, has not appointed commissioners and other political appointees yet.
Daily Trust correspondent observed that the only appointment made by the government thus far was that of James Pisagih as the acting Secretary to the State Government (SSG).
The governor relies on permanent secretaries and heads of government parastatals in running the state even as he is said to have left the political actors that helped in his second return guessing.
A source at the Ministry of Information said the governor was taking his time to get credible people that will assist him to deliver the mandate given to him. that subsequent appointments would be made in due time pointing out that the appointment of the cabinet members would be on merit.
The state has about 16 ministries.
No reason was given for the delay in the appointment of the remaining commissioners but unconfirmed reports had it that it may not be unconnected with the ongoing election petition hearing at the tribunal sitting in Abuja. In Bauchi State, Daily Trust learnt that the delay in the appointment of commissioners may not be unconnected with the effort of the state government to restructure the administrative structures in the ministries.
Although the governor had appointed some key aides such as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and redeployed some permanent secretaries, the appointment of commissioners is yet to be carried out.
The Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Communication, Yakubu Ibn Muhammad, said that the delay was occasioned by the desire of the governor to appoint people that will work for the development of the state.
There are insinuations that politicians have also contributed in the delay in the appointment by the governor, basically due to power play among them over who and who should be appointed.
When contacted on telephone, Auwal Aliyu Jallah, the publicity secretary of the APC in the state, said that there was no iota of truth in the accusation. council is to be ready in a week or two.
Masari disclosed this at the government house, where he said there are pending decisions that can only be reached with a constituted council.
However, some sources at the government houses told Daily Trust that intense lobbying, political power play and intrigues amongst stakeholders were the reasons that caused the delay.
It was on Tuesday that the Yobe State House of Assembly also received the list of would be commissioners.
Sources at the Assembly said the screening exercise will start soon.
In Plateau State, Governor Simon Lalong had to react to comments by the opposition PDP, that the delay in appointing the state cabinet was a sign of lack of focus.
The governor had been repeatedly reported to have made arrangements to appoint his cabinet, right from his first month in office, but nearly five months after he was sworn in, there are no clear signs that the appointments would come anytime soon.
Mike Dachom, the organizing secretary of the PDP in the state, had criticized the nonappointment of commissioners, describing it as a sign of lack of focused leadership by the APC administration.
But Lalong said through his media aide, Emmanuel Nanle, that the administration had completed the processes that would lead to the submission of names of commissioners. for the governor to make the appointments.
According to him, “the reason why Governor Rauf Aregbesola has not appointed his commissioners is simple and it is because of the economic situation in the state which is known to everyone”.
The much awaited commissioners’ list in Niger State is ready for onward transmission to the state house of assembly, Daily Trust learnt.
While fielding questions from newsmen on his return from the United Kingdom recently, the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, had assured citizens of the state that the much anticipated commissioners' list will be out “very soon”.
Source close to the state government confirmed that the list could only be made public by the state house of assembly which is currently on recess.
The governor’s chief press secretary, Ibraheem Dooba, had said the reasons for the delay in forming the cabinet are “not fundamentally different” from that of the federal government.
The APC-led administration of Governor Rochas Okorocha in Imo State is yet to have commissioners.
The chief press secretary to the governor, Sam Onwuemeodo, attributed the delay to the present poor economic situation in the country.
He said based on that, the governor had set up a committee to review the number of state ministries with a view for effective management.