BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, PORT HARCOURT
There is uneasy calm in Rivers State, especially within the Government House and the secretariat of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following last weekend’s sack of the State Executive Council by Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike.
Wike, in a statement signed by his special assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, directed all the former commissioners to handover to their respective permanent secretaries.
According to the statement, the governor thanked the former commissioners for their service to the state and wished then well in their future endeavours.
Wike had before announcing the dissolution of the executive council presided over the meeting which was attended by the commissioners, except two.
The two commissioners who were not at the what later became a valedictory session of the state executive council were the former commissioner for Works, Mr. Bethuel Iheanyichukwu Harrison and his Information and Communication counter, Dr. Austin Tam-George.
Harrison, who was the second Works commissioner to be sacked under the Wike-led administration, was relieved of his position last Saturday by the governor over undisclosed reasons while Tam-George voluntarily resigned from his position 24 hours later.
Recalled that in February this year, the governor sacked the commissioner for Health, Dr. Theophilus Odiage, few days after the acting President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, flagged off the reconstruction of a Doctor’s Quarters at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, Port Harcourt.
LEADERSHIP observed that since the announcement of the dissolution of the cabinet by Wike, there have been mixed feelings with some stakeholders in the state attributing the development to crisis within the PDP-led state government.
But speaking weekend during a thanksgiving service at Saint Martin’s Anglican Church, Ogu in Ogu/Bolo local government area of the state, the governor said he dissolved the state executive council in order to rejig the machinery of the state government to move the state forward.
He explained that the dissolution of the executive council was done in consultation with the leadership of the PDP in the state.
The governor said, “This is when you know those who are loyal and those who are not loyal. There is no crack in government. We are working together. The dissolution was done in consultation with the leadership of PDP in the state.
“You must work with those who are loyal. Those who are not loyal will be shown the way out. Those who are loyal will come back. When you are going into another dispensation, you have to put things in order.”
Wike stated that the dissolution of the state executive council was done at the appropriate time, saying that most states have already dissolved their respective executive councils.
The governor said, “In government, there are those hungry to come in and those hungry to go. If you are a political appointee, you must expect any eventuality.”
Tam-George, in his letter of resignation, which was addressed to Wike, said, “I wish to resign my appointment as Commissioner for Information and Communication with effect from today, 23rd, June, 2017.
“I have handed over officially to the Director of Administration of the Ministry. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the state.”