By Ewa Innocent, Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state has undertaken a major cabinet reshuffle with 25 members retained while 81 were booted out.
The Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, announced this in a joint press briefing held at Old EXCO Chambers, Abakaliki, after the state Executive Council meeting.
The Secretary to the state government, Dr. Ugbala, who explained that the dissolution was in phases, pointed out that the key officers were mostly not affected by the first phase.
Those not affected include the Secretary to the State Government(SSG), Dr.Kenneth Ugbala, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Cletus Ofoke, Commissioner for Finance, Orlando Nweze and Commissioner for Information, Barr. Uchenna Orji.
Others are Commissioner for Security, Border Peace, Stanley Okoro Emegha; SSA Investment, Chioma Nweze; Commissioner for Capital City, Onyekachi Nwebonyi.
Commissioner for Road Infrastructure Concession, Engr. Nweze Kings, and his counterpart in charge of Works, Ogbonnaya Obasi as well as the SSA on Welfare and Religious Matters, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali.
The Special Assistants to the Governor, Office of the Deputy Governor, Capital City, Finance, Parks, Media and Medicals were also to remain in their positions. Also, all Special Assistants to the governor were not affected.
Dr. Ugbala said the dissolution is to enable the government to carry out an appraisal of their performances.
In his words, “Today, in the course of conducting affairs, the Executive Council was just dissolved.
“The council was dissolved to give an opportunity for the government to appraise the input of different Ministries, Departments and Agencies so far, and equally strengthen performance and capacity building in the work of MDAs.
“The dissolution was done in two phases. First phase was dissolved today, while the second phase will be carried out possibly when those who are to go today will come back, so that it will guide the government in taking action in line with the policy programme of the government”.
The Commissioner for Human Capital Development, Mrs. Ann Aligwe said EXCO approved the distribution of relief materials to the victims of the Effium and Ezza communal hostilities following the return of peace in the area.
Mrs Aligwe added that EXCO had also set aside funds for the empowerment of the poor in the war-ravaged community while prospective 3000 beneficiaries of the #EndSARS youth empowerment would soon receive their intervention.
The Head of Service, Dr. Chamberlin Nwele, said EXCO approved the recruitment of 3000 workers into the state civil service, just as it directed the payment of salaries to secondary education board staff cleared by an audit panel set up, while the Internal Auditor of the SPEB was to proceed on suspension for not checking the corrupt practices in the board.
He also announced that EXCO had set up a committee to audit the Universal Basic Education Board(UBEB) as well.
The Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Religious and Welfare Matters, Rev. Father Abraham Nwali said the State Government has acquired six swamps which formed the bases for communal war between Abaomege and Ishinkwo, while the State House of Assembly is to pass a law making the place a buffer zone, adding that Stakeholders of the two Communities have all agreed to lay down their arms and embrace peace.
Rev. Nwali also announced that Government has acquired the disputed land which caused disagreement between Iyionu and Ezzillo in Ishielu LGA and has given the Commissioner for Justice and SSA on Religious and Welfare Matters a go ahead order to gazette the acquired land, while CAN facilitates permanent boundary demarcation.
Chief Cletus Ofoke, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, said there were plans by EXCO to create a bill for a law in the State House of Assembly to check fake news in the State.