By Ene Asuquo
Barely four months for his administration to wind down, Cross River State Governor, professor Ben Ayade swore in 13 commissioners including a non indigene, Alhaji Adamu Uba Musa
Following this development, Alhaji Musa becomes the first non-indigene Muslim to be appointed a commissioner in the state.
The Governor also used the occasion to announce a minor cabinet reshuffle in two Ministries which led to Eric Anderson to become the new Commissioner for Information and Orientation.
The new commissioners filled positions made vacant by their former occupants who left either to vie for elective offices or resigned following the governor’s defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The swearing-in ceremony which took place at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Professor Evara Esu, the State Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Akon Ikpeme, First Lady, Dr Linda Ayade among other top government functionaries and guests.
Speaking, Governor Ayade urged the new commissioners to work assiduously to ensure that his administration finished strong.
According to him, ” your coming on board is not by accident; you have been carefully selected based on your integrity and competence to bring your wealth of experiences to bear on our administration.
“I, therefore, charge you to work assiduously to ensure that we finish strong as an administration. Your jobs are all cut out for you, I expect that you make our dear state proud”
Responding on behalf of the new Commissioners, Dr Janet Ekpenyong who replaced APC’s National Woman Leader, Dr Betta Edu, as Commissioner for Health, commended the governor for “finding us worthy to join you in the crystallization of Cross River state, changing and transforming our state for the betterment of all Cross Riverians”
Dr Ekpenyong, who was before her new position, the Director-General of Cross River Primary HealthCare, pledged that she and her colleagues would represent the governor well in their various ministries.
“We will work in line with your vision and plan for Cross River state”, the new Health Commissioner said.
The other newly sworn-in Commissioners and their portfolios are: Mrs Ekwele Agube (Sustainable Development), Prince Sunday Williams Awara( Social Housing), Hon. Wogor Umari( Homeland Security), Dr Hippolytus Lukputa ( Water Resources), Patrick Ebam( Special Duties), Okama Inyang( Infrastructure).
The rest are, Janet Eyo Nsing( Climate Change), Hon. Goddy Eta( Finance), Hon.Arikpo Pius Edet ( Science and Technology), Ntufam Ekpenyong Effiom Iso(Culture and Tourism), Associate Professor Gertrude Njar( Women Affairs), Alhaji Adamu Uba Musa( Inter-Governmental Affairs).
Hon. Eric Anderson, the former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism was named the new Commissioner for Information while Oliver Orok, hitherto Commissioner for Sustainable Development now takes charge of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.