[From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia]
After operating for almost eight months with a lean cabinet, Abia Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, early Sunday morning named 27 new Commissioner-nominees.
The names of the Commissioner-nominees, comprising nine former commissioners and three former Council Chairmen, were contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Chris Ezem.
Ikpeazu had early this year, on January 23, dissolved his cabinet but retained three of the Commissioners, namely, the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Barr. Uche Ihediwa and Commissioner for Health, Dr, Joe Osuji.
Later, the Governor quietly recalled the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Aham Uko and Commissioner for Works, Elder Bob Ogu.
Ikpeazu’s running of the state with lean cabinet had sparked controversy and intense debate as the opposition All Progressives Congress faulted and urged him to appoint a full-fledged cabinet.
Naming of the Commissioner-nominees, brings to the climax, recent streak of appointments by the Governor, who on Friday, September 10, 2021, announced names of members of the reconstituted Boards of the Civil Service Commission, Local Government Service Commission and Governing Council of College of Health Sciences and Management Technology, Aba.
Former Commissioners who have served at various times but would be returning to the Abia Cabinet are:
Mazi Donatus Okorie who has served as a Commissioner and Secretary to the State Government in the administration of Chief Theodore Orji; Professor Ikechi Mgbeoji who has formerly served as a Commissioner in the Ministries of Education and Agriculture under the Ikpeazu administration; Chief Mrs Uwaoma Olewengwa, the immediate past Commissioner for Industry; and Prince Christopher O.Enweremadu, a former Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly and who has also served as Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs under the Ikpeazu administration; Chief Kingsley Imaga, a former Commissioner for Transport; Barr Tony Nwanmuo, immediate past Commissioner for Environment who replaced his late predecessor, Dr. Solomon Ogunji; Barr Eze Chikamnayo who has served as Commissioner for Information for about three times in the state and until now, Special Adviser to Ikpeazu; Chief Ukwu Rocks Emma who has also served severally as a Commissioner, including that of Ministry of Agriculture and Chief Godswill Nwanoruo, immediate past Commissioner for Transport.
Former local government chairmen who are joining the cabinet for the first are Barr Charles Esonu, Aba North; Chief Eze Nwanganga, Ugwunagbo and Chief Okezie Erondu, Aba South.
Other new comers include Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, a media guru who has served as Chief Press Secretary and Special Adviser, Media, to the Governor; 45 years old Nigerian ex-international Footballer, Karibe Ojigwe, who was a member of the victorious member of the Nigeria’s football team that won the 1993 FIFA Under 17 football trophy; Hon Monday Ajaegbu, a former House of Assembly member representing Isuikwuato local government area; and Ndom Godwin.
The rest of the new kids on the block are Chief Chinagorom Nwankpa, a PDP stalwart; Mr Sopuruchi Bekee, Deaconess NnaRose Urenta; Chidiebere Uwagwu Kalu; Barr I.C. Mark; Chief Chisom Nwachukwu; Barr Sam Nwogu, immediate past Board Chairman of Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission ; Dr Chidi Onwuchuruba; Mrs Adaku Oseiza, Prince Obinna Okey, and Barr C.C. Emelogu.
The statement by the SSG said that Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, has approved the above listed persons as Commissioner-nominees.
It added that “the Governor has forwarded the names of the Commissioner-Nominees to the Abia State House of Assembly for Screening.”
In a similar vein, Ikpeazu has approved the appointment of members of the reconstituted State Civil Service Commission, Local Government Service Commission and Governing Board of the College of Health Sciences and Technology, Aba.
The five-member Civil Service Commission has Dr. Mrs.Elizabeth Esochaghi as Chairman, while Emmanuel Okwuobasi, Kanu, Hon. Prince Onuoha, Barr. Eze Ndukauba, Mrs. Joyce Adiele would serve as members.
Also, the reconstituted seven-member Abia State Local Government Service Commission has Mr. Victor Azumara as Chairman, with Mr. Ben Nwogu, Hon. Ako Atuloma, Engr. Rita Okengwu , Barr. Mrs. Priscilla Umeham, Sir Eugene Dike and Mr. Chukwuemeka Mba, serving as members.
In the reconstituted Governing Council and Management of the College of Health Sciences and Management Technology, Aba, a former Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Eme Okoro would serve as the Chairman.
The members are Chief Okechukwu Nweje, Charles Osondu, Pastor (Dr.) Rowland Chima Nwosu, HRM Eze OJ Anaba, Barr. Randy Ukawoke, and Mrs Felicia Ugboaja;.
The Governor also appointed two new Management Staff, Mr Obigwe Ndukwe, as the Deputy Rector and Mr Kingsley Nwaubani as the Bursar, whose appointments take immediate effect.
Statements by the SSG said dates for the inauguration of the new board and Council members would announced in due course.