The list of commissioners, special advisers and other key aides as well as their portfolios was handed over to the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, by his predecessor, Nyesom Wike.
A close aide of the governor, who disclosed this exclusively to Saturday PUNCH, said Fubara had no input into the appointments as his predecessor was solely responsible for their selection and appointment.
The source said the resignation of some of the commissioners was a confirmation that they were not the governor’s choices, but were rather imposed by Wike, who installed Fubara as his successor.
The aide stated, “Yes, the resignation of the commissioners has shown that they were not appointed by the governor. They were never his nominees. The list of the commissioners and advisers was handed over to the governor by the former governor with instructions on portfolios and offices to occupy. Even security agents were handed over to the governor with clear instructions on where to post them.
“Is there a way the governor can appoint commissioners, advisers and others and they will be resigning this way? It is not possible. Don’t forget that we are just about seven months in office. Commissioners appointed by the governor won’t leave.”
Responding to the claim by the FCT minister that the governor and all elected officials in Rivers State did not buy nomination forms from their pockets, the source said, “Yes, the former governor was correct to say he bought the forms for everyone. But pray, with which money? You know the salary of a governor and you know the cost of nomination and expression of interest forms for the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Let those who want to go leave and the governor will assemble members of his team, and not moles planted to spy on the administration.”
More commissioners resign
The gale of resignation from the Rivers State Executive Council continued on Friday with three more commissioners joining the fray.
They are the commissioners for Transport, Dr Jacobson Nbina; Housing, Dr Gift Worlu; and Environment, Austen Ben-Chioma.
Their resignations were contained in separate letters cited by one of our correspondents and addressed to the governor through the Secretary to the State Government.
Both Nbina and Austen-Ben Chioma were also commissioners under Wike.
This brings to nine the commissioners who have so far resigned their appointments.
Nbina, who confirmed his resignation to Saturday PUNCH on Friday via the telephone said, “Yes, I resigned yesterday (Thursday).”
Asked the reason for his action, he stated, “The reason is personal to me and my family commitments. I don’t have any issue with the governor. It is very personal.”
There were reports that their action was preparing the ground for them to officially defect to the APC, though this had yet to be confirmed.
Earlier, Prof Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN (Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice); Dr Des George-Kelly ((Works); Emeka Woke (Special Duties); Mrs Inime Aguma (Social Welfare and Rehabilitation); Isaac Kamalu (Finance); and Prof Chinedu Mmom (Education), had resigned from Fubara’s cabinet
Mmom, Adangor, Aguma, George-Kelly, Nbina and Kamalu all served as commissioners under the immediate past administration of Wike and before being reappointed by Fubara.
On his part, Emeka Woke, who also resigned from Fubara’s cabinet as special duties commissioner, was Wike’s chief of staff for eight years.
Speaking to our correspondent on Wednesday, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC in Rivers State, Chief Tony Okocha, said a formal launch of the new APC in the state was scheduled for this weekend, adding, “You will see the tsunami that will happen that day.”