Opinion: Sim’s Appointments: Perfect Blend Of Old And New For A Consolidation Team
Following his assumption of office as the sixth democratically elected Governor of Rivers State since its creation in 1967, and fourth civilian Governor since the split of the state in 1996, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has reappointed some of the brightest minds in the cabinet of the immediate past Governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike.
The reappointment is designed to address the core essence of his government: Continuity and Consolidation through pragmatic policies and programmes in line with the NEW Rivers Vision.
They include, the legal luminary, Prof Zaccheaus Adangor, SAN, who manned the Justice Ministry under Governor Nyesom Wike, and one retains his portfolio; and Dr. Dakorinama Alabo George-Kelly, known to be among the finest of quantity surveyors in the federation, who remains as commissioner for works. He also reappointed Hon Isaac Kamalu, a former member of the state House of Assembly, to the same finance, budget and economic planning portfolio as commissioner; and a renowned academic and scholar of international repute, Prof Chinedu Mmom, who he retained as education commissioner.
Others retained include, a former Student Union leader, youth leader, elected Emohua Local Government Chairman, and Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Engr Emeka Woke; former women and child rights activist, leader of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), legal icon of inestimable background and track records, and commissioner for social welfare, with years of experience working with Covernments, Barrister Inime Aguma; and a football administrator of repute with local and international experiences, Barrister Christopher Green, whose technical skills and administrative prowess propelled the state-owned Rivers United to win many laurels, including the much-coveted Nigeria Premier League title for the first time since the club’s formation.
Similarly, the Governor approved the reappointment of Dr Tammy Danagogo as Secretary to the State Government (SSG). He brings his wealth of experience as former Student Union leader, brilliant academic scholar, youth leader, elected Akuku-Toru Local Government chairman, commissioner for chieftaincy and community affairs, as well as commissioner for urban development. He also served as senior Minister of Sports, and chairman of the National Sports Commission, leading a revolutionary growth in the sports industry in Nigeria. All these will count for him in the management of the trappings of his office as the administrator of the affairs and activities of the state government.
To Governor Fubara, what is important is the capacity to perform and the commitment to deliver assigned responsibility, which is why other new faces were also introduced into the cabinet to complement the experiences of other reappointed commissioners.
The new appointees include: Dr Kenneth Chisom Gbali, with no doubt, impeccable academic and professional track record, knowledge and experience; Dr Henry Ogiri, a former executive director, finance and administration at the interventionist agency – Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), who brings his vast experience and network of contacts to bear in his portfolio; Dr Roseline Adawari Uranta, a retired civil servant, scholar, and experienced technocrat with wide experience in public administration; and Dr Adaeze Chidinma Oreh, a renowned public health specialist, with excellent local and international experiences, unquestionable depth of technical knowledge, and solid reach across many fields and backgrounds.
Another new appointee is the Chief of Staff, Hon Chidi Amadi. He brings his vast experience as former House of Assembly member to the job. He has also served in many leadership capacities in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, where he rose to become the party chairman, until he was tapped by Fubara to serve the state as the arrowhead of the administration of the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Fubara also appointed a new Head of Service, Dr George Nwaeke, based on merit as the most senior civil servant in the state. Nwaeke comes to the job with unparallelled experience and administrative knowledge, having worked in the public sector as a teacher/lecturer, before joining the mainstream civil service, where he rose from the ranks to become the Number One Civil Servant in the state, after many years of hard work, dedication and commitment to service of the government and people of the state.
During the swearing in of the commissioners, Fubara empathetically explained that he reappointed some of the old commissioners from the cabinet of his predecessor, Nyesom Wike to consolidate on the gains of the previous administration and ensure continuity.
He further stated that engaging officials who served in the previous administration aligns with the mantra of continuity and consolidation.
It is a known truth that experience enhances performance. Thus, whether in governance or cooperate leadership, people are appointed or preferred on the basis of competence, capacity and most importantly experience.
This, no doubt, informed the decision of the Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani, who also retained the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Malam Balarabe Abbas Lawal, and other senior members of the Nasir el-Rufai administration to provide a link between the two administrations.
This action is further replicated in many states across the federation. Take Akwa Ibom State, for instance. The state Governor, Umo Bassey Eno, reappointed Mr. Ekerete Udo, the Chief Press Secretary of his predecessor, Udom Emmanuel.
He also reassured that he would appoint both the old and new faces into his cabinet based on experience and proven integrity, needed to translate the vision of his government in the best interest of the state.
While it is understandable that in a multi-party state, people will seek means to discredit any action of government that they aren’t directly part of, it is, however, unfortunate that the evaporating mass of the opposition supporters who have turned themselves to cynical observers of the current administration keep spinning negative narratives to distract the government.
What is important to Fubara, is to deliver on his campaign promises, and with the few proactive steps he has taken thus far, he has shown tremendous passion in achieving this.
READ: Siminialayi Fubara, The Man Who Wants Governor Wike’s Job
In just under a month in office, the governor has traversed the length and breadth of the state inspecting ongoing projects and giving Rivers people reassurance of his administration’s resolve to deliver quality governance for a better and prosperous Rivers State.
For the Rivers State governor, a mix of old experienced hands and capable new eggheads represents a perfect blend for a consolidation team.
It is, therefore, imperative for all well meaning citizens of the state to join hands with his administration to advance the fortune of the state for the overall good and benefit of all.
– Ibisaki Willie-Wills, a journalist and public affairs analyst, writes from Port Harcourt.