By Akan OKON
Though the alleged frosty relationship existing between the Akwa Ibom State Deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo, and Governor Udom Emmanuel may not have reached its crescendo, it is believed that it has the tendency of plunging into uneasy tension especially amongst their personal aides and members of the state Executive Council.
Government House source hinted that the Deputy Governor, popularly called ‘Uncle Mo,’ is not only being used in Udom’s government as a spare tyre but as an unused spare tyre, explaining that “apart from the statutory responsibilities of a Deputy Governor as enshrined in the Constitution, Moses Ekpo does not perform any other function apart from representing the Governor in functions that does not demand an immediate action like burial and marriage ceremonies, inauguration of halls amongst others.
The source elaborated that the administration of Udom Emmanuel has marginalized the office of the Deputy Governor thereby rendering it with sufficient redundancy, emphasizing that “if people allege that the former Governor of the State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, had marginalized his former Deputies Patrick Ekpotu and Valarie Ebe, that it was work in progress as the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has completely made the office of the Deputy Governor a franchise for disenchantment.”
“Why will the Governor choose to subject Moses Ekpo’s office to an institution of less activity. I have seen governments, I have read governments. From the military till now, I have never seen a marginalized Deputy like Moses Ekpo. This man is an officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a Diplomat, career civil servant who believes completely in loyalty. Neither the deeds or body language of Moses Ekpo is indicative of an intention to contest or sponsor any candidate to an election whether now nor in the nearest future and that for the State Governor to marginalize his deputy is to say the least ungodly.”
According to senior aide to the Deputy Governor, “some spoils of government and crucial decisions taken have completely been hidden from the Deputy Governor, even when the law encourages the Deputy Governor to at least have an idea on the Governor’s trip, that such is not the case in the Udom Emmanuel/Moses Ekpo relationship.”
“My brother that man, Uncle Mo, the Deputy Governor, my boss is frustrated and he is only remaining on that seat so that it does not appear as if there is problem in the State Exco otherwise, he would have resigned since. He is supposed to be a confidant of the Governor, but in this case, Moses Ekpo is a marginalized Deputy. Some commissioners in this state are very much so powerful than him, but what can he do? Well, he will remain till the end of the first term.”
“On the recent composition of the Transition Committee for Local Government Councils that the exercise opened up the flood gates of Ekpo’s marginalization. The Deputy Governor and his men are not happy with the way things are being arranged in the system and we appeal to the Governor Emmanuel to retrace his steps and ensure that his deputy is carried is recognized accordingly.”
All efforts to speak with Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Ekerette Udoh and the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah proved abortive