Two Akwa Ibom Commissioners have resigned their appointments from Governor Udom Emmanuel’s cabinet.
Their resignation was contained in their separate letters dated Monday, March 14, 2022, and addressed to the state governor.
The commissioners are Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Akan Okon and Commissoner of Labour and Manpower Development, Sunny Ibuot.
Okon in his resignation letter described his tenure in the state executive council as an honour and great privilege to serve the state under the leadership of Mr Udom Emmanuel, adding that he was grateful to God Almighty and governor Emmanuel, for giving him the opportunity to serve.
He explained that his decision to quit the state Exco was necessitated by the need to focus on his governorship aspiration to serve the state as the next governor in 2023.
The former Commissioner also thanked the people of the state for their support and encouragement which he noted had motivated him in the discharge of all the tasks and assignments given to him, especially with regards to the envisioned three gateways (Land, Air and Sea) for the rapid development of Akwa Ibom as well as the creation of job opportunities for teeming unemployed youth.
Although Pastor Sunny Ibuot’s letter indicated that his decision was based on personal reasons, it is believed that the resignation is to enable him to serve his constituents in a higher capacity.
The two former Commissioners are reported to have taken the decision in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, as amended as political appointees believed to be interested in elective offices in 2023 will not be able to participate in party primaries expected to begin in May unless they resign due to the new provision.
Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 reads: ‘No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.’
Also, public servants are disqualified from contesting the position of president, vice president, governor, and deputy-governor respectively if the same has not resigned from that position within a period of 180 days before the date of the election.