What has been like a long wait by the public for the the appointment of the remaining members of the State Executive Council may still linger on.
This is because Governor Nyesom Wike, contrary to expectations that he would bring the rest of his commissioners on board, has chosen to ask the Rivers State House of Assembly to screen special advisers.
Wike was expected, according to sources which spoke to the Telegraph, to appoint his nominees at the end of last month. Recall that the Port Harcourt Telegraph newspaper had duly published a report of the impending action, quoting authoritative sources and close allies of the governor who chose to speak under conditions of anonymity.
Irked by the leak, the Governor some insiders reveal, rather decided to forward a list of special advisers for screening at the end of last month instead of the list of commissioners in what may be a bid to discredit the newspaper report.
After 100 days in office, the governor is yet to effectively set up his administration, a situation which has left close associates and other Rivers people wondering over what his motives might be.
The State Executive Council is supposed to be a major factor when it comes to decisions on policy matters, but the Rivers governor has with the help of a handful of commissioners who do not constitute up to two-thirds of the council hijacked the function of the body that is critical to the approval of government policies and programmes.
Our sources still confirm Governor Wike had penciled down the names of brand new commissioners who were to be appointed alongside a few returning members of the cabinet. It had taken weeks for the governor to put the list together, the sources say.
But they say it is difficult to understand how some of them who were expected to serve as commissioners suddenly found themselves on the list of special advisers and special assistants.
It is not clear if Governor Wike wants to govern the State using advisers and special assistants instead of commissioners. Up till now, there is still no word from Government House on when the government would fill vacant spaces in the Executive Council.
Long after the celebration of his 100 days in office, the representatives of the Rivers people who sit in parliament in the State and the national level are yet to pressure the Governor to fulfill an obligation in terms of the appointment of the next cabinet.
Thus far, Wike has named the Secretary to the State Government, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and the Commissioner of Finance. These are the ones, going by Wike’s antics, who would act in name of the State Executive Council, especially on matters relating to the approval of government actions as required by law.
It is doubtful that Wike would allow inputs from top members of his own party, given what might look like a game of wits that is currently unfolding as fierce succession fight gets into top gear.
The thinking is that the Governor might be planning to emansculate conteding forces who may stand between him and the decision that must be made when the time comes to pick a successor.
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