Yenagoa—Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has sworn in a new Secretary to State Government, SSG, months after Kombowei Benson who occupied the position resigned to contest the Bayelsa Central senatorial seat on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The position had been vacant since last year.
The Daily Post reports that Governor Diri on Monday, while swearing in Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei as the new SSG, urged him to be steadfast and diligent on the job.
Diri explained that the event was scheduled to hold on February 13 but had to be rescheduled following the sudden passage of his father, Pa Abraham Michael Diri, on February 12.
The governor urged the new SSG to bring the energy and competence that had distinguished him from several equally qualified candidates to bear on the task before him in order to deliver the highest good of governance to the people of the state.
He stressed that his capacity, integrity and team spirit would be tested as he is assuming office during a period of heightened political activities.
According to the governor, the appointment was done with careful consideration of Ekeuwei’s outstanding pedigree and sensitivity to the exigencies of governance at this time.
Diri noted that Ekeuwei’s rich experience―including when he was elected to the old Rivers State House of Assembly and as a one-time secretary to the Bayelsa State Government―eminently qualified him for the job.
He said: “With your vast experience and as a critical member of the administration, you must create a seamless working relationship with the Government House from where most of the policies and programmes will be coming and ensure all Ministries, Departments and Agencies comply to fast-track governance.”
The governor further averred: “The consequence of bad governance does not discriminate along political party lines. That is why I keep insisting that as a government, we will not play politics with development.”
He charged the new SSG to “view your appointment as an opportunity and challenge to contribute to solving the issues of development that our people urgently need.”
Until his appointment, Ekeuwei was the Executive Chairman of the Bayelsa State Physical Planning and Development Board.
Alabo Ekeuwei returned to the office he once occupied during the administration of Chief Timipre Sylva between 2008 and 2011, becoming the first in the history of the state to be sworn in twice as SSG.
The oath of allegiance and oath of office was administered by the Registrar of the State High Court, Mr Amaebi Orukari, inside the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House in Yenagoa.