The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Dr. Godswill Akpabio, has today Wednesday 31, July 2013 sworn-in the new
Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
The governor urged the people of the state to accept changes for the growth and
transformation of the state.
He thanked the immediate past SSG, Mr. Umana Umana for his unwavering support and meritorious
service to the state.
He said, “We must accept changes now and then in the growth towards total transformation. So,
today as we witness the oath taking for office of the Secretary to the
Government of Akwa Ibom State, we must remember that change is a part of life
to sustain the momentum of what we are doing.
“As we swear-in Emmanuel today as the SSG, we must thank the immediate past SSG, Mr.
Umana Okon Umana for his meritorious service to our dear state in this particular
“Umana Umana goes down in history since 1960 the longest serving permanent secretary in this part
of the world. The government and the good people of Akwa Ibom State acknowledge
his gratitude, his dedication to service throughout the period he served the
state at different stations.
“So we thank Mr. Umana for his services and we want to wish him well for his future
The governor told Emmanuel that the office of the SSG requires sacrifices. He said the new
SSG must sacrifice his time, sleep, and comfort for the benefit of the people
of the state.
Akpabio warned Emmanuel against ethnicity, adding that the office of the SSG is
“The office of the governor requires sacrifices, you have to sacrifice your sleep so that
the good people of this state can sleep in comfort; it is also an office that
is different from the one that you knew; it is an office that is full of blackmail;
character assassination; an office that people come with confusion from their
pocket – they come with request from their mouths and drop the request on your
“It is an office which has no local government area. Once you are appointed as an SSG, it
has no local government area; that is why since this function started, we
carefully avoided people saying Emmanuel is from Onna Local Government Area of
Eket Senatorial District. It is not important.
“We also avoided the idea that Emmanuel is from Ibibio: the office has no ethnic
colouration. It is an office which must serve every Akwa Ibom child without
bias and prejudice. It is an office which must reflect the character and
context of the dream of this administration,” he stated.
The governor stated that his administration would continue to integrate people from
different backgrounds who are of the state’s origin to serve their fatherland
in various capacities.
He explained that Emmanuel’s appointment is an indication that the state is poised at
integrating the best of the best in Diaspora into the system so long as they
have Akwa Ibom blood in their veins.
“Your elevation also is an indication that we must integrate the best of the best in
Diaspora, without they are in Ibadan or Lagos. So long as they have the blood
of Akwa Ibom when the time comes we have the right to call on you to come and
help us and save your fatherland.
“You must imbibe our agenda and run with it instantly. There is no time to make mistakes
and learn from it. We are in injury time and we can’t avoid to a make mistake. So
you must get everything right from the onset,” he said.
Umana had been SSG since 2007 until Emmanuel’s appointment today Wednesday.
Until Udom Emmanuel’s appointment as the new SSG to the Akwa Ibom State Government, he was the Executive Director
of the Board of Zenith Bank Plc from December 2006. He also doubled as a non-Executive Director Africa Finance
corporation (AFC) from 2008 to date Director Inter-bank Settlement Systems (NIBBS) from 2009; Non-Executive Director, Zenith Bank, United Kingdom; Zenith Bank -Gambia; Zenith Bank – Sierra Leone; Zenith Insurance; Zenith Pensions and custodian; Zenith Securities; Zenith Trustees and Zenith Registrars.