Less than 24 hours after Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke suspended from office, 20 members of his Executive Council, sources within government circles have informed calitown.com that “should everything work according to plan, a vast majority of the suspended 20, may have kissed their jobs goodbye”.
One source, on condition of anonymity said “these people just played into His Excellency’s hand. You can imagine their lethargic disposition to state functions”. Most of them, he continued “do not even understand that the governor has been under immense pressure to drop them from the Exco, but he has not bowed to that pressure for the simple reason that he is his own man”.
Perhaps too, the level of politicking that most of them have all too soon engaged in, was a remote factor in their suspension as another source said. “Most of them have been pursuing political ambitions beyond and above the environment of their principal; it is not a bad idea, but when that takes a considerable amount of time that should have been spent discharging government functions that they are paid for, it is unacceptable”. In directing that the suspensions be effected without pay, another source believes “Imoke has to cut the funds some of these people have been using to launch themselves behind his back”.
Calitown.com was also pointed to an angle to the suspension that most political watchers are still analysing. Of the suspended 20, only four or so, can be considered the governor’s ‘men’. Even at that, this little number is expendable and if the governor decides to shut the door on them, their exit will only cause repairable cracks in his political wall.
In several affected ministries and parastatals this morning, staff can be seen in groups discussing this issue. One staff wondered why His Excellency did not issue the suspended 20 queries and was quickly informed by another that “these people are not civil servants and the governor who picked them in the first instance can also drop them at his own instance”.
Recall too that at this time last year, loyalty to the governor from members of the cabinet was at its lowest ebb due to the prolonged absence of the governor on health grounds. It was a period that showed clearly where loyalty, for most of them lay, as a good number showed from their body language that they were convinced the governor will not take the reins of office again.
It remains to be seen what chain of events will unfold in the days ahead.
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