by Isi Esene
There are indications that the deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State, Nsima Ekere, who tendered his resignation yesterday may not have done so for personal reasons as he would want the public believe.
Reports say Ekere who was in poll position to succeed Governor Godswill Akpabio as governor in 2015 ran into trouble due to his alleged 2015 election ambition.
Sources say 20 members in the 26 member House of Assembly had already signed the article of impeachment against the deputy governor before he realized the time was up.
Ekere reportedly tendered his resignation as a pre-emptive action knowing his impeachment was apparently inevitable. His impeachment was supposed to have been actualized today (Thursday) by the state House of Assembly.
Ekere’s resignation letter partly reads: “Pursuant to Section 306 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I kindly notify you of my resignation from the office of Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State forthwith on personal grounds.
“I want to thank you immensely for the opportunity to serve Akwa Ibom State and wish you and the good people of Akwa Ibom State well in the remaining years of your administration.”
Several government aides claimed ignorance of the deputy governor’s resignation but Ekere’s chief press secretary, Inemesit Ina, confirmed it saying, “The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Nsima Ekere, has resigned from office.”
According to reports, Akpabio had quietly positioned moles in the camps of some of the leading contenders for his job. One of such moles, it was learnt, fed Akpabio on how Ekere planned to assume the governorship in 2015 in a move that reportedly seriously perturbed Governor Akpabio.
Ekere was said to have tried to dig in his heels when he was made aware of the impeachment moves but could only garner the support of six members of the state assembly which apparently spelt doom for his efforts at holding on to his position.
He is the second deputy governor to serve under Governor Akpabio. The first was Patrick Ekpotu who served in the first term between 2007 and 2011.