The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, on Monday swore in Gideon Ekeuwei as the new Secretary to the State Government, nine months after the office became vacant.
The Registrar of the State High Court, Amaebi Orukari, administered the oath of allegiance and oath of office on Ekeuwei in Government House, Yenagoa.
The Diri administration had been operating without an SSG since the previous occupant, Konbowei Benson, resigned to contest the Bayelsa Central senatorial ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, which he won, in May 2022.
By his swearing in, Ekeuwei has returned to the office he once occupied during the Timi Sylva administration between 2008 and 2011, becoming the first in the history of the state to be sworn in twice as SSG.
Diri, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, urged Ekeuwei to be steadfast and diligent on the job.
He explained that the event was scheduled to hold on February 13 but had to be rescheduled following the sudden passing of his father, Pa Abraham 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 people of the state.
He stressed that his capacity, integrity and team spirit would be tested as he was assuming office at a period of heightened political activities.
According to him, 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 his extended stellar experience, including but not limited to being 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.”
Diri averred that in the last three years, his administration had worked hard to justify the confidence of Bayelsans to deliver inclusive prosperity to all, without consideration to political or personal interests and charged him to emulate the tradition.
“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.
“You must therefore 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.