Post Top Ad

Your Ad Spot

Friday, June 26, 2020


Ephraim Inyang-enyen

In April 2020 at the news of the demise of Abba Kyari, the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, who reportedly died from COVID19 complications, the media space buzzed with flowery tributes that coloured the deceased life and times. These tributes exceeded the bounds of his public life to private engagements dating over six decades, with the slender, serene and diligent soft speaking gentleman in the various submissions from people across different sphere of life famed to have cut for himself the image of an elephant. Most notable was that of the President Buhari who described him as a loyal friend, a position that got people praying for a friend as trusted as who the late Kyari was to his friends.

Tale of leaders going hand in gloves with their close allies inundate our space, which interestingly holds nothing against engaging family members, friends and associates in positions they so desire; a departure from the extreme scrutiny such people in developed climes come under. These set of officials in government are usually the imposing character behind the success and failure of such systems, though they seldom acknowledge their contributions to the positive achievements of the man in power, but are usually called out when things get bad and are inexcusably blamed for such systemic mishaps.

In Akwa Ibom State, we are blessed with leaders who made their marks, but not without tales of those that had more supportive allies; a comparison that does not agree with the dynamism of time, political realities and issues that defined the various eras. With no intention of widening the comparison conversation, the bosses should nonetheless find the need to reciprocate the kind gestures of the men behind the wheels, to make the relationship mutually beneficial. In finding a few rare examples of leaders who do not take for granted the people providence has blessed his life's ascendency with, Governor Udom Emmanuel comes through as a case study in loyalty to the people, mandate and friendship.

On the honour role of men who have won Governor Emmanuel's confidence since assumption in 2015 is the ONNA born alumni of University of Ibadan, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang; an imposing figure of a loyal friend who has been roundly tested in good and bad times by even the spirits around the Hilltop mansion. Since his appointment as Commissioner for works, a lot have pointed to the fact that he has gone beyond leveraging on the pecks of office to justifying the confidence of his induction into the power circle. For the duration he has held sway on the works beat, he has sustained the buzzing tempo of his briefs alongside a robust role in coordinating political engagements, a rare feat even for men with reputed grasp of multitasking.

At the epicenter of the administration's infrastructural expansion and consolidation programme, Inyang in the last five years stood tall translating the Udom Emmanuel's vision of opening up the state for socioeconomic leap to reality. In the period, Akwa Ibom State has experienced a commend shift in urban and rural road infrastructure with over 1700 kilometers of road either completed or ongoing, which excludes projects that have aided the solidity of the infrastructural drive that makes the State a cynosure of laudable breakthroughs. From building roads, Akwa Ibom in his era on the Works saddle has redefined economic engagements by prioritizing productivity and economic viability in provision of amenities that serve more than political interest; the last five years has heralded riddance to the culture of abandoning sensitive road networks for alignments that lead nowhere.

Just like myself, there exists a large cache who believe he could have done better; but this thought can sometimes be as speculative as it is subjective, since most who hold this opinion are never privy to what options and choices he has at his disposal, which agrees totally that only the man in the shoe knows where it hurts. In these years, we have witnessed communities call for his head, we have also watched interest groups lead him to the gallows, but ultimately the amazing wonders he has performed are unmistakable and has earned him tremendous accolades from communities, professional bodies and public concerns who find consensus in eulogizing the Midas touch he has brought to bear. The different public opinions about him are valid testaments that he works according to plan; braving the odds to sustain the crescendo of infrastructural leap the state has made.

From dawn to dusk, it goes beyond gratification that this is one public servant whose poise at getting the work done meets the mark that accepts him into the stewardship hall of fame. In and out of season the Akwa Ibom Works Boss would rather witness first hand why a contractor could not deliver and find ways of saving the day than stick to his arm chairs to be briefed. His visibility at project sites may not quite go down well in some quarters, but has saved the state the fatalities of poor delivery, over estimated jobs and attendant embarrassments. Make no mistake about the energy he bring to work, they are never negatively aligned, his brief is no turf for serene and gentleman engagement. He undoubtedly requires all of the firmness he typifies to get certain things done when it matters most. Like him or think otherwise, he exemplifies just the appropriate kind of energy every man who has the Governor's ear should express.

In the concept of delivery; time and quality stands out as irreplaceable variables, conferring the capacity of timely delivery on Ephraim Inyang is an unmistakable consideration. The recently inaugurated 300 bed isolation center in the state signposts him as both diligent and pointed in mandate delivery. The streams of accolades the Akwa Ibom State Government has received from this intervention and its timely completion is definitive of the State's exemplary role on the African continent, when prioritizing healthcare and the peoples' welfare is the topic on discourse. With the World Health Organization Representatives, the Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control; Dr. Chikwe Ihehweazu and several other credible organizations of global repute believing that the State has truly challenged the nation in the making of such excellent facility, the narratives of the acclaim cannot be complete without a mention of the works Boss.

A super brand in mobilizing human and material resources, Inyang's devotion to Governor Udom Emmanuel's re-election saw him traverse virtually every community in the state mobilizing support for the Completion Agenda deal, a seamlessly fitting role that passes him as a deserving "Man Friday" to the Governor. In rooting support for the State Chief Executive in the course of the 2019 elections, one is reminded that the discipline he gleaned from his over two decades stint with the Nigerian Customs Service came handy as he ensured no detail was ignored while he kept his head high amid the raging turbulence. His firm grasp at getting things clinically sorted on the political turf lays credence to the experience he garnered in the build up to 2015 elections where he flagged a group that arguably passes for one of the largest campaign and support organizations; the Transformation Initiative for the Empowerment of Ibom People.

As the burden of succession builds and battle for the Hilltop Mansion gets heated, the need to have a master strategist around Governor Udom Emmanuel needs no emphasis, as it is important to have an intelligent and resourceful confidante of the number one man close enough. In settling for Ephraim Inyang as the Governor's Chief of Staff, it is unequivocal that having earned this level of confidence, there was need to take him into the innermost recesses of government business. Interestingly, this choice is a bill that sits perfectly as he would undoubtedly redouble his thinking and organizational cap in getting things effectively delivered to hand the completion agenda both an impressive flight and a safe landing.

Disengaging from the role that saw him move round every part of the state on a daily basis, to one that would see him sit-in to direct and monitor compliance and execution of government policies and programmes may require a lot of mental adjustment for him, which could suggest either a chaotic start or some slow adaptation. This notwithstanding, switching roles would not be such a daunting task for the mercurial Ephraim Inyang who has proven right the assertion that "the reward of hard work is more work". Will you not rather wish him well and pray God to bless your life with a friend as loyal and trusted as Ephraim Inyang?

For the friendship he shares with Governor Udom Emmanuel, a new day has come; cheers to a rewarding and ceaseless commitment to a friendship that is birthing greater possibilities.

Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro in Abak Local Government Area.

1 comment:

Post Top Ad

Your Ad Spot