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Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Ephraim Inyang

“The one who works diligently while utilizing his God-given core gifts to the hilt is already assured of success in its entirety” ~ Leondro E. Pasamba

By Substance Udo-nature

No doubts, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s decades’ sojourn and stint on the echelon of the financial domain, where targets and performance are intrinsic correlates of individual and corporate productivity, must adequately have exposed him to the dynamics of hiring and utilizing human capacities. By 2015 when he occupied the Hilltop Mansion, the Akwa Ibom Government House, it was obvious he came with these basic credentials. 

As a whetstone in the management of human aptitudes and attitudes, the governor’s acumen and distinctive choices of whom to work with and how to maximize individual potentials in meeting targets, can be respected as a masterstroke. As time and events must have proven in the past five years, perhaps Governor Emmanuel can now more expressively be justified in continually describing himself as a professional in politics, not a professional politician.

His recent elevation of one of his dependable allies and inexorable lieutenants, Akparawa Ephraim InyangEyen, as his maiden Chief of Staff (CoS) may have impressed on analytical minds how strategic this office must be that the governor was never in a hurry to appoint anybody in the last five years, against all manner of pressures and insinuations from the media. Without questioning this discretion which must be seen as a facet of his leadership idiosyncrasy, it must however be stated with the protection of history that this is the first time since 2015 that the Chief of Staff has been officially announced. 

That no other person but Inyangeyen was made the pioneer beneficiary of this lofty office perhaps made the news sweeter and swifter. This fresh appointment or tactical redeployment has impressed and intrigued many.

That probably explains why the Akwa Ibom media arena since then has been flooded with plaudits, rapturous thanksgivings and buffeting waves of congratulatory messages, besides the thousands who have tracked the Onna-born patriot to his house and office for dramatic embraces and invocative prayers of solidarity – fake or genuine.   

This contagious euphoria is largely because Inyangeyen, the cynosure of the ovation is, by the fairest assessment, an enigmatic personality, a refined gentleman, a loyal and competent steward, a man of the people and of momentum, a utility team-player, a celebrated technocrat, a stellar performer and therefore an apple of the King’s eye, with inborn and acquired capacity to deliver on schedule wherever he is sent.

Inyangeyen did not join the Akwa Ibom government as a job-seeker or as a political liability cap in hand. With inerasable footprints in para-military encyclopaedia and a respectable business tycoon and entrepreneur extraordinaire. Akparawa Inyangeyen was first called up for duty by Governor Udom Emmanuel as Commissioner of Works in 2015.

Before long, and as expected, his commitment and versatility brought a total turnaround in work mentality of staff and banished to the nearest forest the scourge of bureaucratic redtapism from the Ministry. These and other factors sooner made him the Commissioners’ Commissioner in the Ministry of Ministries, with signatures of performance that can neither be faulted nor forged.

In our culture, except when it involves persons from our families or circle of friends, every appointment always comes with questions; questions we ask harmlessly to find harmless answers and those asked injuriously to pick holes or rubbish the appointer or the appointee whom we may hate to love.

Expectedly, if you pluck your ears to the ground, there has been enthusiastic indulgence in needless questions, guesstimates and prognoses especially in political circles amongst those bent on questioning the governor’s motive in Inyangeyen’s appointment. Rather than be concerned about the essence and value the CoS will add to governance and expectations of Akwa Ibom people, some are pitiably worried about which is comparatively greater and better between Works and Office of the CoS.

However, against all manner of feelings, because he has adequately proven himself in all ramifications, no one can be bold enough to argue against Inyangeyen’s qualification and suitability for the new assignment. Governor Emmanuel must have adjudged him the most qualified amongst the qualified.

Upon the great feats he has recorded, Inyengeyen’s story since assumption of duty at the Ministry of Works has not been without challenges. One is that he has been a common but indomitable victim of envy, mischief and conspiracy perpetrated by a syndication of insatiable political stakeholders and media hirelings, including those he once trusted and those he never will in years to come. He has been blackmailed, verbally attacked and maligned by those he knows and those he does not on account of his fair and fearless attitude to work and dedication to principles. Most of these ones may even be part of the celebrations on his new appointment which, to them, is a defeat of their plots and expectations.

Even at that, on the strength of his benevolent humanity, Inyangeyen arguably owns the largest nuclear family of adopted sons and daughters across the length and breadth of Akwa Ibom State. To these ones, his latest appointment is an ironic mixture of joy and sadness on weighing the possible loss of opportunities against prospects of the new office. We sympathize with such ones who find it hard to believe that change is a constant in life and doors of opportunities sometimes must be closed for other doors to open for fresh experiences.

By and large, when and if the present veil of “Supervising Commissioner of Works” would subsequently have been removed and Inyangeyen eventually leaves the Ministry of Works with finality, strong memories will linger; many shall miss him; but he will never be forgotten because of lives he has touched and his intricate bridge of human connections. But whoever will be blessed to succeed him in this ministry shall have tall mountains to climb!

A peep into the memoirs of Inyangeyen’s life so far has shown that he is naturally a beneficiary of meritocracy. He is not an opportunist. He is one man who cannot be engaged by any political leader merely to fill a gap on the queue of needs or be offered as a consolation prize to assuage feelings or gratify sectional agitations. He can always be seen as a critical player in the dignified assembly of decision-makers and drivers of lofty goals for collective gains. 

Whereas he cannot claim monopoly of competence for his new office, it can nonetheless be said without fear of any contradiction that Ephraim Inyangeyen’s appointment by Governor Emmanuel was based on confidence in character, capacity, and cumulative service record that have added immense value and solidified the present administration. As such, his appointment apparently has more to do with the Completion Agenda of His Excellency than with politics. That is if we can successfully separate this Siamese twin.

On winning the Ballon d’Or for a record fifth time, the highest individual crown in the football world, the Portuguese football legend, Christiano Ronaldo, CR7, was quoted to have said: “I don’t look for opportunities. Opportunities always look for me”. The maiden Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel, AKPARAWA EPHRAIM INYENGEYEN, can as well say the same! 

Sir, we in your media team pray in unison that Heaven continues to supply you with the grace to keep breaking and setting new records wherever duty calls! We have no reservations or fears that you will always excel.


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