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Thursday, April 8, 2021


“Envy is the tax which all distinction must pay” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Substance Udo-nature 

The last time in recent times cartel of blackmailers used the name “Ephraim Inyangeyen” as a sensational headline simply to boost sales and attract cheap attention to their dead and dying newspapers was about two or three months ago. We knew the seeming silence was pregnant with a monster. What was uncertain was the day and manner of delivery.

Therefore, yesterday’s publication in one of the local tabloids in Akwa Ibom State with a screaming and baseless headline can easily be taken for a calculated resumption of media attacks against the Chief of Staff (CoS) to Governor Udom Emmanuel, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang -Eyen. 

Incidentally, or expectedly, it was the same arrowhead medium that championed previous attacks that spearheaded yesterday’s campaign of calumny, with a grammatically corrupt and typically imaginary headline: “Built(sic) Up to 2023: Udom Emmanuel Declares War on Ephraim Inynageyen Over OBA Aspiration”. 

Perhaps, the grammatical blunder on the cover page simply betrayed the characteristic amateurism and suicidal haste to get the paper published with badly applied cosmetics, to possibly capture the gullible!

No matter how tall the record Inyangeyen has perpetuated for himself in service to the State in the last six years may be, it would be unrealistic of him to expect everybody to appreciate his efforts in a State driven by tribal politics; a State stereotyped for fratricide; and a people many have described as “an atomistic society constantly at war with itself”. 

But it would be more unrealistic, and much more so, for anybody to expect or think that the CoS can satisfy all with equal measure so as to win their equal commendations, which might never come. Nor can his diehard critics force everybody to tow their hard lines. 

Inyangeyen had since left the Ministry of Works where routine duties occasionally made it mandatory for him to meet people on daily basis and sometimes pressured by necessity to offer updates on related developmental issues on behalf of the State Government. Now you rarely come across this man!

Concerned observers therefore must be right in their conclusion that this resumption of hostility is no longer a question of what do these people really want from Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen, but ostensibly a matter of how readier they may be or may have re-strategized to cause the worst havoc as 2023 gathers momentum with unpretentious subterranean sensation. 

Findings have shown that more of these should be expected as days progressively unfold and some persons are being incubated and sponsored to throw stunts. Accordingly, whichever news medium is assigned the role of slinging the mud, it may simply be a masquerade dancing to beats by a drummer in the bush.  

In other words, yesterday’s episode may be just one fabricated story in a series of mischievous imaginations carefully designed to be launched in batches – to create suspicion, cause tension, sow distrust, and distract attention of those observed to be united in purpose and focused on their assignments on the Completion Agenda train.


Deeper investigations have also revealed that the common grouse of the blackmailers is inspired by the rain of goodwill Inyangeyen consistently enjoys from his principal; his consistent rebuff of obsolete and innovative tactics by critics, and habitual refusal to be scared by what he is already used to in the media. Principally, the sole aim of the dummy is to cause bad blood in royal quarters in a typical situation of much ado about nothing. 

Otherwise, it sounds foolish that even when Inyangeyen never said anything and is not intending to say anything and has never been contacted by any gadfly to say anything over certain matters, bad press is already quoting him in fictional adventurism. 

There is no doubt that by virtue of his stellar performance in strategic offices he has held since 2015, Inyangeyen has developed his name into a distinct brand that has shot him to the sky. But how and why is that his fault when hard work begets excellence and reward is the golden crown of patriotic stewardship is what many are still contemplating?

Whether by straight or stray bullet, a compromised faction of the local media has tried with serial failures to lure Mr. Inyangeyen into needless arguments. Indeed, what will be the net gain to these assassins were things to be bad with Inyangeyen? 

Interestingly, like William Shakespeare, I can hear Inyangeyen saying; “I am a true labourer; I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man no hate, envy no man’s happiness, glad of other’s good”. That's the spirit of true patriots.

Nonetheless, we know that, like cockroaches with economic importance, some newspapers have their nuisance value: One, they provide income to printers and sellers of printing accessories. Two, they give the publishers opportunity to occasionally be at the newsstand, to be seen though not read beyond the cover to be taken seriously. Three, they are subtle source of noise pollution. 

Ideally, no journalist who values his name writes stories as if he was entertaining children in tales by moonlight.

But gone are the days when Akwa Ibom people used to be too easily deceived or carried away by headlines and front covers of newspapers. Having been victims for years, they now know the real names of publishers behind every newspaper and therefore are very cautious when a certain story hits the stands.

In his swift rebuttal to the misplaced  publication, and truly so, the Chief of Staff had stated: "For the records, I have a very cordial relationship with my Boss, Leader and Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, and it is strange to insinuate that he has declared war on me".

It must nevertheless be observed that, so long as this ingrained envy and hatred last, yet he continues to luxuriate and fructify in public and special goodwill on account of his works, he could only be mistaken to think that the character assassins will ever relent; nor should he carelessly dismiss their infantile antics as dead rubber.

In thick clouds as precarious as the present, common sense detects that Inyangeyen is constantly a closely marked man. 

He therefore must wear circumspection as a suit of armor!

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