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Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Efficiency is doing better what is already being done” – Peter Drucker, Management Consultant

By Substance Udo-Nature

The responsibilities of a Chief of Staff to the Governor (CoS) can be both specific and general. It can be specific in statutory terms of preference; general in response to exigencies. That’s why a typical CoS must be an all-rounder whose dynamism can always be called upon without any doubts.

That is another way of saying that the Chief of Staff plays a wide range of roles. He is that super-ordinate steward who works behind the curtain in ensuring that the governor’s plans, schedules, processes and procedures of administrative operations move smoothly with little or no pressure on the governor or official protocol. 

Basically, the Chief of Staff serves as a confidante and advisor to the governor; serving both as his front desk manager, in-house organizer, contributor to and reviewer of engagements, constructive critic, secret agent, interpreter and projector of policies.


The CoS oversees members of the Executive Council and serves as the Governor’s liaison officer to the entire executive arms; prepares the governor’s daily schedule; organizes meetings; arbitrates over issues, and monitors information flow and regulates visitors’ access.

Where and when it were within his powers, the CoS tackles problems with a long stick before they attract the attention of the governor, if it was even necessary that they get to him. He therefore serves as a buffer, managing and soaking tensions while ensuring that the right waves and currents are distributed to coordinating units to avoid startling sparks or total blackout in government operations.     

The Chief of Staff is the Chief Operating Officer (CEO), office manager, chief strategist, policy advisor and enforcer, a broker, gatekeeper, head-hunter, and crisis manager to the governor. He plays the same roles expected of a utility player in a football team. 

These are exactly what Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen does as Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel, in specific and general terms. 

He was officially unveiled on Friday, June 19, 2020 as a pioneer in that capacity to the governor, an icing on his cake of stellar performance as immediate past Commissioner of Works. 

Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen rode on a white horse to the present office. His appointment brought to mind Amit Kalantri"s advisory: "Be a worthy worker and work will com”.

Prior to this enviable elevation, blackmailers had done all within their powers to paint him black, to possibly have him black-listed by a governor who has refused to listen to slanderous gossip of the envious and unappreciative.

The complexity and huge demands of the office of the Chief of Staff demand a capable and reticent man who has the time, sagacity, scruples, patriotism to the boss and the State, and who permanently earns the governor’s trust and confidence in service delivery.   

The CoS is not a dullard. It is not an office for a mediocre and opportunist. It is not an office for a flippant fellow whom the governor struggles to trust in small and big matters. The governor does not send Inyamgeyen on an errand and follows up. He always trusts his capacity to deliver.

The office is not for the inexperienced who is likely to raise alarms over trivial and inconsequential matters that mere discretion that handle.  

The Chief of Staff sees government inside out. He creates conditions that boost and maintain the governor’s high productivity, robust diplomacy with people, and a focussed policy agenda. He is therefore Mr. Fix it; a pragmatist, catalyst and ingenious and circumspect evaluator of times and conditions. 

This is an office for a person who is always at the top of his gear; otherwise he frustrates the governor’s personal schedules, creates undue space for missiles from critics and possibly knocks down the machinery of government.

 Historically, some governors are said to have committed costly follies by their arrogance or failure to listen to their trusted CoS or by their wrong choice of who performs this critical role.  

You would not be exaggerating to say that the Chief of Staff is the most senior political appointee in the Government House as he has the power to grant or stop you from the Chief Executive. At this level, he holds what in the United States of America is called Yankee White clearance. 

It must be observed that the functions and structure of this office varies from State to State or from governor to governor. These are usually influenced by peculiar factors that may be traceable to the Constitution, State Laws and related preferences and protocols. 

Yet, I’ve had cause to suspect that, with a workaholic like Ephraim Inyangeyen serving as CoS,   if the Deputy Governor and Secretary to Government are not at their best, they may be caught asking in confusion and suspicion what their functions should or could be while working in structured synchronization.

No wonder he is otherwise called the Principal Staff Officer. He is a primary administrative aide-de-camp to the governor, a cardinal coordinator of a long chain of main and auxiliary staff to the governor and the entire government. 

Therefore, until critics understand the enormous roles of this office, they scarcely will appreciate the significant services provided by Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen specifically towards the efficiency of the governor, and the optimal functioning of the machinery of government in general.

It would mean that there is no need to be jealous or envious of Inyangeyen’s rising profile in that regards. Like Inyangeyen himself has severally admitted at various fora, it cannot be denied that he is clearly a man of the unsurpassing and unmerited Grace of God.

His existentialist philosophy is that life is like seasons that come and go.

They must come and go when they must, without any human control or intervention on realities that come with them. 

Inyangeyen argues that the only thing that keeps the strong going is the ability to adjust and adapt to the inescapable and unavoidable  changes, irrespective of where one finds oneself at a given time. The sooner one realizes this,  the better one faces the waves of time without panic.   

Therefore, to continue to envy, to question, to blackmail or slander or gossip against Inyangeyen -  all in the usual bid to discredit his worth or misrepresent his interest in the Completion Agenda - is tantamount to engaging in a fight with the Benevolent and Omniscient.

The fact remains that this man has brought into his  new office - freshness,  experience, innovation and refreshing assurances that have lifted a quantum of load off his boss' shoulders and stabilized  administrative operations and expectations in the Hilltop Mansion.

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