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Akparawa Ephraim Inyang: Honesty Personified!  By Henshaw NYONG

Akparawa Ephraim Inyang: Honesty Personified! By Henshaw NYONG

IF I were to endorse and celebrate statesmen in Akwa Ibom, believe me, they’re not up to a dozen. Sadly, what my eyes have seen are politicians with little or no conscience. In fact, there are many who will sell their offspring if it would get them to any position of power and money. Alas, my late two decades sojourn on planet earth have beheld politicians who have made deceit, two-facedness, hypocrisy and fraudulence a degree awarding institution, where their followers need to enrol to get certificates, diplomas and degrees.

But, the story is not that insipid as a few politicians have held their head high above the murk of corruption in which majority have sunk and wallowed deeply in and it would not be fair to be inaudible on these few shining examples because of the darkly sinister majority. Akparawa Ephraim Akparawa Inyang-eyen is the man of the moment; a rare breed creature, cerebral, savvy, selfless, firm, decent, honest, transparent politician and a team player. Though his critics say he doesn’t smile or laugh, I dare remind them that some who laughed and smiled every minute are the ones who have used their laughter to confuse the public and looted their various Ministries, Agencies and Departments. By the way, those who are close to the soft-spoken Ephraim know he laughs very easily and even let himself loose like a baby, as one without care in the world.

The Nung Nya in Ikot Ebiere, Onna Local Government Area born ex-customs’ officer joined the Governor Emmanuel’s cabinet on the strength of his antecedent with his above- average performance as a technocrat. Where back in 1982 when Inyang-eyen had a stint at the then Cross River State Teaching Service Commission as an auxiliary teacher in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics, till when he worked as a Chemist with the Nigeria Railway Corporation, up until when he was enlisted on August 31, 1990, into the Nigeria Customs Services as an Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Akparawa Ephraim Akparawa Inyang-eyen, has maintained an excellent track record of performance, discipline and transparency. It is on record that Ephraim has the culture of discharging duties assigned to him diligently, conscientiously and with top-notch panache.

Little wonder the governor; another highly transparent and honest gentleman, knowing pretty well the stuff Ephraim is made of, enlisted him in his government. It is always said that when God gives you a responsibility, He adds the ability to handle the magnitude of any situation. That Commissioner Inyang-eyen would inspect construction and rehabilitation of roads from Uyo to Ibiono Ibom to Eket to Onna to Abak, Ika, Etim Ekpo and to Mkpat Enin to Ikot Abasi down to Eastern Obolo Local Government Areas, same day, is an eloquent proof of supernatural strength He receives from God. This workaholic is one superman who never gets tired of whatever he sets his eyes to achieve. Akparawa Inyang-eyen is one of the few Commissioners who have proven that in this cash crunch era, they will not soil their hands, but just deliver on what they have been assigned for. The Onna born ex-Staff Officer of the largest Container terminal in West Africa has earned the praises of the right thinking Akwa Ibomites.

Undeniably, no one can challenge the fact that he has not performed meritoriously in one year of Governor Emmanuel’s ascension to the number one position in the state. While his colleagues in other climes are looking for ways to collect huge money from contractors as kick back before they can be contracted to do the construction works in government, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang has shown transparency and dedicated his time to seeing that the job is done first. Before now, the issue of payment of compensation to properties owners for Government to take right of way was one of the many areas in the Ministry that was characterized with lot of court cases , where many beneficiaries will sue the government for none payment and under-payment of compensations.

At the moment, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen, has ensured that absolute sanity is restored to the process of payment of compensation. The Commissioner has two stages of valuation; having a private Valuer and a government Valuer who would value independently before the Ministry will come to a compromise after assessing the two Valuers’ records. After choosing the record, the Ministry will then appoint a financial consultant to pay the compensation to properties owners to avoid miss management and cut out third parties who defrauded the system before now. During the payment process, each beneficiary must come to collect his/her cheque or cash with a nationally acceptable Identity Card alongside two (2) copies of passport photographs. If it is a family property, the family will write the Ministry of works that they have conceded the power of attorney to one of them to act on behalf of the family hence giving powers to the Ministry to issue the cheque in the name of the family member. This procedure has reduced drastically controversies and litigation against Government as wrong people are not paid the compensation of others and where the Valuer has built in fictitious names of beneficiary without existing properties , such claims , if noticed will be returned to the coffers of Government.

Commissioner Inyang-eyen going against the warped norms established in the past where monies meant for compensation were inflated, dismembered and shared like the Christmas cow? This to his critics is unpardonable abomination. How dare he not handover the compensation monies to us the stakeholders to handle our respective local government areas? Does he know our people are better than us? With this rare transparency and honesty by a politician in a clime that has no respect for morality and godliness? Such homosapien should be ready to get detested, abhorred, and blackmailed. But how comforting is it to note that, Apostle Paul in his second letter to young Timothy as recorded in the Bible book of 2 Timothy 3:12 had foretold that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”!

One truth is however sure-fire, that, no matter the recent campaign of calumny and tissue of lies against this self-sacrificial statesman, the educated people of Akwa Ibom know that the destructive media war that a few have launched against Commissioner Inyang-eyen will never be attractive to neither the governor nor sane Akwa Ibomites; hence they always wave the destructive critics’ blackmail with the back of their hands. As his avid admirer; there are times, I thought he should have done things differently maybe, use his high-ranking position and top-brass connections to silence his detractors. But never has this heavily-built Onna born who will be Fifty One (51) on the 25th November this year, retorted in the face of any false accusation. He has consistently remained a positive role model to my generation and a shining star among his contemporaries.

It’s however, soothing to know that despite the satanic vilification and devilish diatribe on the Works Commissioner, he is and will still remain the bulldozer which Governor Emmanuel uses in demolishing illegal structures and constructing new infrastructure, so that the industrialization agenda can become reality. That the Governor is smiling after one year in office with tremendous and awe-inspiring achievements is because this uncommon Statesman; Akparawa Ephraim Inyang has defined his purpose in Udom’s government. He has shown through actions and deeds that what matters to him is the success story of his boss, the governor, rather than distractions from mudslinger on the social media and never would he join issues with the sadists and negative critics. Without any iota of immodesty, this is one appointment Governor Udom Emmanuel got so right that even if a cabinet reshuffle takes today, this rare honest Statesman will still be retained, except the man who dictates thinks otherwise.

NYONG is Editor, The Town Crier Newspapers, A Media Consultant and PR Executive. SMS only: 0802-287-8104.

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