Isaac Job, Uyo
AKwa Ibom State Government has sacked the chief of staff to governor Udom Emmanuel, Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen over some unwholesome political activities at variance with Governor Emmanuel’s succession plan for 2023.
In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekwuem on Tuesday and made available to newsmen in Uyo , Inyangeyen was relieved of his appointment for lacking the skill and competences needed to maintain peace in the state.
The statement reads in parts:
“However, given the urgent need to match skill set and competencies to the task of maintaining the momentum of economic development in peace, your services are no longer required and you are hereby relieved of your position, as Chief of Staff ( CoS) to His Excellency, the Governor with immediate effect.”
“You are therefore directed to handover all property of government in your possession, to the Secretary to State Government”
Investigation reveal that the Chief of Staff to Governor Emmanuel is not in support of the governor’s succession plan at all levels in the state .
Trouble started when governor Emmanuel convened a stakeholders meeting two weeks ago where he announced the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources in the state Pastor Umo Eno as his ” preferred choice if successor for 2023 ” while the Chief of Staff , Inyangeyen has already pinch his tent in support of the senator representing Uyo Senatorial District from Ibiono Ibom local government area for governorship race in 2023.
It was also gathered that the embattled chief of staff is aspiring for senate from Eket senatorial District where Inyangeyen abd Udom Emmanuel hail from but the later ( governor ) zoned the senate seat to Ikot Abasi federal constituency comprising of Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo council areas.
Our Correspondent further gathered that when the Chief of staff who was first appointed by Emmanuel as Commissioner for Works in the first term went to consult his people for senate seat, they asked him (Chief of Staff) of the status of the abandoned Odio road project by governor Udom Emmanuel.
It was reported that the Chief of staff told the people that he was not responsible for any abandoned road project in the state and referred the people to the governor and the state Accountant General who disbursed money to contractors while the governor made approvals.
His words” My fathers, because you have asked and insisted I provide an answer to your question which is like a summon, now let me reply: “Commissioner doesn’t pay for road construction, commissioner processes documents for road construction and the Governor approves it.
“Every contractor in Akwa Ibom is paid by the accountant General, directly to the account of the contractor. No commissioner for works has access to that money. Roads have been abandoned, and falsehood spread that Ephraim Inyang ate the money and that is a lie.
“I’m demanding the elders to petition me to EFCC if I am found wanting, they should do to me what they want because 1 kobo of that money is not with me. That money is with the contractor and the contractor must account for it.”
When the video appeared online, Ephraim Inyang’s comment didn’t go down well with the government of the day.
Immediately, a section of youths led by Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Matters, Comrade Iwaudofia gathered and made a video, threatening fire and brimstone if Ephraim does not retract his statement which they felt is an insult to the governor.
Iwaudofia said “he will march six million youths to occupy Ephraim Inyang’s house until he recants and apologizes to the governor”.
The response was trending in the social media for two days generating tension in the state as Emergency State Executive meeting was convened where the decision to relieved the chief of staff of his appointment was taken to prevent more embarrassment to the government .