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Inyangeyen As Udom’s Chief Of Staff

By Kenneth Jude

Both from a distance and at close quarters, Inyangeyen cuts the image of a giant. His imposing and towering physique is nothing but nature’s gift.

His briskness of steps, courage to wade through muddy, undulating and sometimes roughly-hewned terrains, whether to monitor ongoing projects or identify areas that need government intervention, Inyangeyen almost always leaves others in his team trailing.

He may appear tough in mien, but belying that is a soft-hearted man whose only interest is that ‘what is worth doing is worth doing well’. So, if he sometimes raises his voice decibel, he does so to nudge people into action. He’s at enmity with laziness.

Not one to be looked for in a thick crowd, the former Customs man is an astute manager of man and resources, a stickler for excellence who does not suffer fools gladly.

Just as all creatures, opinions of him may differ depending on who is talking, but one thing one can’t take away from a man who has always been the governor’s man Friday is his unflagging desire to see that the governor’s vision is interpreted to the letter and with a touch of class.

If you say he is a workaholic, you’re stating the obvious. From the day he waltzed into office to man the Works Ministry, he showed he meant business. His business, of course, has remained the burning desire to construct durable roads and ensure that other infrastructure linked to the Udom Emmanuel administration has no relationship with shabbiness. He believes in thoroughness.

Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen typifies the kind of player every coach desirous of success needs in his starting eleven. Make him the captain, then you can be sure that he’ll use his wit, charisma and organisational proficiency to galvanize other players to achieve the much needed success. If Austin Okocha was a vital player for Nigeria in his heyday, Inyangeyen is a key cog in the Udom Emmanuel administration.

Onetime when I had a chance to work with him, I saw a man whose love for his boss was unrivalled. He stopped short of taking offence no matter who was involved when things pertaining to the government were not well done. He would rage and frown at any act of indolence or laxity.

You’ll be his friend if you have something to offer, ideas to share or, at best, show zeal and align yourself to an already drawn out vision that is moving at full throttle. But you earn a place in what we call bad book in street parlance when you appear a spoiler, one that is gifted in the art of throwing rust spanners in the works.

Without prejudice to other appointees of Governor Udom Emmanuel at all levels, the choice of Inyangeyen as Commissioner for Works, viewed from any prism, was felicitous to say the least. It’s no surprise that some sometimes wonder how it would have all panned out without him in the team.

Akparawa Ephraim Inyaneyen has demonstrated a positive aggressiveness to achieving noble things just to ensure that Emmanuel his boss is seen in glowing light. The time I worked briefly with him made me have a different view of a man many misjudge. Since he is passionate about his job, coupled with his quest to see that the blueprint of his boss does not meet with, or succumb to setbacks, he more often than not elicit diverse opinions from some minds who think him a combative fellow. But if he is combative, it’s because he always wants the best for this government. So, those not on the same page will always grumble.

Talk of a teacher who tasks the brain of his students with loads of assignments and all, and expects good feedback, such students — especially the lazy ones — will certainly not like the teacher. They’ll see him as hating them by wanting them to stretch their thoughts and rack their brains every minute of the day. Inyangeyen is such a taskmaster. So, if Udom wants to leave enduring legacies in the sands of time, Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen is the kind of man he needs to help him achieve those lofty goals.

By trusting him with the Works Ministry and now as his Chief of Staff, Governor Emmanuel has demonstrated how much he trusts and believes in Inyangeyen. It’s as though he has watched him from afar for a while, saw his excellent performance and passion to work, and concludes that the man must be brought even much closer.

This appointment, needless to say, is a commendable step by the governor that has taken naysayers by surprise. To appoint Inyangeyen his Chief of Staff clearly indicates that Governor Emmanuel has keenly watched his Works man who has diligently and with distinguishing passion, carry out his duties without fear or compromise. And to show how appreciative he is of him, the governor, in his wisdom, has fittingly handed him what has become the most influential office in any government today.

With this appointment, the governor can rest assured that he has a man who will bring greater value to the table. One who will ensure that things are done properly and in tune with his Completion Agenda. He’ll keep others on their toes. His presence will usher in a whole new aura to the workings of government. Inyangeyen will further make it clear from his new sanctum that he is not given to dilly-dallying.

We saw it recently when he, within one month, delivered a topnotch isolation centre at Ituk Mbang that is generating rave reviews within and outside the state. This singular feat, among others, may have informed the governor’s decision to trust his man with the Chief of Staff portfolio, believing that his result-driven approach to responsibilities will rub off positively on others, not to say other programmes and policies of government.

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