A Former Minister and House of Reps Member, Chief Nduese Essien, has bared his mind, on the current impasse between the Commissioner for Works, Mr.Ephraim Inyang and the insult meted on the Ekid Elders by the Commissioner. Speaking with Journalists at his residence in Uyo, Chief Nduese said, “It appears the Commissioner is more interested in the acquisition of personal wealth, and the flaunting of this wealth than the development of the community. He takes delight in insulting Ekid Elders. Eket people had worked with the oil companies for years, and they did a lot of development in the area since 1979. Roads were constructed, hospitals were built, and lots more. As at 1998, Eket was the most developed local government area in the state.
How can people who have been used to development, now be against the development of a Eket? Chief Nduese queried, while reacting to Ephraim Inyang’s assertion, that Eket people were anti development.
In 1999, when Obong Attah came into office as Governor, he said, there was nothing like oil communities, that the whole state was an oil producing state. That was where development was stalled in Eket.
Attah did not give any consideration to the development of Eket. When Akpabio came in, he concentrated in the development of his own part of the state, and assured the Eket people that their own government was coming in 2015.
The problem we have had with the dualization of atabong road, is hinged on the Commissioner’s attitude. He behaves as if government is run on the head of one person, which is not the case. The functions of government is shared among ministries, agencies, etc. no single individual is authorized to run that alone. Ephraim does not respect any law, that is why he combines the jobs of several ministries.
He is one who counts the properties, evaluates, and pays the owners, to the exclusion of the ministry of lands, who should be responsible. Alot of his colleagues complain about his overbearing attitude. He determines singlehandedly, with his valuers. The property owners are supposed to have their own valuers, and the compensation he pays, are far less for the owners to relocate.
Those who have collected money, does so by intimidation, because he goes about with soldiers, beat people and tells you to come to his office and collect money.
As a Former Minister of Lands, before you demolish a property, you give the owners 90days notice, but in Ephraim Inyang’s case, he gives 7days. During the Akpabio’s days, compensation were adequately paid.
The Commissioner had once accused the Paramount Ruler of demanding for seven cows. Ephraim Inyang will go down as the most arrogant, insolent, the most greedy, the most exploitative and over bearing public servant to have served in Akwa Ibom. Ephraim Inyang is not someone you can talk to.
I was not aware of Barrister Etukudo’s case, but I understand he got an injunction against the demolition of his property at 2Hospital Road.
Eket people are very unhappy about the interview Ephraim Inyang granted, after efforts were made by the Local Government Chairman, the PDP chapter Chairman in Eket, and the Paramount Ruler, and the State Chairman of NUJ, in resolving the matter that was trending on the social media.
Don’t be deceived by his claims, that he comes from Eket Local Government Area, because he is from Onna. No Eket son will come out to castigate the Eket people and Elders the way Ephraim Inyang has done. He is too new to the affairs of the community and does not know how the community has been relating. He built a palace in his village within nine months and has built 7 buildings in Shelter Afrique in Uyo. There is a need to question such properties. Because, such people live above their means of livelihood.
I know that most persons in Onna are not in line with what he is doing. Even when he has become the richest man in the state, he can’t be bigger than the state that has employed him as a Commissioner. We don’t need to tell the EFCC or any anti corruption agency to tell how corrupt the Commissioner is. It is well known to everyone.
I have only decided to go low, to the level of Ephraim Inyang to speak the language he will understand. To see Ephraim Inyang in office is an uphill task. Even the Paramount Ruler in Eket has tried severally to meet with Ephraim, but he has ignored the Paramount Ruler. Sometimes, people spend two to three days to see him, without result.
On the issue of personality clash with Ephraim Inyang, I have contested elections, and held positions before Ephraim Inyang got appointed. Ephraim Inyang came to the stadium and denied being a Senatorial District Leader.”