Dark Cloud Gathers for Udom’s CoS as Eket Group Insists on Probe

Akanimo Sampson

Akanimo Sampson

A think-tank group in Akwa Ibom State, Eket Collective, is still insisting that anti-graft agencies in Nigeria should investigate the tenure of the state’s former Works Commissioner, Ephraim Inyang-Eyen.

Governor Udom Emmanuel appointed Inyang-Eyen as his Chief of Staff early in 2021 and fired him on Tuesday..

The Eket group also wants the Udom administration to institute a probe panel to investigate his activities in public offices, and how he acquired his enormous wealth and financial muscle.

Spokesman for Eket Collective, Solomon Okpo, who made this development known in Uyo, the state capital, after their Governing Board meeting also announced that the Board appointed a veteran journalist, Akanimo Sampson, as Executive Director of the group.

Okpo explained that Sampson is one of the founding members of the group who was largely responsible for research and documentation. With the repositioning of our think-tank group, I have also been saddled with responsibility of its Outreach and Mobilisation Director.

Throwing more light on their stance on Udom’s Chief of Staff, the Eket group spokesman said, ‘’Inyang-Eyen has been exhibiting character unbecoming of a high public functionary like him. Information at our disposal tend to show that he denied some people political appointment because they were not from the Onna axis of the state.

‘’His ambition to run for the Eket Senatorial seat is not going down well with us. Eket Collective is of the view that Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency with focus on Mkpat Enin or Eastern Obolo should produce the next senator for the senatorial district.

‘’In spite of the fact that Inyang-Eyen’s appointment was Governor Udom’s first of such appointment in five years, the beneficiary did not do much to promote the activities and programmes of his principal. We are totally disappointed in him’’, the Eket group said.

Former Information Commissioner, Charles Udoh, announced the appointment of Inyang-Eyen to his shaky position in Uyo, after the State Executive Council meeting.

Though Okpo declined to comment, our reporter gathered that Inyang-Eyen is not on the same page with Governor Udom on the choice of his preferred governorship aspirant for 2023. The choice of the governor is Lands and Water Resources Commissioner, Pastor Umo Eno.

In a seeming counter-current, Inyang-Eyen has been saying that he should not be held responsible for abandoned road projects in the state. He is pointing to the direction of the governor and accountant-general of the state.

According to him, ‘’as Works Commissioner, I processed road jobs while the governor and accountant-general handled the issue of payment.’’ This tends to imply that abandoned road projects in the state are as a result of non-payment by the Udom administration.

The issue is being played up as electioneering politics begin to gather steam in the state. There are growing fears that the Udom administration is not likely to complete road projects like the Ekom Iman- Etinan – Eket Highway before the expiration of his tenure.

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Professor Jideofor Adibe


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