Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, has refuted the allegations that he is not in good terms with the immediate past governor of the state and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswil Obot Akpabio.
The Works Commissioner made the disclosure in an exclusive interview. Excerpt:
When you were appointed Commissioner for Works, you might have been told in the letter that is a political appointment. What is your current situation and relationship with the former governor? People say you are fighting the former governor and Senate Minority Leader, Godswil Akpabio…
That is absolutely false. Those propagating those falsehoods should be able to come forward and be very specific in the story. Sen. Godswil Akpabio is our leader and I have absolutely no basis for this kind of confrontation. I speak with Senator Akpabio on a regular intervals and he tells us to go ahead with what we are doing. I don’t know where that story came but I think it might come from idle-minded people – those who don’t have work to do. For those of us who have what to do, I think we should go ahead with what are supposed to be doing.
If I had issues with Senator Akpabio, I’m sure the individuals should be to come out to the media and be very specific in what the issues are.
I thought you were going to ask me how I step on toes by pulling down houses in the cause of road construction and then I will give you an explanation why I stepped on those toes; and that by virtue of my assignment, I don’t have a choice than stepping on those toes.
Sen. Godswil Obot Akpabio was the former governor. I’m yet to be a governor, so I don’t see what would bring me into confrontation with the former governor. My job is to support His Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, to discharge, preserve dividends of democracy to Akwa Ibom people, not to go about confronting people.
I want to announce to Akwa Ibom people that His Excellency has had no issue with Sen. Godswil Akpabio, and those of us he appointed to assist him carry out this assignment of providing dividends of democracy to Akwa Ibom people, our job is to follow that schedule strictly. If you would tell me that I have insisted in altering some dynamics in the way things are done in the Ministry of Works, I would say ‘yes’. Because I will be answerable to God, the Governor and Akwa Ibom people. If I insist on a slight difference on how things should be done, I don’t see how that has got anything to with my former governor, my leader – someone that I have a lot respect for.
So I think it is a story of idle-minded people, and as long as we are working, they will keep on talking. Our job is to keep on working and let them keep on doing the talking. But whenever they think they have instructions on what to say, let them come out and be very specific that ‘this is what Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen said or did against the former governor’, and we will take it from there. But for today, I want to tell you that my job and assignment is to make sure His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has got some things to show Akwa Ibom people.
We elected him Governor. The policy, he made. My job is to follow up and interpret his dreams in terms of infrastructure that he promised Akwa Ibom people, not to go about and play a careless politics. It will be wrong from those of us coming behind the leaders to go about insulting them and making uncomplimentary remarks against them.
My understanding of it is that Chief Idongesit Nkanga, will be wrong for any Akwa Ibom son to see him in whatever circumstance, and begin to make uncomplimentary remarks against him. My elder brother works with Obong Victor Attah, no matter the circumstance, we could discuss but not to go about insulting people who are ahead of you.
We have discovered some improprieties in the Ministry of Works that you are going against Akpabio’s boys…
I don’t know what they mean by Akpabio’s boys, because if you look at it carefully, the Senate Minority Leader appointed Mr. Udom Emmanuel as his Secretary to the State Government and worked for him till he emerged as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State. That cannot be taken away. When people are talking, I don’t the use of their language, but by the little English language that I understand, someone who has assisted you in the process of you becoming what you become, you are supposed to be his boy. So I don’t know who is saying the Akpabio’s boys. I think it is the idleness of those guys who have got not much work to do, and have decided to create issues where there are none.
Even if I was to see anything in the Ministry of Works, I am supervised by the Governor of this state. I’m not working under EFCC or ICPC. So my job is that if I see something, I report to my boss. I don’t have the final say. Let me be frank with you, I’ve not found anything that should be for EFCC or ICPC. What we do is, in the continuous process of working, we could have complaints and issues and we quickly sort them out.
I granted an interview to the Inspirational FM about two months ago where I said Udo Udoma, a wonderful road played; IBB, beautiful road played, but there were omissions in those designs – there were no side drainages. We are having gory flood in Uyo and people are complaining. I said to them that these errors in these designs had to be corrected first.
People thought we would go to IBB not minding the cost of doing underground drainage and tell Akwa Ibom people that their problems were solved. Governor Emmanuel insisted that we do a holistic review of what the problems are and what I found was what I said. Every road constructed in this rain forest including Akwa Ibom, all must have side drainage for the purpose of water collection and channelization before we consider discharge. Governance is not based on lies. If you are a leader and the people have entrusted leadership in your hand, and you think that you have to lie to them; that can be for a short season. You will fail because the lies will fall apart.
What we have chosen to do in this government, the Governor exhibits that people think the way they are. He has gotten to World Bank who wants to partner with us on the flood situation in Uyo, and I’m saying that even if they come with all their resources to support the state government, it will still take a while because we have to go back to Udo Udoma and do side drains to IBB.
It was taken out of context by the idle people, and they went back to the former governor and said I said that he constructed substandard roads. How could I, a public servant, by the little I know, say that the roads constructed by the last administration were substandard? Are Udo Udoma and IBB substandard roads? Incidentally, it was the government before the immediate past that constructed Udo Udoma.