The embattled Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen recently ran amok by ordering the querying of well over 150 staff of the ministry. Multiple sources in the ministry have confirmed to TheMail how Aparawa Inyang ordered a mass querying of the staff of the ministry for frivolous reasons.
According to findings by this paper, it took the intervention of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Ifreke Ekpa to save the workers from being queried.
We learnt that Inyang ordered the Permanent Secretary to make sure the query letter is inserted into the service files of each of the staff affected. Findings revealed that while Inyang was hell-bent on the querying the staff for no justifiable reasons, the Etinan-born Permanent Secretariat, Mr. Ekpa used his experience in the service to downplay the situation by delaying to carrying out the instructions of the commissioner, thereby allowing the matter to die a natural death.
We learnt this has made staff of the ministry to dread the commissioner, seeing him as a tyrant and monster who is just out to intimidate, victimize and oppress them.
When TheMail visited the ministry last week, the mood and morale of the workers were dampened because of the way they are allegedly oppressed by Ephraim. The premises was tensed because of the recent media backlash on the commissioner.
Because of Ephraim’s penchant to seize any slightest opportunity to punish and threaten workers in the ministry, the commissioner is hated with so much passion, with most of the workers ruing the absence the immediate past commissioner, Mr. Don Etim who they said was a humble and humane man.
A staff of the ministry who spoke with us on condition of anonymity says Ephraim has turned Ministry of Works into a military barracks. Our source said when their boss moves around the Ministry of Works premises either on inspection or headcount, a battalion of security personnels accompany him, intimidating and harassing staff in the process.
Meanwhile, TheMail visited ONNA Local Government Area on Monday to speak with those whose houses were demolished by the Akwa Ibom State Government as supervised by Ephraim Inyang’s Ministry of Works.
Some of those affected who spoke to our reporter said they were shortchanged by the Commissioner in the payment of compensation. They however appealed to the governor to come to their aid by ordering the commissioner to pay them their compensations in full.
Sounds of wailings and cries from women filled the air when this reporter stormed the governor’s LG on a fact finding mission. Speaking to TheMail, three of the women who are widows
cried out for help from the governor, begging TheMail to help tell the governor that they are suffering due to alleged inhumanity of Mr. Inyang.
They said their houses were demolished without compensation being paid. The widows said they have been rendered homeless as a result of the demolition of their houses. They said there are no signs that the compensation will be paid.
Speaking separately with this newspaper, some men and youths of the area said they hate their kinsman, Ephraim Inyang with passion for the way he treated them during the demolition exercise.
The people of the area said Inyang came for the demolition exercise with buses filled with army, DSS and policemen, saying that those who complained of either not getting compensation or being shortchanged in the compensation were severely beaten by the armed security men on the orders and supervision of the commissioner. They however wondered how their kinsman would treat them with such enormity of harshness and heartlessness.
The ONNA people said Ephraim tried making them to hate the governor as the Commissioner categorically told them that it was the governor who sent him to demolish their houses.
Meanwhile, investigations by TheMail reveal that some aides to the governor who are close to the commissioner have been leaking some dirty information about him to the press with the selfish intention of milking some money from Commissioner with the promise that they will launder his image.
We learnt last weekend that these governor’s aides had complained that Ephraim Inyang has not released money to them as he used to, hence they had to device a means of extorting money from the bullish commissioner.
In a continued beaming of our searchlight on the Commissioner and the Ministry of Works, we will in our next edition exclusively bring you the story of how and why the Commissioner sacked the immediate past Information Officer, Nene Albert from the ministry and how the commissioner sponsored a media war on the governor when the state’s chief executive failed to appoint him as his Chief of Staff, a position he thought he would get immediately Udom was sworn-in to office. We will also bring you contract scams and shoddy deals going on in the ministry under Ephraim’s watch.