The Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen has reportedly done everything within his powers to make sure that Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem does not return to the Udom Emmanuel cabinet.
Barrister Enoidem was until last Tuesday, serving as Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Investment. But he resigned from the state exco in order to contest for the position of National Legal Adviser of the PDP, a position he would likely have gotten if the Port Harcourt Convention was not botched.
With the convention shifted further by at least one year, Enoidem is unlikely to stay outside government for that long, hence he may be re-absorbed into the system to serve in the same ministry.
Enoidem is said to have tendered his resignation ahead of his emergence as the new head of the party’s legal department. Story of his resignation broke out on the new media a night before the convention, with several sources in government confirming to TheMail that the “former five-star” commissioner in the Akpabio administration had indeed resigned.
The sources confirmed to our reporters that Enoidem resigned in order to serve the party at the national level.
With the failure of Enoidem to assume his envisaged new position because of the postponement of the convention, there were plans to swiftly return him to the position he held before his resignation.
But sources in the state exco have told this newspaper that ‘Super Commissioner’, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen has been blocking moves to reinstate Enoidem.
When Enoidem resigned, Inyang-eyen is said to have finally heaved a sigh of relief that one of Akpabio’s strongmen is gone.
The Works Commissioner is said to have quickly suggested the name of an Etim Ekpo indigene (name withheld) to Udom to appoint him as Enoidem’s replacement.
TheMail has also been informed by several competent sources that Inyang-eyen was warming up to replace Enoidem as the leader of the state exco in the capacity of Dean of Commissioners before the postponement of the convention.
He is said to have informed the governor that it will not be in his (Udom’s) best interest to allow Enoidem whose loyalty is doubted to return to the exco.
But we have learnt on good authority that several forces have piled pressure on the governor to reinstate the former Special Duties Commissioner.
The governor may have reinstated Enoidem as he was spotted having meeting with investors at government house and was seen at the monthly Government House prayer meeting last weekend.
The government is said to have adopted a damage control strategy. Government officials are to pass down the dummy that Enoidem never resigned his position and that story of his resignation were mere rumours.
“The process of resignation has to be through a letter to the Chairman of the State Executive Council who is the Governor during session. It must be duly accepted. And after which a valedictory session must be held to send forth such a person and either the Commissioner for Information or the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor must communicate to the public the resignation. None of these happened, so Barr. Enoidem remains a Commissioner”, a Government House source said.
But another source contradicted that position, saying when Nsima Ekere, and Bassey Albert Akpan resigned from state exco such process was never followed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ephraim Inyang has annexed the moribund Akwa Ibom Road and Other Infrastructure Maintenance Agency to Ministry of Works where he is in charge. The Commissioner stated this on Monday when he led a team of top ministry staff and aides of the Governor to inspect equipment at the agency’s yard at Ibiaku Ishiet along Old Oron road, Uyo.
He stressed that Governor Udom Emmanuel was passionate about fixing roads that had been overtaken by potholes at minimal cost and it made economic sense to make good use of existing government owned equipment to undertake the task of repairing roads.
“From my assessment here, I can confirm to you that some of these equipments are in good state. This agency was established in 2013 by the last administration and Governor Udom Emmanuel, an excellent, efficient and prudent manager has deemed it fit to revive these equipment to optimal use”, Inyang-eyen said during the inspection visit to the agency’s yard.
Political pundits have condemned the move, saying it is a plot by Inyang-eyen to corner more money for himself and assert his influence as the ‘Almighty Commissioner’ who can do and undo. Pundits say it is a selfish move by Ephraim. They stated that in a move to resuscitate the agency, a new head would have been appointed, empowered and made to function instead of the takeover by Inyang-eyen.