#Birthday@55 AKPARAWA EPHRAIM INYANG-EYEN: LIFE OF SERVICE AND POSITIVE IMPACT ON HUMANITY
By: Ubong Chris Ante
As family members, colleagues, the comity of friends and numerous admirers, home and abroad, join AKPARAWA EPHRAIM INYANG-EYEN, the immediate past Commissioner of Works and Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel, to celebrate his 2020 birthday today Wednesday, 25th November 2020, it comes personally to me as a moment of testimonies and thanksgiving to the Almighty God for what he has done in the life of this great Akwa Ibom son and Nigerian patriot of exceptional pedigree.
Ephraim Inyang-Eyen’s 55th Birthday Anniversary comes with the profound reminder that everyone born into this world has a duty and obligation to contribute to the growth and development of humanity. It reminds us that we can make our society better than we met it through our vision, philosophy, dreams, actions and individual commitments to the ideals of positive existence which in turn tells our peculiar individual stories.
Anyhow one looks at it, Inyang-Eyen’s journey of life, so far, has not been a roller-coaster treat. But at all times and in all circumstances, while he tries all humanly possible to make a meaningful living, he has always looked onto the Almighty God to guide him and work out things for him.
Inyang-Eyen’s life at 55, therefore, is a reflection of inelastic faith in God, personal vision, endowed intelligence, dedication, the tenacity of purpose, resilience and distinction. I therefore strongly agree with Huge Walpole in his highly celebrated book, Fortitude, that “It is not the life that matters, but the courage and hard work one brings into it”. Inyang-Eyen wears loyalty as a cloth and he is one of the finest disciples from the political family of his boss; His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel.
He is an astute and charismatic politician, a seasoned and consummate administrator with an amiable personality, a phenomenal reformist whose cult-followership stature particularly among the youths that put him as a leader to be admired, watched and associated with.
Born on November 25, 1965 to the ever progressive and expanding family of Mr. and Mrs. Akparawa Inyang-Eyen of Nung Nya in Ikot Ebiere of Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, young Inyang-Eyen stepped into a life full of hope and demonstrable capacity to explore opportunities and carve a niche for himself in a competitive world of challenges. No wonder he sooner distinguished himself as a man who believes in dignity of labour, transparency in deeds and purposes, and genuine commitments that have defined his character till today.
As a fortunate beneficiary of education of the golden days, Inyang-Eyen has neither disappointed himself nor his community with the quality and quantity of the education he so far has received. He is a proud alumnus of the famous Etinan Institute; School of Basic Studies, Akamkpa (now a campus of the University of Cross River State); University of Ibadan; University of Lagos; and Walden University, Minneapolis, USA. These consistent strides with a touch of excellence at every level have honed him into an entrepreneur and public servant extraordinaire.
Although I had heard of his remarkable qualities and strides long in time, I only later had the fortune of working with and coming to know Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen better at the State Ministry of Works where he served as Commissioner, and I was privileged to serve as Information Officer under him. I cannot hesitate to confess that it was from there and under this great manager of human and material resources that my capacity and civil service experience was sharpened by the daily challenges he throws at me, to make me a better person, a better worker, and sharper goal-getter.
Today, on a general note, there can be no arguments that Inyang-Eyen’s days as Commissioner of Works were the golden days of that Ministry, judged by his character, dynamism, approach to work, innovations, and service delivery that become the norm to individual staff and across all departments of the Ministry. While he gave every staff an unprecedented sense of belonging, he first must have made you realized the beauty of commitment to duty and why and how things must be done within schedule.
It did not end there, as the Chief of Staff to the Governor; Akparawa Inyang-Eyen has not dropped either in character or quality of service that has made him a force to reckon with in the socio-political development of Akwa Ibom State and in the practical interpretation of the Completion Agenda of His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
There is no doubt that the quantum of education, experience, exposure, and his idiosyncratic determination to succeed at everything he does have made Inyang-Eyen what he is today. I now can better appreciate the words of Steve Job, Co-Founder/Chairman, and CEO of Apple: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do”. This clearly defines Ephraim Inyang-Eyen.
It is modest to observe that Inyang-Eyen is a man with the special grace of God and God does what he does for him because of who he is; His stainless integrity, his passionate and unpretentious interest in the welfare of others, his quick disposition to find a possible solution to even the most challenging of issues, his open-heartedness, approachability, and above all, his untold sacrifices and loyal commitment to the greater Akwa Ibom Project. Having worked closely with him for years now, I see Inyang-Eyen as a workaholic, pragmatist, innovationist and a catalyst for positive change.
As he celebrates his 55th birthday today, many of his family members and friends would not be surprised that Inyang-Eyen is sure to supplicate to God quietly than contemplate any lavish ceremony. I pray God continues to grant him more protection, wisdom, strength, and prosperity, for with men like him in the present world of individualism and discrimination, many more would have reasons for testimonies. Like the 16th President of The United States of America, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) once said, let me end by saying: “In the end, it is not the years in your life that counts; it is the life in your years”.
I can see more and better opportunities beckoning at Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen. For being who and what you are at 55, I say, Happy Birthday to you, my great boss!