Governor Udom Emmanuel has sacked his Chief of Staff, Ephraim Inyangeyen, amidst political tension in Akwa Ibom State.
The sack was announced on Tuesday via a letter from the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem, to Mr Inyangeyen who has been having political differences with Governor Emmanuel.
Mr Inyangeyen, hitherto a close friend of Governor Emmanuel, was first appointed commissioner for work before he was moved to the position of chief of staff.
The government, however, said the sack had to do with “competencies.”
“Given the urgent need to match skillset and competences to the task of maintaining the momentum of economic development in peace, your services are no longer required and you are hereby relieved of your position as chief of staff,” the SSG, Mr Ekuwem, said in the letter.
“You are therefore directed to hand over all property of the government in your position, to the Secretary to the State Government,” he added.
Mr Inyangeyen recently declared interest to contest the 2023 senatorial election for the Akwa Ibom South District, against the wishes of Governor Emmanuel who, with other political leaders in the state, zoned the seat to a different area, Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency.
Besides, the former chief of staff is said to be supporting the governorship ambition of Bassey Albert, a senator from the state, against Governor Emmanuel’s preferred successor, Eno Umo.
Mr Inyangeyen’s security officials were withdrawn on Sunday after he said, during a political outing on Saturday, that he was not to be blamed for the non-completion of a road project in the state. Some politicians accused him of attacking the governor in the remarks.
Mr Inyangeyen has issued a quick reaction to his sack.
The former chief of staff, in a statement , on Tuesday, thanked Governor Emmanuel for giving him the opportunity to serve in his administration.
“I am grateful to him for having found me worthy to hold the two positions (commissioner for works and later chief of staff) in his administration. And I am pleased I made a positive impact while I served,” he said.
He thanked his former colleagues in the cabinet and the people of Akwa Ibom, and said he remained loyal to Mr Emmanuel and would continue to support the governor’s “completion agenda.”
“I wish to state emphatically that I’ll continue to work for the betterment of our dear state wherever I find myself in future.
“My love for the state and our people remains unquenchable,” he said.