“Ekeng Etim Inyang was born in 1935. After obtaining his First School Leaving Certificate, he left for Lagos and joined the Nigerian Railway Account School in 1953 and was employed as an account clerk with the Corporation. He worked for eight years and later left to start business.
He started as a dealer in second hand vehicles between 1959 and 1962. He also had a garment factory in Aba before the civil war.
After the civil war, he started again as a trader, dealing on spare parts and motorcycles at Uyo and Calabar. Later on, he was appointed sole distributor of Suzuki motorcycle in the three Eastern States – East Central, Rivers and South Eastern States.
At the same time, Ekeng Inyang was appointed a dealer by Leventis Motors for Honda motorcycles in 1968. He became the highest seller of Honda motorcycle for the company in 1973 and was awarded a free ticket to visit Japan for two months.
On returning from Japan , he was appointed dealer for Mercedes-Benz Trucks and cars by the Leventis Motors under the business name E.E. Inyang and Co. Nigerian Ltd. Ekeng Inyang and Chief Olodibe, Managing Director of Ekene Motors, Onitsha, were the first two Nigerians to operate the luxurious Mercedes Benz buses in the country from 1973 to 1983. Ekeng made himself popular in the field of transportation in the whole of the Federation with a fleet of luxurious buses popularly known as-
INYANG ETTE LINE.
He was the Managing Director and Chief Executive of E.E. Inyang and Co. Nig. Ltd, Inyang Ette Line and Ekeng Industrial Limited.
Ekeng Inyang employed over 250 workers in his chain of companies, which included sole distributors for Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited with head office at Aka Ekpeme , Ikono Local Government Area
In politics, Ekeng Inyang was a force to reckon with. In 1979, he was elected with overwhelming majority to represent Ediene-Itak constituency in the former Cross River State House of Assembly on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). While in the House, he argued for and successfully convinced the government to create Ubon Local Government Area out of Ikono Local Government Area with headquarters at Aka Ekpeme .(Unfortunately, this was later abrogated by the Buhari/Idiagbon regime in 1984)
In the area of community development, Inyang Ette touched the lives of many Nigerians. He constructed 5kilometer road to link Ediene -Itak constituency with Ikono III constituency (Ukpom) from Osuk Ediene to Ikot Idaha.
In 1973, he drilled a borehole and handed it over to the entire Osuk Ediene community. Besides, he electrified the entire village and supplied uninterrupted electricity to the community through his personal generating plant.
In educational development, Ekeng fought for the establishment of a secondary school for Itak clan and Ediene Usung Itu.
He single handedly built a police station at Aka Ekpeme and donated it to the Nigeria Police.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to community development, the Ikono Council of Chiefs honoured Ekeng with the Chieftaincy title of Obong Uforo Ikono in February 1986.
He died in 1993.”
Source: Culled from “Ikono: The Cradle of Ibibio Nation”
Written by: David Ukpong, Martin Akpan and Nnamso Akang (2001)