Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Re: Gov Akpabio defies PDP to endorse Udom as ESD sole candidate

 Re: Gov Akpabio defies PDP to endorse Udom as ESD sole candidate
It is a known fact that in an election-year like  this, cheap publications rely on speculations,  fabrications and outright lies to attract attention, particularly from a gullible public. But thank goodness, Akwa Ibom people are becoming very enlightened to discern truth and facts from daydream falsehoods. Premised on the above, therefore, this reaction to a publication in a little known “Global Post”  is for the benefit of the few, who could be easily misinformed.

The said misleading publication (Global Post, 19th October 2014; page7) was captioned: “Gov Akpabio defies PDP to endorse Udom as ESD sole candidate…The Nduese Essien Reception, Paul Ekpo, Assam Assam Connection”. It claimed, among other, that Governor Akpabio ‘ordered’ a rally in honour of Mr Udom Emmanuel at Eket Township Stadium on October 14, 2014. It also claimed that the governor had earlier sponsored a reception in honour of Chief Nduese Essien on October 11, 2014 “as a counter to  the reception and honour given to former Governor Obong Victor Attah by the Ibibio people”(sic). The story  added that Governor Akpabio “instigated” the Nduese Essien’s reception with “N50 million for its hosting to show that Eket people are not Ibibio and should not be under Obong Attah’s command”. It was also alleged that Governor Akpabio nominated Nduese Essien to the National Conference to induce the latter’s support for Udom Emmanuel.

First, I state here clearly, as the chairman of the Media/Publicity sub-committee of the  reception by Eket Federal Constituency in honour of Udom Emmanuel, that the event was to appeal to the governor to release the SSG to contest the governorship ticket. As was clearly mentioned during the event, Emmanuel is a proud son of the Eket Federal Constituency. And democracy and natural justice demand that his people support his aspiration. It is also traditional, particularly in Africa, that the community must send one of its own on errand. Such communal quest for leadership and representation is bound to yield more common dividends than those emanating from inordinate ambitions of individuals.

The event also called on the SSG to resign his appointment before October 20, 2014 in line with the guidelines, so he can contest the said governorship ticket. It would therefore sound unreasonable to say that the governor sponsored or “ordered” some people to urged him to release one of his key lieutenants for the purpose of an election.

On the Nduese Essien’s reception, I also state categorically, as the Chairman of the Planning Committee of that event, that Governor Akpabio did not give any money towards the organization of that reception. As a matter of fact, no government official donated towards the event, either as a representation of government or in individual capacities. The financial support and logistics of the event were pooled locally by friends, associates, former colleagues, etc of the celebrator. The story of N50million government sponsorship must have been a malaria-induced hallucination.

It should also be noted that the reception was not to counter anybody or group of persons. As I stated at various interviews before the actual event, the reception was necessary because we felt it was right to appreciate those who have done-well for our communities, state and nation while they are still alive. Even God almighty appreciates appreciation. Gratitude encourages productivity. Nduese Essien has done so much for Akwa Ibom and Nigeria to be ignored. The NDDC we have today came from his contributory effort in the House of Representatives, among many others. It therefore follows that the reception was well-deserved and was not a counter to Obong Attah’s reception.

To even say that Essien’s reception was to prove that Ekid is not Ibibio and therefore not under Attah’s command is an insult to Eket people. Clearly, Ekid Nation does not need a reception to claim its autonomous identity. Eket is as much Ibibio as Annang, Oro, Obolo, etc.

It is a further insult to both the Eket people and Governor Akpabio to claim that Essien was nominated to the National Assembly as a bribe for his political support. The writer must have been somewhere at infancy when the Ekid People’s Union (EPU) addressed a press conference to request that an Eket son should be nominated to represent Ekid interest at the Confab. It was based on that appeal that Essien made the list as an elder-statesman.

Lastly, it must be noted that journalism as the business of informing the public, thrives on facts. To deliberately misinform the readers is not only criminal, it is morally debasing. Anyone who takes journalism as a trade should therefore discuss with his conscience the imperatives of upright reporting. To do otherwise is to deliberately cause chaos, disaffection and hatred where none should be. Sooner than later, the enlightened public would see through the fabric of lies and the purveyor of falsehood properly exposed!

Chief Usoro I. Usoro,
(Senior Special Assistant to Governor Akpabio on Media/ Mkpafagh Ekid)

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