By Kufre Etuk|
In the past few weeks, the battle for the soul of Akwa Ibom State has partially shifted from the social media to a new terrain, the Nation Newspaper, where carefully crafted pieces targeted at discrediting the Governor Emmanuel are churned out on weekly basis. At other times too, in the same Nation Newspaper, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state was reduced to a ragtag organization with few confused personalities still steering the sinking ship, called party.
As a strategy to lend credibility to these articles, “foreigners” are paid to take credit for these pieces and sometimes, some personalities in the state are cajoled to own the bylines. But is it not strange that editors of a National paper can comfortably sit in their news room to tell Akwa Ibom people how bad their Governor is?
A contextual analysis of these write ups will tell any cursory reader that these pieces emanate from two personalities in this state: a faceless media aide who still survive under Akwa Ibom State civil service but under contractual work agreement with a perceived Governorship aspirant in the state. The second person is a sacked banker, whose life was recently greased with a new bus and an office apartment along four lane with a mandate to fight Governor Emmanuel. These two men with other foot soldiers, are paid heavily by their master, and to justify their monthly allocation from the “commission”, they have deviced further means of fighting the Governor and Akwa Ibom people. They have compelled foreigners to “tell” us our story. They have made the once revered medium of information dissemination to become a free for all fighting ground where all sorts of trashes are pelted on Akwa Ibom people.
The Nation Newspaper battle started immediately after the Security Summit held at Ibom Hall where Governor Udom Emmanuel took out time to berate the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for its “hurry and drop” approach in project execution in the state.
The Governor averred that the approach adopted by the commission has stalled the agency from inaugurating any project in Akwa Ibom. At the summit, the State Chief Executive urged the commission to liaise with various States Government within the region to avoid crash in projects’ execution.
Perhaps, angered by such level of Governor Emmanuel’s audacity to rebuke the Goliath of Philitines before the mighty from the seat of power who attended the event and carried live by some National media; our brothers swore to the bridge of no return in Ikot Abasi that except Governor Udom’s Government is discredited and reduced to ashes to measure up with his perceived insult on their master, they would have no peace or rest. And the battle began and it’s still going on. They have vowed that two times every week, Mr. Emmanuel must be brought low and the state presented as unstable.
The irony of the war is that, while our brothers are busy telling the outside world that Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of Governor Emmanuel is not fairing well, thousands are trooping into the state to appreciate good leadership and explore opportunities under the ambiance of peace occasioned by harmonious leadership of Governor Emmanuel. Just last week, the Director General Breg. Gen. Zakari Kazaure and the officials of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, in the 36 States of the federation, gathered in Uyo for NYSC Batch B Pre-Mobilization Workshop.
The Workshop served as an avenue for the NYSC and other key stakeholders to make a post-mortem of the previous Mobilization exercises, and proffer ideas for a seamless process of Mobilizing Prospective Corps Members of the 2017 Batch ‘B’.
Also, ongoing is a Federal Government summit with Trade Union leaders in the country, Head of Civil Service in the 36 States and other stakeholders in this sector are in Uyo. The aim of this meeting is to present a holistic plan to the Federal Executive council for approval on workers’ welfare. Presently too, the Chairmen of Peoples Democratic Party in all the states are having a crucial meeting in Uyo. Few days from now, Governor Emmanuel will be playing host to Governors of South South- South East states.
It is laughable that despite the battle in the Nation Newspaper, Nigerians still see Akwa Ibom as a destination not a war zone as portrayed in the national tabloid. This is enough signal to our blinded brothers who have volunteered or coerced to take this battle against the Governor and, invariably Akwa Ibom people, that their strategy has failed. They should know too that no amount of media intimidation can usher their master into the saddle of leadership. Akwa Ibomites are too informed to easily give into sponsored media battle. As rightly stated, promotion doesn’t come from the north nor South but from God.
Once regarded as a trusted source of information, the Nation Newspaper has today allowed its spaces for all sponsored trashes. One keeps wondering where it all started and how we all got to where we have to settle our misunderstanding on the pages of newspapers. But if the NDDC was established to develop the South South states, is there anything wrong in the commission liaising with states government to execute projects of interest to the masses? Government is closer to the masses than the NDDC, and it is only the government that can conveniently tell any Federal Government interventionist agency the needs of the masses. Therefore, if the commission is truly out to touch lives and develop the area, it should work hand in hand with States leadership to execute their projects. After all, we have heard cases where the commission award contracts already awarded to another contractor by the State Government or claimed state government executed projects.
Even though some persons have condemned Governor Emmanuel for openly berating the NDDC in such a gathering, our Governor, like every other person, is not infallible. We must also come to terms that his perceived mistakes cannot erode the fact that he is our leader. We owe him nothing but respect and prayer. Anybody who sees himself as the redeemer of the Israelites, should know that for now, the Israelites in Akwa Ibom state are not in Egypt or led by Pharaoh but by Moses. Those who spend night peddling falsehood should also be aware that those they are trying to defend were once in government and when they instruct you to tell the world that Akwa Ibom State is static, first ask them what they did when they had opportunity to serve the state.
To my brothers in the Nation Newspaper whose names are always used to add credence to falsehood, I would think you should not be more Catholic than the Pope. Don’t stay in Lagos to tell us our problems. If we have any issue to settle with our Governor, we know how to go about it.
To you sacked banker, who has become expert in executing hatchet media jobs, before you go on, first ask yourself what your new boss did for you when he was in power. As for that faceless media aide day-dreaming to become Chief Press Secretary in 2019, it pains me that while drawing salary from the state Government as a civil servant, you have turned back to fight the very government that gave you little beginning. I do not wish you bad and may the leprosy that fell on Gehazi not fall on you for supplanting this government.