The attention of Coalition Of Online Publishers Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) has been drawn to a mischief by one Ubon Marcus and his co-travelers in mischief making, in an indirect attempt to ridicule a live tweet session/interview we had with Senator James Akpan Udoedehe, a former Chairman of Uyo Local Government Council, former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a former Minister of State for FCT.
Barely after COOPA departed the residence of the 2011 gubernatorial candidate in the state, our attention was drawn to a social media update by the aforementioned mischief maker on his timeline which quoted Senator Udoedehe as having said thus:
“Politics aside, Gov. Udom Emmanuel has really tried to manage the lean resources of the State. When you see him embarking on projects and at the same time paying salaries promptly you just know that only a man with financial knowledgeability can do that. But that notwithstanding, we still have to find ways of giving him some trouble to see if we can push him out or collect our own share. Don’t look at me like that. In this business that is how it is. Politics ke ado.
– Sen. Udoh Adede.
For the records, the social media/internet space has in the last few days been hosting heavy trends on #AksDemocracyDay2018 #COOPATweetSeries which commenced from May 22nd through May 29th (the D day), featuring series of interview sessions with stakeholders in various industries and politicians discussing topics centered around the theme; ‘19 Years of Democracy in Nigeria : Past & Prospects…Akwa Ibom State in focus’. An online campaign we launched, as we moved to engage all Akwa Ibom born appointed and elected office holders FROM ALL POLITICAL PARTIES, as well as stakeholders both in government and the private sectors in discussions bothering on our 19 years of uninterrupted democratic rule, as well as the gains and losses, as the count on both Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large.
Considering where his name should be in the political history of Akwa Ibom and Nigeria, COOPA had considered Senator Udoedehe an interesting discussant, especially considering his renowned status as a leading figure in opposition in the state’s polity. Hence, the interview… but how and why some elements renowned in mischief making, especially on social media, found a lucrative mischief-making opportunity in our session with Senator Udoedehe, remains an incomprehensible mystery to us.
We hereby put it straight into record and to the public that never did Senator Udoedehe make the above quoted statement as was credited to him, indirectly though, but with a rather perceivable cryptic motive.
While COOPA, in line with modern and best democratic practices, firmly defends Senator Udoedehe’s right to freedom of expression irrespective of his choice of political affiliation, we strongly condemn the use of our exclusive hashtags for such propagandist, distorted, coloured and skewed manner of misrepresenting the former Minister.
In-as-much as COOPA would not have bothered itself over this unnecessary of attitude of childishness by the mischief maker and his supposed sponsor, COOPA wishes to inform them that politicking is best and progressive when it centers on positive engagement. COOPA Democracy Day Tweet Series is to showcase the ideals and progress of Akwa Ibom NOT otherwise.
May we also put in on record that prior to the session with Senator Udoedehe, COOPA had engaged some serving officers of the current government in the state who apparently belong to the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party in the state, including the Commissioner for Housing and Special Duties, Political Adviser to incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel, among others, all of which went well without any negative trail, not even by the same group of persons. One may now understand the reason behind this waywardness, as Sen. Udoedehe happens to be the first member of an opposition party in the state to have had a session with us.
COOPA, therefore, warns Mr Ubon Marcus,his co-travelers and sponsors to refrain from steering the ship of disunity, destabilization and disharmony in Akwa Ibom, instead should channel their energies in the furtherance of justice, fairness, equity, progress and development of Akwa Ibom State.
We must note here that from the complaints and bitter reactions we have received on account of this act of media rascality, several fingers have pointed to the state body of the Peoples Democratic Party, particularly, the office of the State Publicity Secretary as being the Hand-of-Esau behind this malicious act. However, COOPA will not be tempted into towing the path of such hasty conclusion. However, just as we have deemed it unright to use the waywardness of a child to judge the character of the parents, we expect such parents to appreciate this magnanimity by advising the child, as well as show him the dangers of leading a wayward life.