By Edifon ABASI-OBOT
Journalists in Akwa Ibom State have been urged to see themselves as an integral part of the larger matrix of governance in the State, hence work towards promoting good governance and social stability.
Special Adviser to the Governor Udom Emmanuel in the Bureau of Political, Legislative Affairs and Water Resources, Barrister Ekong Sampson, made the advocacy in a gathering to mark the 2nd year in office of the Elder Patrick Albert-led executive of the Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The event which also marked the 2nd Anniversary of the ‘Rebirth Sustenance Movement’ which championed the re-election of Elder Patrick Albert as the first two-terms Chairman of the Union in the State, hosted a swarm of media practitioners in the State, as well as veterans in the profession.
The Special Adviser said the media community should identify its role as the fourth estate of the realm and part of a superstructure that should work together for the common good of the society.
Barrister Sampson said it is well known to journalists in the State that Governor Udom Emmanuel has earned for Akwa Ibom State the respect of Nigeria, through projects and commitment to delivering the dividends of democracy.
He stressed that it has been well said and noted that Akwa Ibom State government is working, making reference to the tremendous improvement in power supply Uyo and several other parts of the State, among other developmental strides.
According to him, “there is no way we can drive our economy without power. The intervention of Governor Udom Emmanuel in the power sector has really demonstrated his commitment to diversifying the flanks of the economy.”
The Special Adviser said Akwa Ibom State is blessed to have a governor who is a true democrat, committed to entrenching the truest values of democracy in the State.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the government of Akwa Ibom State to working with the will of the people and ensuring that the forthcoming local government elections is free, fair and transparent, to serve as a model of democracy for Nigeria.
Barrister Sampson, who is veteran journalist, said “We have been clamouring for local government elections, now the time has come. The challenge is for us to identify people with capacity to carry the responsibility of governance at the grassroots level,” adding that the best will emerge as chairmen and councilors.
For the NUJ, he declared the beginning of a new dawn of partnership where friendships will be explored and government is seen as larger responsibility for all.
He decried the tragedy that some journalists sometimes fail to see government as a larger responsibility where all have stakes. “We are all stakeholders within the good governance ideal and the moment we see government as a larger framework where we all belong, the better for us and the system,” he added.
The Special Adviser said “the pen profession is one clan I remain very proud to belong, even as a lawyer, I remain committed to it and share friendship across both divides. Together we’ll take it to the best of heights. The concerns sometimes raised about the moral misbehavior of some our colleagues in the profession only throws a challenge on all of us to do a lot of re-engineering.”
Barrister Sampson expressed confidence in the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Council of the NUJ, describing him as a go-getter.
He stressed Elder Patrick Albert has been known to him overtime as a man of focus who, with great capacity for initiative, teamwork, meeting targets and bringing results. He therefore described the choice to have him run the affairs of the “pen clan” as well informedand apt.
The Special Adviser commended Elder Patrick Albert for initiating and sustaining a number of projects which will remain a mark of change in the trajectory of Journalism in the Akwa Ibom State and beyond, describing him as a man imbued with vision to pilot the affairs of the NUJ in the State. Elder Patrick Albert is a great team player, a motivator, a man of ideas, who can function anywhere and whose influence traverses the local frontiers.
In his remarks, Elder Patrick Albert was full of thanks to the Special Adviser for always identifying with journalists in the State and maintaining a rapport between the government and the media in the State.
Albert described Ekong Sampson’s jinx breaking political traverseas a source of inspiration, recounting his record as first to serve two terms as Council Chairman in Mkpat Enin LGA and two-term State House representative from the area in successively.
He commended the Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration in the State, describing it as people oriented and accommodating diverse interests in the State.