A robust engagement between the media and the legislature in the state has again been re-echoed by the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke. The Speaker believes that a regular interface between the media and members of the House of Assembly will be beneficial to Akwa Ibom people as this would enable the public to assess their representatives.
To further cement the beginning of such interface, the Speaker has mandated a team led by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Communications, Rt. Hon. Barr. Ime Okon, comprising the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Kufre Okon, and Information Officer of the assembly to liase with the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council, for the purpose of drawing up a programme content for the engagement. Rt. Hon. Luke made this known on Monday when he received the state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, who were on a courtesy visit to him.
Welcoming the leadership and members of the pen profession to the assembly complex, the Speaker thanked the journalists for always being on his side. He observed that so far, he has enjoyed a friendly media environment from the media community. He also commended the assembly press corps for their objective reportage of the state legislature. He used the opportunity to advice journalists who are still engaging in unethical media practices to dwell more in reporting objectively.
He urged the press community in the state to be supportive of the Udom Emmanuel’s administration, explaining that power shift to Eket senatorial district in 2015 was a collective decision of Akwa Ibom people for the sake of equity, justice and fairness. The Speaker argued that since Uyo and Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts had produced governors in the past, it was fair that the people of Eket be supported by all to have their turn for the continuous peaceful co-existence of the people of the state.
Earlier, the NUJ Chairman, Comrade Patrick Albert, said the visit was their own way of showing solidarity to the Speaker whom he described as a friend, brother and co-traveller in the Akwa Ibom project. He used the opportunity to solicit the Speaker’s support towards the ongoing press centre project at the NUJ secretariat. The Chairman also briefed the Speaker on a proposed broadcast programme, ‘THE PODIUM’, by the NUJ which seeks to promote public accountability among government officials.