By Joseph Ekpo
The Commissioner for works, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Ephraim Akparawa Iyang-Eyen who is also the Grand Patron Zone “F” South South of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in a Special Congress of the NUJ held recently at the Press Centre in Uyo Unbuckled doubts saying that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Akwa Ibom state can only work together to bring sustainable development to the people.
This reaction was driven by certain controversial reports filled by the Press that the state government has been interfering with the good intentions of NDDC thereby denying the people of Akwa Ibom State the right to enjoying the dividend of democracy. Mr. Iyang-Eyen expressed disappointment and in the same breathe disclosed that no government vested with the vision of transforming the people by creating sterling infrastructure that could fast-tract multifaceted development would hinder what by right belongs to the people as one of the oil producing states of the nation.
The NUJ South South Grand Patron in his state of brevity, told the pen professionals that the government’s good intention was only misconstrued by the people as painted by some wing of the media whereas the government was only concerned that NDDC collaborate by flaunting their job specifications to meet with the global best standard of construction, afterall, checks and balances should not be undermined to get justification for the figures which would go into the books of this commission.
He also cleared the air on a related speculation which forbears that compensations across sites of road construction has been stayed thereby denying the property owners the consolation which would have enlivened the indigenes perception forwards development reception.
Mr. Iyang-Eyen therefore put it to the media community that such speculation could not establish any iota of truth as property owners were paid in leaps and bounds across the state with success reliant upon the approach used as well as the number of signatories involved. He afterwards urged journalists not to break news devoid of ethical attachment with unbowed enormity of destruction when political parties might have changed names and unborn generation brought into the scene.
Mr. Iyang-Eyen acknowledged the assessment of Nigeria Union of Journalists to have conveyed on him, the Grand Patron, South South zone and promised to keep the expectation of the Union afloat by supporting the completion of the NUJ two–storey office Complex, Uyo.
The Chairman of the NUJ, Akwa Ibom State Council, Elder Patrick Albert emphasized that it takes only a resolute and courageous leader as the South South Grand Patron of the Union, Mr. Iyang-Eyen to seem undeterred in the face of controversies and understanding the need to give a rundown on the infrastructural plan of the state as this will enhance a fair reportage by journalists. The special congress of the Union also witnessed the cutting of cake by 14 professionals who the Union enjoined in celebrating their birth month in a grand style.