When in August 1, 2013, the Akwa Ibom State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists held its election to elect members to pilot the affairs of the council as executive officers; Elder Patrick Albert came out with flying colours and was elected chairman of the union amidst pomp and pageantry. Before, during and after the election the, name rang bells and continue to ring bells to date because of the numerous lofty ideas and programmes he envisaged for the council.
To some, these were mere political gimmicks but today it cannot be said to be so because all that he said and promised to do had come to fruition.
On Sunday, September, 2013 the Patrick Albert led Exco and members held a thanksgiving/dedication service at New Birth Bible Church 29 New Birth Avenue, Uyo where God through Bishop Josephine G. Eggah gave him and the Exco the enablement to undertake the journey with members who all voted him into the office.
On Sunday, January 19, 2014, the Elder Patrick Albert-led Exco and members had yet another religious programme at Rapture Trust Gospel Ministries International Incorporated, Maranatha Ikot Akpa Ntuk, Ukanafun Local Government Area where the presiding Bishop of the church, Bishop (Dr.) Moswill Umoh poured much more blessings on the chairman, Exco and members of the union. His words, “We believe and pray that the beautiful spirit of one Akwa Ibom demonstrated by your union and leadership will forever bind Nigerians together and create an Open Heaven blessing for the NUJ family”. It could also be recalled that the chairman, Elder Patrick Albert led members to in 2015 and 2016 NUJ annual thanksgiving to worship at Methodist Church in Esit Eket and Qua Iboe Church, 112 Nwaniba Road respectively.
What a good beginning? Surely, Elder Patrick Albert is blessed for the job and there should be no hung detraction to enable him accomplish what the Almighty had chosen him to undertake.
The paramount Ruler of Offot Ukwa clan council Etebom Silvanus Okon threw more light on what Patrick had been able to do since his coming on board. Speaking at a reception in honour of the State Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo organized by NUJ at the Press Centre on 13th May, 2016; himself, a doyen of the Journalism profession Etebom Sylvanus who poured innuendos and encomiums as well as royal blessing on Elder Patrick Albert recalled when the present site of the Press Centre was an agelong forest and and described the site as a place “where information was usually received”. The Royal father expressed joy on how the place was now transformed by the Patrick-led administration.
Such was the case by the National President of the NUJ, Alhaji Abdulwaheed Odusile while presenting an Award to Mr. Moses Ekpo at the occasion and said that he could not believe his eyes when in just one year ago, he came to campaign at the centre for his position as the National President of the Union in that the place had so been transformed beyond imagination.
Others who spoke with admiration of what the centre had automatically come to be were Engineer Samuel Inyang who was also the chairman on the occasion, the commissioner for Information and Communications, Deacon Aniekan Umanah, the State Chief Judge, His Lordship, Justice Stephen Okon, the former editor of National concord, Mr. Nsikak Essien, the pioneer National President of NAWOJ (Nigeria Association of Women Journalists), Obonganwan (Dr.) Brenda Akpa while Elder Patrick Albert whose body language seemed to have said that nothing was seen yet and that more was still coming.
In the light of this, it is pertinent that Elder Patrick Albert be given a chance for a second term to enable him show what he has. Already, he had established a functional NUJ choir with musical equipment; provided five new Toyota Hiace buses and these, were distributed to some chapels; provided 150KVA and 60KVA generating sets, completed NUJ mini club house, built perimeter fencing around the NUJ Press centre with modern gate house with garden, established a ICT Centre for members, as well as ongoing 2-storey building office complex among others.
What else can man do? Patrick has tried and never tired. In his remark at a congress held September 11, 2014 he stated. “Journalism is not just to report but to report well” and advised members to do everything possible to uplift the profession urging them to be mindful of media laws and ethics. Also during Thursday June 18, 2015, he added, “we will turn the Press Centre into a model within the zone and the nation and our visitors will observed that the NUJ is not what it used to be”. Correct!
Looking on the faces of many members and non-members around the vicinity, their lips seem to be saying wish this man, Patrick solely continue so as to bring in more development to the area like the construction of the Information Drive leading to the centre. Waou! That is so and would be so come 2016 NUJ elections. Echoes from the Rebirth Camp, we hear Kposa, Kposa, Kposa loud and clear, so Patrick take a bow. Congratulations.