It has been long when my ribs were crack as a result of laughter; I had a fair share of experience when the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council paid a solidarity visit on the leadership of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) last weekend when the chairman, Essien Udim local government Transition Committee, Barr. Paulinus Idiong walked in to the hall of the meeting. On his arrival, ALGON members yelled with great expectation that the Essien Udim helms man whom they described as ‘paramount ruler’ will display the ‘Wisdom of Solomon’ through his proverbial argument. True to it was when the Chairman was asked to round off the meeting with a closing prayer was instructive when the prayer was full of proverbial insight coupled with great and instructive meanings.
In his address, the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council, Elder Patrick Albert expressed his gratitude to the ALGON leadership for despite their challenging schedule, create time for the visit. He acknowledged the support of ALGON before, during and after the 2016 NUJ press week, which he described as the best of its kind since the inception of NUJ in Akwa Ibom State. The chairman urged ALGON to sustain their support to the union as these will not go unnoticed.
The chairman enjoined members of ALGON and other public spirited individuals to be at the vanguard of lending a supportive hands to NUJ as this will go a long way to ensuring that journalists in the state work in tandem with their ethics of practice while it also ensure that journalism thrives, “if journalism practice is encouraged, the rate of information dissemination in the state will be strengthened”. Elder Albert who appraised the activities of the current Transition Chairmen of local government whom he described as ‘superior performance’ so far as they have performed above expectation in view of the present economic challenges and called on Governor Udom Emmanuel to reconsider them by encouraging these crop of chairmen to contest for executive position in the coming local government election.
Responding, the chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in the state, Mr. Frank Archibong thanked the state Governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel for giving them the opportunity to serve in that capacity, whom he described as a rear opportunity. He also appreciates leadership of the forth estate of the realm for the visit and said that journalists and journalism are agents of growth and development, “journalism and Journalists are agent of growth and economic development. You are the one that bring government programmes to the fore”.
He urged media professionals to always project the state in good light and not painting an imaginary picture, thereby portraying the state in bad and negative light, adding that the image we create to ourselves that people out there will see us’. He noted that the present crop of chairmen are miracle workers because inspite the present economic situation in the country, tries to ensure that they provide basic amenities to respective communities within their local areas, “the present local government Transition chairmen are men and women with great capacities as they have done all within their abilities to deliver dividends of democracy in their respective local government areas”. He called on the peole to continue to have faith in them, believe in them and as well as support the leadership of governor Udom Emmanuel who, according to him is poised to develop the state through the dakkada development policy.
Present among the ALGON leadership were Ubong Idiong, Chairman – Oruk Anam; Ubong Uquang, Chairman – Ikot Abasi; Dr. Edwin Okon, Chairman – Uruan; Itoro Columba, Chairman – Ikono; Barr. Mfon Ben, Chairman – Uyo; Barr. Paulinus Idiong, Chairman – Essien Udim; Pastor Samuel Eka, Chairman – Ibiono Ibom and Cletus Ekpo, Chairman – Etinan.