Blame not the state information commissioner

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It is a known adage that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. The Akwa Ibom Commissioner of Information, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, addressing the Press early October, 2009, hinted about “fifth columnists”

and warned the media “against allowing it to be used by spineless politicians who want to return to political relevance through the back door” hinting that through articles and letters Akpabio's administration is being run down especially now that 'Ibibios' planned to endorse him for a second term.

The Commissioner forgot that with his warning, he may have insulted the sensibility of most professional journalists, who are not ordinary marketing or public relations professionals. Choice of words in press statements is very important; the onus is on the Commissioner to name those “spineless politicians” since according to him he has reports on them. Anything short of this makes him fall within the rank of the “fifth columnists”.

Also, he was quoted as having said “Of serious concern to the state government is the claim by these faceless leaders that most of the landmark projects that were recently commissioned by the Akpabio-led administration were executed even before Akpabio came on board”. On this, I challenge him on two things: Can he comment on the lie that the present government built the Dialysis Centre at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and equipped it with 17 machines? He should also list and give locations of the over 3,000 projects advertised to have been started and completed within two years by the present administration. The masses have demanded for this umpteenth time.

I know that the silent majority Akwa Ibomites feels that that request to the media by the Commissioner is like kettle calling pot black; they would rather appeal to the media to cross-check achievement claims by governments before publication. It could be said that the present administration in Akwa Ibom dwell more on publicizing matters of personal aggrandizements, things like: coercive actions, governor's child's naming ceremony, visit to handicapped councilor as if it was a favour doing so, distribution of text books, cash and jeep gifts to some including churches for “anointing” etc – as if such are achievements.

Sunday Isong
88 Kehinde StreetAgbara
Ogun State.

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