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Detach selves from offices, Akpabio cautions Public Officers


P olitical office holders in the country have been urged to learn to detach themselves from their offices in order to avoid the tendency of sit-tight leadership , which eventually lead to social malady and sponsored political terrorism.  

Akwa Ibom Governor, Chief Godswill O. Akpabio, who gave the advice at the weekend, when a Senatorial aspirant, Obong Bassey Inuaeyen, paid him a consultation visit in Government House, Uyo,  attributed poor leadership in Africa to greed, selfishness and the quest to institute  political dynasties.

Akpabio who expressed happiness at Inuaeyen's declaration to serve only one term, if given the opportunity to represent the Ikot Ekpene people in the Senate, noted that the aspirant's vision aligns with his  (Akpabio's) ideas in terms of detaching one's self from office.

Inuaeyen had assured the governor that if elected, he would not seek a second tenure but would work with Akpabio to produce his successor in 2015.

Responding, the governor  condemned what he termed  “politics of deceit and nepotism” as practised by most Nigerian politicians which, according to him, is bereft of integrity and honour.

  The Governor described Inuaeyen as a man of integrity, well-respected and better known than some senators in the business, political and military classes particularly in Abuja, saying he had taken the right step in coming for consultation.

He recalled that during the 2006 Peoples Democratic Party governorship race in the state, 58 people aspired for the governorship seat apparently because  of what he called lack of sincere direction from the leaders at the time.

According to him, confusion crept in because the governorship position purportedly zoned to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District was contested by interested persons from various parts of the state; explaining that the people, encouraged by the same leaders who initiated the zoning arrangement, paid and collected forms unaware that they were being short-changed.

Akpabio urged politicians to give direction on sharing of political positions and assured that the PDP caucus would soon meet and decide on the sharing of political seats including Ikot Ekpene senatorial seat to dissuade some aspirants from wasting their time and money.

Chief Otu Robert, a political icon from the area, praised the governor for his uncommon development  strides in the state especially free education; free medical care for the elderly from the age of 70, etc and harped on the need for Akpabio's second term in office, urging him to remain focused as there was no credible opposition.

Similarly,   Engr. Udo Umoh, a one-time Deputy President of Itai Afe Annang, after praising the governor, declared his support for  the aspiration of Inuaeyen; adding that he had  reputable and honest political people behind him.

Sir Sunday Udo Akpan, a one-time Commissioner for Finance in the state, while noting that Akpabio was building “a new Akwa Ibom State”, also described the governor as a symbol of unity and urged him to be guided by the Holy Spirit to support the senatorial aspiration of Inuaeyen.

Mrs. Comfort Afia, PDP women leader in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District described Inuaeyen as a truthful, God fearing and honest person and called on all to support him for the race, assuring that he would not disappoint anybody.

 Akpabio tasks journalists to protect democracy
Nigerian journalists have been told that the moral challenge facing them is to protect their investment in democracy by fostering and building lasting democratic traditions and structures.

Akwa Ibom Governor, Chief Godswill O. Akpabio speaking at the weekend at the official opening of National Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) held at Le Meridien Hotels and Golf Resort,  Nwaniba noted that journalists have made tremendous impact to the Country's democracy.

 Akpabio, who was honoured by NUJ with 'Responsive Governance Award' stated: ''You have invested so much in our democracy, that the moral challenge facing you now is for you to protect your investment. Protecting your investment your investment means that your practice fosters and builds democratic traditions and structures.

''Protecting your investment means you must have a process of weeding out the quacks in your midst and ensuring that only qualified and responsible persons are members of this hallowed profession. Protecting your investment means practicing at the highest level and living up to your billing as the fourth estate of the realm'', he asserted.

The Governor berated the upsurge of many mushroom newspapers in the state and other parts of Country run by ill-trained journalists, who write illiterate grammar and rent themselves as mercenaries, thus constituting the greatest threat to the profession and democracy at large.

According to him, ''These ill-qualified journalists who are not college-trained and do not understand theories of social responsibility which guides  your practice do not have any respect for truth and wallow in spinning lies. Perhaps the problem is that we will have to repent not only for the wickedness of these ill-bred quacks but for the appalling silence of the good ones amongst us''.

Akpabio argued that as a democrat, he was not against constructive criticisms but against yellow journalism, gutter press, blackmail, libel, fabrications and casting fiction as fact, calling on NUJ to clean up the house and set new standards of practice for its members.

H e reasoned that journalism is a self-cleansing profession, which has both the moral will and professional strength to rid itself of those he styled ''hired character assassins''.

The Governor, who thanked NUJ for Good Governance Award conferred on him, dedicated it to child prostitutes who returned from Gabon and house-helps who returned from Lagos to enjoy free, compulsory education introduced by Akwa Ibom Government.

Assuring that the award would spur him to work harder to achieve more for the people, he announced a donation of a bus to NUJ national body in Abuja.  

 Alhaji Mohammed Garba, National President of NUJ, commended the governor for hosting the NEC meeting, and pledged to partner with the government  in  the growth of the state.

Garba who is also the President of West African Journalists Association (WAJA) explained that the body was doing much to better the lots of journalists in the Country particularly setting up a committee to check quacks in three states, proposing journalists salary scale now with the Minister of Information and Communications for approval by the Federal Government, and hoped the states would follow suit in implementing the new salary structure for journalists.

On the harassment of journalists, he announced the setting up of a new insurance scheme for working journalists in the Country and hinted that the scheme formal launch holds in September this year, appealing to the Governor to support the scheme.

Earlier, the Chairman on the occasion and former Director-General of Nigeria Copyrights Commission, Mr. Moses Ekpo, had extolled the roles of journalism in a democratic setting and warned against yellow journalism and brown envelopes syndrome by journalists in an attempt to cover the truth.