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RE: Udom’s CPS Spits on journalists in Onna…vows to deal with NUJ Boss, ors



Blackmail taken to ridiculous level

iReporters News

I have read a story credited to one Ukeme Etukudo, a possible pseudo-name which was posted on the Facebook Wall of Essien Inyang who is a Media Aide of Senator Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate).

In the story in question, the writer out of hate, malice and uncontrollable animus of maniacal proportions had manufactured a lie that I believe resided only in his fertile but wrongly utilized brain. The writer, in the said write-up said I spat on journalists and vowed to deal with the Akwa Ibom State NUJ Chairman, Elder Patrick Albert, for daring to ask certain questions about the local government elections yesterday, (December 2nd, 2017). The said writer went ahead to label me a “notorious drunk”.

After reading the story, I was left wondering who the Ekerete Udoh the writer was referring to was, because the individual he was talking about bears no resemblance in character, judgements, manner, values, orientation or carriage to who I am.

While so may unsubstantiated and unsanitized things may have been said about me by people who do not agree with my political or professional views and judgements, I have never to my the best of my recollections, in my 32 years as a practising journalist both in Nigeria and in the United States, where among other things, I was a Media Partner (African Diaspora) to the Obama/Biden Campaign, 2008 and 2012 respectively, been called “a notorious drunk”.  This therefore, must be a new low.

For the information of the writer, I have been recovering from a near- death experience I had, at Reigners’ Bible Church building collapse, whose first anniversary will come up next Sunday and had been recovering to the glory of God from the surgery I had to repair my almost broken left knee. Those who are conversant with post-surgery recovery regime will testify that alcohol consumption do not mix or go well with such recovery processes. I am therefore, shocked that someone will call me a “notorious drunk” just to spite me.  I challenge the writer to prove or show the world instances that I was “notoriously drunk” or where he saw me anywhere in Uyo or any other place in this State abusing alcohol. It is very sad how people can descend to morally revolting point to blackmail someone just because you hate the person’s guts.

Now, let me address the other issue that he raised in his story. Unlike what he concocted that I spat on journalists who had “sought his views on the goings on in his area as regards the polls”, no such encounter happened. This is what had happened, which in simple term was a clear case of ambush: The NUJ Chairman, Elder Patrick Albert had met me at the location in question and without prior arrangements or the courtesy of notifying me ahead of time of his intentions, demanded that I take the journalists who were in about five 18- seater buses to see the Governor at Awa Iman.

I had politely told Elder Albert that as someone who once worked as a media aide to  former Governor Attah, it was not proper for him to request to see the Governor on the spur of the moment, that he should have notified me ahead of time about his intentions to interview the Governor. I told him that what he did was ambush pure and simple as he never thought that I was going to be at the location in the first place and he knew I was in my village in Awa-Afaha Clan to cast my vote, where he could easily have contacted me.

In spite of this obvious ambush, and in an effort to appease the journalists, I told the NUJ Boss to ready his colleagues and we all drove to Awa Iman. Unfortunately, as we walked to the country home of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, in Awa-Iman, his convoy was driving out enroute to Uyo, having earlier cast his vote along with the First Lady, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel.

I had expected the NUJ Boss to appreciate my effort, in spite of what was obviously an ambush, but he didn’t. He instead started raining abuses on me, questioning my professional judgements and threatening me that he was going to report me to the Governor for not allowing the journalists on his entourage to see him. I was shocked and I told the NUJ Boss that I was disappointed in his behaviour, and I told him in no uncertain terms that I do not like people threatening me, especially after I had gone the extra mile to satisfy his demand. If by my expressing a strong professional view, the writer felt I spat on journalists, then something must be really wrong with the state of our journalism practice and lovers of the profession should be mightily alarmed and concerned.

I had told Elder Patrick that he should at least, have appreciated my effort, because, in the first instance, there was no prior arrangements for journalists in his entourage to interview the Governor, and the last time I checked, which is also a principle that is respected all over the world, journalists don’t just walk up to Presidents or Governors and demand on-the-spot interviews without such interviews being scheduled ahead of time. I had pleaded with the NUJ Boss to ensure that going forward; he should notify me of such plans ahead of time so I may make the necessary arrangements. That gentle plea was rejected by the NUJ Chairman and he continued to rave and rant, which shocked me, beyond words. That was exactly what had happened.

I am thus surprised to read this defamatory and obviously politically motivated lie and blackmail –laden garbage on the Facebook Wall of the Media Aide to Senator Ita Enang, Essien Inyang who is   known to enjoy a close and special personal relationship with the NUJ Chairman, Elder Patrick Albert. This to me is nothing but blackmail taken to a new low and is really sad and unfortunate!

I have worked hard to cultivate and deepen the relationship with the media in the State; I have also had occasions to disagree with the mechanics of news dissemination, especially those that are tainted with malice and lies, but as a proud journalist I have never and will never demonize my colleagues who are members of my primary constituency.  As they say in the profession: dogs don’t eat dogs. The young people should try and learn this principle. It will help them with their growth and development.


Ekerete Udoh

Chief Press Secretary /Senior Special Assistant (Media) to Governor Udom Emmanuel

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