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By Aniebiet Umoh. 


It is ludicrous, reading a false alarm raised by a self imposed merchant of falsehood, blackmail and propaganda, Cletus Ukpong, the south-south editor of PREMIUM TIMES, alleging a sponsored media attack on his person by the government of Akwa Ibom state, allegedly coordinated by a media aide to the Governor, Mr. Essien Ndueso.

This publication makes me reminisce the wanton mudslinging and despicable reports by CLETUS UKPONG meant to discredit the Government of Akwa Ibom State and drag the state’s reputation to the mud as well as further incite the people against the government. Not for once has Cletus reported any of the milestone achievements recorded by the Governor, which has attracted accolades from statesmen, including the country’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo.

It could be recalled with nostalgia that the said CLETUS UKPONG sometime last month, alleged in his acclaimed investigative report, with the title ‘ROT IN A’IBOM PUBLIC SCHOOLS”, that the government has failed to improve the fortunes of the state education sector. Turning blind eye on the government’s huge investments in education, Cletus rather went further to exhumed horrible pictures of a school that was being renovated by the government.

The allegations were promptly rejected and refuted by resident journalists and media houses across the state, on noticing that the tinted lines were riddled with blatant lies and sponsored by the opposition APC to devalue Mr. Udom Emmanuel and paint his administration in bad light before the electorates.

I never knew murderers fret when dead sentences are passed on them until I saw one weep when convicted. I never knew those who propagate compromised dictates of people against government will be jittery when their archives plagued with cans of worms are opened.

CLETUS UKPONG is a virus that has eaten deep into the fabrics of PREMIUM times. Everyone who has been a victim of his antagonistic ambush in the guise of journalism practice, thought that the medium he works for would distance itself from his smear campaigns of calumny against reputable persons and government, but seeing its silent mode means the medium condones the skewed attacks.

PREMIUM TIMES is gradually losing value due to the crop of reporters and reports engaged to smear the integrity of people, perceived to be threats to their paymaster. The serial attacks orchestrated by them does not just unveil the the medium’s romance with the opposition party against proactivity and transparent leadership of Mr. Udom Emmanuel, but further exposes insincerity and breach of ethics of qualitative journalism.

Accusing the state government and Mr Essien Ndueso, an aide to Governor Emmanuel on media as being behind the serial exhumed truth about CLETUS UKPONG in recent times, when he is outnumbered with newspaper reports, by journalists who find the noble profession bastardized by his pettiness and greed, is an attempt to attract public sympathy and cover the spotted rot in the media house habouring a compromised reporter.

Essien Ndueso, as an aide to the Governor on media knows his bounds. As a pioneer chairman of the Sensor Newspaper Chapel of the Akwa Ibom State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, who also was an Editor in the newspaper, he is in tune with the nitty-gritty of the journalism profession. So raising an alarm of coordinating attacks on a man who has less importance to the state is really laughable.

But come to think of it, why is CLETUS UKPONG afraid of the sudden Pandora Box opened by different media outfits of his person?

Is Cletus afraid that many more dirts will be digged out to further show the world his demeaned integrity; just like the KAIROS story he painted to suit his family, or is he afraid that PREMIUM TIMES, will be forced to divorce him when more denting sordid details about him are brought to fore?

“He who wants to go to equity, must go with a clean hand”. Akwa Ibom State Government looks poised to concentrate in its avowed promise of leaving the state better than what they met, no blackmail can deter their pursuit, so despite the countless efforts to distract and gain attention, it would have been better to remove the skeletons in the closet first, or turn its focus in dishing out reports that will help quell the incessant killings by herdsmen and impunity that is thriving in the APC-led government.

CLETUS should apologize for spearheading spurious lies against a government that is seen sacrificing genuinely to better the lives of the people. He should know that this government has shown determination to reposition the common man to live independently comfortable, through it diversified investments as evident in the numerous strategically placed industries, renewed face of the health sector, improvised agriculture sector, remodeled education sector and the standardized road infrastructural network across every part of the state. He should also know that fighting a working government led by Mr. Udom Emmanuel means fighting the six million Akwa Ibom state people who empowered him with the divine mandate in 2015, and the media attacks may not cease until he also sees and reports the good things done by this administration.

I am true to myself even in the hazard of incurring others’ ridicule than to be false and incur my abhorrence.

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