By Essien E. Ndueso
I got attracted to the news story written by my brother and colleague Franklyn Isong, publisher of the Radar Newspaper an online and terrestrial news organ in Akwa Ibom state, in which he made veiled reference to the Eket Senatorial District Day which was used to receive and celebrate the achievements of Governor Udom Emmanuel-an indigene of the district.
At the said rally, which was organized by the senatorial district members, several stakeholders, youths and elders through their dances, speeches, songs and other gestulations, spoke in unison that they were proud of the successes recorded by the Governor and will stand by him throughout his tenure.
Comments by other leaders from other parts of the state by way of goodwill messages came from a former governor, former national assembly members, and the members of the House of Assembly through the speaker, Barr. Onofiok Luke. A message of support to the state governor also came from royal fathers through Edidem Effiong Achianga, chairman of traditional rulers’ council. Nobody at the carnival which also featured colourful display of traditional troupes, spoke about voting or candidacy of any party for any election , if anyone did it was definitely not the Chairman of the traditional rulers council.
It is therefore highly disturbing and insulting to the traditional institution that Franklyn Isong will decide to manufacture a news item alleging disharmony or disaffection in the state council of chiefs over the support by the number one chief to Governor Emmanuel.
Despite inability to deny knowledge of the principles of news reporting founded on the Five w’s and One h’, Franklyn has failed to mention which of the traditional fathers are unhappy with the support to the governor, where any such meeting to voice out their displeasure took place, and when it was carried out. Rather Franklyn, believes in colouring his own personal opinion which goes with his belief that the Governor should no longer be supported by the people of the state, because he Franklyn had said so.
It is not the first time Franklyn Isong will stir the hornet’s nest against traditional rulers in the State. Few weeks ago, following the visit of the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Mr Victor Antai to Itu and Uyo, the royal fathers had expressed their joy and support to Governor Udom Emmanuel for his job creation and industrialization programmes which will offer employment to thousands of their youths. In his usual nature, Franklyn came up with a write up that the royal fathers were being politically partisan by supporting Governor Udom Emmanuel.
For the umpteenth time, I want to advise my brother Franklyn Isong as follows:
That it is the duty of traditional rulers to give unconditional support to the State government and any other constituted government of the land.
That the Governor of Akwa Ibom State is His Excellency Mr Udom Emmanuel duly sworn in as governor with the backing of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2015.
That I am aware that there are one or two other governors of Akwa Ibom State, who only exist only on Facebook, other social media outlets and within the mindset of few self – seeking politicians.
That until the governorship legal imbroglio in the Supreme Court is decided, everybody has a duty to respect and accord full recognition to Governor Emmanuel as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, and not a rival of any selfish politician.
That no re-run election has been so declared by the electoral umpires.
That previous traditional rulers have at various times accorded full respects and honours to the Governor, who is the number one citizen of the State.
That such titles as Uko Akwa Ibom, Utuenikang Ibibio, Ada Idaha ke Efik Eburutu among others have been accorded the former governors of this state at different times past by leaders of traditional rulers in support of their stewardship.
That the traditional rulers in Akwa Ibom State through Edidem Dickson Umoette on October 10, 2010, endorsed our former Governor and Distinguish Senator Godswill Akpabio for a second term in office, in view of his achievements and the statewide clamour for the then governor’s re-election.
The same Franklyn that never saw anything wrong in the support to Governor Akpabio by Ibibio paramount rulers is now attacking an Ibeno Monarch for supporting the governor, is it because the current supreme monarch is not an Ibibio?
I wish to advise Akwa Ibom people to disregard the publication that falsely assert that there is disenchantment among traditional rulers in Akwa Ibom State, as the report failed to mention anyone. From the channels that have published the false report, it is not hard to see that it is hatched and propagated from the propaganda stable of the state opposition party, the APC who will stop at nothing in causing confusion in the State.
The recent large pool of support by the people of Akwa Ibom State during the Eket Senatorial District reception of the Governor attest to the fact that every right thinking person in the state is on the side of justice and equity. It is the Divine Mandate anchored on equity which rests perfectly on the shoulders of Governor Udom Emmanuel.