Chairman House Committee on Local Content and Member Representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency has commended the professional commitment of journalists for safeguarding our democratic values and projecting Akwa Ibom State to the outside world.
During his opening remarks as Chairman of NUJ public lecture organised to commemorate this year’s world press freedom day, the lawmaker represented by Hon. Imoh Ibokette, Former Member Representing Abak State Constituency paid glowing tributes to journalists around the world, especially in Africa who have made huge commitment to liberate societies from the hands of power-drunk individuals.
The lawmaker commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for making the environment conducive for journalism practice and for accommodating all shades of opinion even when it comes in the form of negative criticisms against his administration.
“This cordial relationship has enhanced the socio-economic and political development of the state and I strongly appeal that the press should continue to give the Governor the necessary support to succeed in developing the state”.
Speaking further, he described press freedom as the “cornerstone of human rights. It is also the driving force for a thriving democracy all over the world.” He noted that “It is however sad to say that while we have dedicated and committed journalists who have worked tirelessly to protect and promote the integrity of the noble profession, there are few out there who have turned themselves into paid agents of blackmail, character assassination and what is commonly known as the ‘pull him down syndrome’.”
Ekon expressed gratitude to NUJ for acknowledging his modest contributions to the development of the state especially in the area of advancing the cause of our youths in the oil and gas sector. “For this singular honour, the door of my office would remain open for partnership and collaboration with the state council of the NUJ.”
“I have been a friend of the media for so many years and it is my hope that this new accord would further cement our bond of friendship”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Journalists presented Hon. Emmanuel Ekon with a commemorative award at the public lecture. Presenting the award, Comrade Ini Ememobong, State Publicity Secretary of PDP said it was in recognition of the lawmaker’s outstanding achievements and steering local content development to the benefit of Nigerians, especially young people and commitment to human capacity development.
Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, State Commissioner of Works; Engr Etido Inyang, Chairman, Ibom Power Company were among recipients of the commemorative award.