2023: Prof. Akpan Ekpo harps on role of Local Media, Lauds formation of USDMPF
Ahead of the February 18, 2023 General Elections as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Akpan Hogan Ekpo says the
Local media is very important and key in determining the direction of politics in Akwa Ibom State.
Prof. Ekpo made the disclosure in Uyo at his Ewet Housing residence while addressing members of the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum, USDMPF, when they paid him a courtesy visit.
While expressing happiness with the formation of USDMPF and endorsing their plans to identify and support any candidate that will bring dividends of democracy to the State, Professor Ekpo said that he has worked closely with Governor Udom Emmanuel, whom he posited, has a very robust development plan that endeared him to the governor.
Ekpo noted that the Governor has done a lot for Akwa Ibom, but particularly commended him for restoring and sustaining the peace in the State, stressing that, the USDMPF in helping in the search for a successor must support the one who will ensure that the peace currently being enjoyed in the state, is sustained beyond 2023.
The foremost economist described Udom Emmanuel as a very brilliant administrator, insisting that, the people of Akwa Ibom should know the quality of those who want to run for governorship, their level of experience, exposure, intellect and capacity to be able to make an informed choice.
He charged the people to support Governor Emmanuel in his completion agenda. Prof Ekpo advised that, even though at the end, he is unable to complete everything he started, Akwa Ibom people should applaud him for the ones he is able to complete.
According to him, “In the West, if you were given five things to do and you are able to do one, they will sing your praises on that one and project you like an angel. But here in Akwa Ibom, if you were given ten things to do and you are able to complete nine, they will crucify you for that one you didn’t complete.”
On the Security challenges facing the country, Prof Ekpo argued that, every State and country has it’s own challenges as there is no perfect government anywhere.
He noted that, to end insecurity in Nigeria, intelligence gathering is very important, lamenting that, this was lacking.
He said everyone should be concerned about the security situation and not politicize it.
“Everybody should be interested in security matters because it’s everybody’s business. I feel very sad seeing the way those in opposition are responding to security matters. If anything happens today it will affect everybody”, Ekpo said.
He also charged the Government to cut cost of governance which, he maintained, is too high in Nigeria and flayed the unemployment rate which is fuelling insecurity in Nigeria
Prof. Ekpo, who is the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Post Covid 19 Economic Reconstruction Committee was the Former Vice Chancellor University Of Uyo and Immediate Past Director General West African Institute For Financial and Economic Management(WAIFEM) between 2009-2018.
Earlier, Chairman of the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum, USDMPF, Deacon Ofonime Isong intimated Ptof Ekpo that, the Forum is a socio-political group with membership drawn from a Coalition of Online, Print and Electronic Media Practitioners of Uyo Senatorial District extraction.
Isong said the Forum is poised to join hands together and deploy her media platforms to search for credible candidates among all the political parties contesting in the forthcoming elections, so that Akwa Ibom State can get the very best.
Isong who sued for support, added that, the Forum came to consult Prof Ekpo and tap from his wisdom and wealth of experience on how to proceed with her objectives.
The Forum however, commended Prof Ekpo for his legacy of fighting cultism, examination malpractices and admission racketeering in the University of Uyo, comparing same to the courageous war against cultism waged by Governor Udom Emmanuel and his spirited efforts at sustaining peace and security in the State despite daunting challenges.
According to Isong, the Forum is determined to be heard in its onerous task of being at the forefront in charting a course for the emergence of a governorship candidate that will be acceptable by all.
Isong, who revealed that the Forum is self-sponsored to avoid being subservient to any politician said, the Forum is open to candidates of all political parties from Uyo Senatorial District to interface with the people of the State.
According to him, “we cannot afford to make any mistake in our choice of Governor now that it is the turn of Uyo Senatorial District to produce the next Governor. He maintained that the Forum will beam her searchlight on aspirants with a view to assessing their strengths, capacity, experience, exposure and vision to help guide the people to make the right choice.
Also in the interface with Prof Akpan Hogan Ekpo was the Professor of Decision Science in the University of Uyo, Professor Ntiedo Umoren.
A former Dean Faculty of Business Administration and Coordinator of Prof. Akpan Ekpo’s Centre for Public Policy, Prof Umoren in his goodwill message, expressed .support for the Forum and readiness to work with the Forum to achieve her objectives.
Prof Umoren who works closely with Prof Ekpo also coordinates a special professional group that has existed in Akwa Ibom to shape and guide government policies for more than 20 years now.