Politics Get Messier as Governor Stops Award of Lawmaker of the Year Award in his State by NUJ

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Oluwa Tobi

What was looking like a reward of hardwork for an Akwa Ibom Legislator, Hon. Emmanuel Ekon became a twist of fate as the governor, Udom Emmanuel in his political supremacy ahead of 2019 polls withdraws the Lawmaker of the Year Award scheduled to be given to the lawmaker organized by the state’s chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists on orders of the governor.

Hon. Ekon

Before now, the proposed award was confirmed in a letter dated November 2, 2018 duly signed by the chairman of the Press Week Committee, Abasifreke Effiong.

The letter further has it that the lawmaker was nominated by over 700 journalists after strict evaluation. The portion of the letter reads thus:

“I am pleased to inform you that the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council has nominated you for the award by the Press Week Committee and it was ratified by the state council of the union with more than 700 journalists. In nominating you for the award, strict evaluations were done on your performances in Legislative and extra legislative duties- oversight representation and community empowerment and intervention covering your seven years in the House of Representatives.”

The eventual twist to the whole scenario came yesterday when few hours before the luncheon and award ceremony, the lawmaker received a call informing him that he would no longer be presented with the award as earlier agreed with no reason given for the sudden change.

Investigation has it that the sudden change came after a meeting with the leadership of NUJ spearheaded by the governor who was said to have been unhappy with the proposed awardee as he was in connivance with the former governor, Godswill Akpabio to frustrate his second term bid in office.

In response to the whole saga, the lawmaker affected debunked claims that he was worried about the whole situation as in the first place, he didn’t lobby for the award and vows to continue working for the greater good.

“I am a friend of the Union and we shall continue to work together for the overall progress of the state. Gov. Udom should know that stopping me from receiving the NUJ award would not help him to win election” he commented.

Meanwhile, media practitioners in the state have expressed their dissatisfaction with the governor for intruding into the affairs of NUJ in the name of politics.

“We are not happy that the government is interfering in our activities. If they have issues, they should settle without using our platform to grind their axes” they lamented.

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