Re: Bigotry: Udom’s CPS Sacks Annang-Born AKBC reporter From Govt House Press Corp
We have read the above sponsored smear campaign mounted by certain faceless individuals against the person and the office of the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Ekerete Udoh as published in today’s local newspaper, The Mail. Reading through the said story, no one is left in doubt that the motivation of the sponsors of the article was to tar the hardworking CPS with an ethnic bigotry brush that only exists in the minds of the sponsors of the article.
Mr. Ekerete Udoh, from everyone who has come in contact with him in the past four years, is the most liberal, accessible, easy-going and deeply altruistic man who has lived and projected the free-spirit and deeply held humanist faith in the human condition. He has no ethnic or primordial bones in his body and is always fond of telling people that his mantra of human relations and engagement is “ talents over geography” meaning he celebrates talents no matter where such comes from” This has been the standard refrain from those who know Mr. Udoh.
It is therefore, preposterous and deeply offensive for The Mail newspaper to remotely say that Mr. Udoh, whose close friends such as Aniekan Umanah, Anietie Ukpe, Census Ekpu, Nana Udom, Prince Ikim among others are proud sons of Annang stock, is anti-Annang.
The simple truth is that Samuel Ayara incited the Press Corps against the authority of the CPS on an issue that the Press Corps had accepted and raised no voice of dissent. There is no manager worthy of his or her name that would accept a subordinate, openly inciting the staff to rise in rebellion against his or her authority and would stand idly by and clap hands for such an individual.
The DG of the AKBC, Pastor Ukpe when told of the grave infraction of Samuel Ayara, was the first to inform the CPS he should be removed and a new person sent to the Press Corps. Pastor Ukpe, being the immediate past CPS understands the need to have a cohesive team that keeps the eye on the ball. The replacement for Ayara it must be stated here was proposed by Pastor Ukpe.
The writer mischievously said the CPS is the worst governor’s spokesman since the return of this democratic dispensation. We wish to inform the writer that he should rather profit from the experience and media bonafides of the CPS, a proud Nigerian-American, who has spent 35 years uninterrupted years in journalism and was before his return to Nigeria in 2014, the Publisher of the Diasporan Star newspaper in New York, easily the most popular newspaper ever owned by an African in the Diaspora- a position that led him to being a Media Partner for the Obama/Biden Campaign in 2008 and 2012 respectively for the African Diaspora community. Mr. Udoh, for the information of the writer, was until his appointment, a columnist with Thisday and Vanguard newspapers respectively and was instrumental to advancing the careers of a number of top media practitioners in Nigeria, such as Dr. Ruben Abati, the former President Jonathan’s Spokesman, Ise Akpaso, (his former Personal Assistant) who was the CPS to Governor Victor Attah and in 1990, had teamed up with Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to set up Hints magazine, which was the highest selling magazine in Nigeria in the 90s.
The writer should also realise that Mr. Udoh was the Best Graduating Student in his Master’s (Graduate School) class in International Relations and Comparative Politics at the largest university system in the world the City University of New York, CUNY -(Brooklyn College.)
The writer betrayed his ignorance of the role of a CPS in the 21st Century.
The modern spokespersons to governors or presidents, are strategic thinkers who usually operate from the background and only come out to present and defend their Principal’s position once in a while. The writer fails to understand the concept of media surrogacy. He should look up the meaning of that phrase and be properly guided.
Even in the United States, apart from the daily Press Briefings which is a statutory requirement, and which has become irregular in the Donald Trump years, the CPS operates from the background and gets strategic tasks done. The writer should stop advertising his ignorance.
Ekerete Udoh is a fine gentleman whom every one admires and no amount of smear campaign from those who have carried long- held grudges will derail him from working hard to distil and project the vision of the Completion Agenda as outlined by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Itoro Ubong writes from ONNA