The president-general of the first socio -cultural group in Akwa Ibom State, the Oron Union, founded in 1925, Bishop Etim Ante, has extolled the media as a veritable tool for socio – economic development of any society.
Ante stated this when a frontline media group in Oro nation, under the aegis of Oron Federal Constituency Media Professionals (OFCOMPRO), paid him a courtesy visit in his office, Friday at the Oron Union Secretariat, located at Oron Civic Centre Complex, Oron Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
He said the formation of the media group was a welcome development in Oro nation and applauded them for such visionary, strong and intelligent coalition, urging them to remain an unbiased watchdog for Oro nation in particular and the society at large, which he noted was one of the cardinal objectives of the media.
The prime minister of Oro nation, while welcoming members of the media group to his office, used the occasion to admonish them to remain focused, shunning media reportage that is rooted on falsehood and charged them not to listen to critics or be distracted, but should remain resolute by channelling their energies and human resources to project Oro as a people, as well as the overall development of the state.
“My love for Oron Federal Constituency Media Professionals is unparalleled, those who go around criticising you don’t really know the role of the media in community development.
“Show me any progressive society and I will show you the strength of their media. The founding fathers of Nigeria used the media to influence development. So as your father, I urge you all to work as a team, not to be distracted by any antagonistic opinion”, he maintained.
Earlier in his address at the meeting, the pioneer chairman of Oron Federal Constituency Media Professionals (OFCOMPRO), Comrade Marshall Abia, thanked the president-general of Oron Union, Bishop Etim Ante, for granting them the audience to interface with him and to introduce the new media group in Oro nation to him as the father of the modern Oro nation.
Abia used the occasion, on behalf of the group, to formally felicitate with the president-general on the occasion of his convocation and award of LL. B degree by the National Open University of Nigeria, last weekend.
He said it was imperative that the group met with the number one indigene of Oro nation in order to unveil their goals and objectives to him, which according to them are anchored on the use of strategic media engagement as a tool to drive sustainable development of Oro nation.
The leader of the group further said they were happy to identify with the leader of the union as the number one institution in Oro land. He, however, noted that since inception of the group, they have been able to engage a number of major political actors in the state, especially the aspirants, to unravel their blueprints with the view to communicating same to the public, to allow them make informed decisions as the 2023 general elections draw closer.
The group through their chairman, also expressed satisfaction with the leadership of Bishop Etim Ante, especially on the ongoing work at the Ahta Oro’s Palace and his vocality in taking unequivocal positions on matters of general interest of the Oro people.
High point of the meeting was the formal adoption of the group as a recognised media group in Oro and the subsequent presentation of the group’s branded fez cap to Oron Union president-general by the chairman of the group.
Also present at the meeting were the chief of staff to the president-general of Oron Union and retired head of public relations, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Mr Sidi Mkpandiok, the secretary as well as the women leader of OFCOMPRO, Comrades Victor Paul Unoh and Patience Idung, among others.