By Emmanuel Atteh
A frontline media organization in Oro nation under the umbrella of Oron Federal Constituency Media Professionals (OFCOMPRO) has visited the senator representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Akon Eyakenyi, Ph.D, over her selection and elevation as the running mate to the PDP gubernatorial flagbearer in Akwa Ibom, Pastor Umo Eno.
The solidarity visit which took place Tuesday at the Uyo residence of the senator, brought together over 40 media professionals from Oro nation led by the chairman of the group, Comrade Marshall Abia, who said the visit became necessary in order to afford the group opportunity to felicitate with the National Assembly and their kinswoman for her towering and record breaking profile as the first woman to become a minister, senator and deputy governorship candidate, saying Oron people will vote, in 2023 general elections.
Abia on behalf of the group thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state for the choice of Senator Eyakenyi for the top job as a deputy governor, if elected and said it was a right step in the right direction and also in the spirit of equity and fair play.
He used the opportunity to appeal to the senator for sponsorship of at least five indigenes of Oro nation (one per local government area) for acquisition of basic and professional training at the International Institute for Journalism (IIJ), Uyo study centre, to enable some of their members who are social media influencers to be properly trained on the job, as well as empowerment for the media professionals.
In his remarks at the meeting, the president general of Oron Union, who is also the prime minister of Oro nation, Bishop Etim Ante, joined Oron Federal Constituency Media Professionals as their grand patron to commend the role played by the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel and the PDP caucus, for finding their daughter, Senator Eyakenyi, worthy to serve as running mate to Pastor Umo Eno in the next general elections.
He urged members of OFCOMPRO, whom he described as an intellectual militants of Oro nation and members of the fourth estate of the realm, not to relent in their responsibility and mandate as watchdogs of the society, to continue in factual reportage in place of falsehood, character assassination and mudslinging online publications, if the interest of Oro must be protected and projected.
In her response, Dr Akon Eyakenyi said she was humbled by the visit of the media professionals from Oro extraction and appreciated them for the good job they were doing in promoting her activities and programmes, within her three years of effective representation in the red chambers, adding that she will continue to remain eternally grateful to Governor Emmanuel for the love and honour done her, since her involvement in Akwa Ibom politics.
Eyakenyi advised the media community in Oro nation not to join issues with those whom she said were trying to tarnish her image through their false publications, and said she was not distracted at all, or bothered about it, and pledged her readiness to forge ahead for a better result and to support the group as their patroness in the best interest of Oro, saying the deputy governorship slot was not for her but for Oro nation.
The federal lawmaker, who is a member of Common Wealth Female Parliamentarians, member of about seven Senate committees and the most decorated politician from Oro nation, maintained that leadership is from God and he gives it to whoever he wants, while calling on Oro people to learn how to appreciate what they have, instead of unnecessary blackmail and pull him down syndrome.
She used the occasion of the meeting to appreciate the group for putting up a good fight in defence of their own and prayed for love and unity among the Oro people, while assuring to carry the group along in the scheme of things in the state and announced plans to sponsor training of five members of the group at International Institute for Journalism, as earlier requested by the group.
The senator also approved her support for more sensitization and awareness campaign on continuous voter registration which ends by June 30, 2022.
Others who also addressed the meeting included the former chapter chairman of PDP and council secretary of Oron Local Government Area, Elder Anietie Okon, the legal adviser of the group, Lovestic Esu Esq, a local government information officer, Comrade Patience Idung, the SSA on media to Senator Eyakenyi, Mr Samuel Duncan, among others.