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13.02.2013 Africa

Re: False Media Reports Against Akpabio, Others Traced To Bishop Akpan, Opolupm Etteh

“Sponsored Blackmailers Leave Okpolupm Etteh Alone”
By Tony Udomkpa
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Our attention in Ikpoto Akwa Ibom has been drawn to yet another malicious and false story on an online news portal pointblanknews.com with the title, “False Media Reports Against Akpabio and Others Traced to Bishop Akpan, Opolupm Etteh.” In the so-called report, our mentor The Right Honourable Opolupm Etteh is volubly accused of sponsoring several negative reports against the State Governor, His Excellency Chief Godswill Akpabio, the Secretary to the State Government Mr. Umana Umana, and some other persons. This same article is in its entirety reproduced in the Insight Newspaper of Tuesday February 12, 2013.

Ordinarily, we would have dismissed this as another in a series of baseless and uncouth media trash orchestrated by idle media hatchet men to disparage the person of Rt. Honourable Etteh and distract him from his normal legislative mandate as the Leader of the State House of Assembly.

This ignoble onslaught by a few so-called media ramblers has been on for a couple of months, and from our investigations, targets all perceived aspirants for the 2015 State hilltop mansion plum job. This particular allegation is the fourth in a series of media attacks on Hon. Etteh in one month alone, and we are aware that this dastardly assault is borne out of a desperate attempt by some faceless persons who are opposed to the existing zoning arrangement that tends to favour Eket Senatorial District in the 2015 Governorship Elections.

To us in Ikpoto Akwa Ibom, it is an open secret that these attacks are sponsored by a highly-placed government official as part of his well-known plan to destroy all anticipated opponents from Eket Senatorial District. It is worthy to note that five other perceived opponents have been subject of similar attacks sponsored by this aspirant from Uyo Senatorial District since December last year. We are aware that he is currently funding the publisher of Pointblanknew.com Mr. Jackson Ude in the same manner he is funding The Sermon Newspaper, Insight Newspaper, and Global Concord Newspaper, to spite His Excellency the Governor.

With a clear hindsight that falsehood peddled repeatedly can be viewed as truth if not debunked, we are compelled to reason as follow:

1. That Rt. Hon. Etteh is a loyal member of the PDP whose antecedence as a faithful, trustworthy and hardworking party man has endeared him to the leadership of the party in the state, thereby leading to his emergence as Chief Whip in the last House of Assembly and subsequent enthronement as the Leader of the current House of Assembly.

2. We know that as a peaceful and committed patriot our mentor will not intend to join issues with characters who are desperate to draw him into their murky fight especially when the race for 2015 has not yet commence and will rather bother himself with the smooth discharge of his assignments primarily as the member representing Esit Eket / Ibeno State Constituency.

3. That it is highly spurious for anyone to assume that The Rt. Hon. Etteh has commenced an alliance with Bishop Samuel Akpan for the purpose of winning the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, when in actual fact, his alliance when he finally decides to throw his hat into the ring, is to the people of the state.

4. Rt Hon. Etteh has never had any meeting with Bishop Samuel Akpan, Mr Inemesit Ina (press secretary to the former deputy governor) or the publisher of any newspaper(let alone The Guide), for the purpose of publicity of any of his achievements as a lawmaker, and has never contemplated meeting any of them to engage in mudslinging against His Excellency the Governor, the Secretary to the State Government, or any other citizen of the state.

5. Perhaps the peddlers of this story are so myopic that they forget that Rt. Hon Okpolupm Etteh has equally been a victim of series of sponsored false media attacks by a certain Michael Ekpo, as well as some local media practitioners, and that linking him to Michael Ekpo is akin to shooting oneself in the leg, before attempting to run.

6. How can Hon Etteh sponsor the publication of an allegation that accuses him and other members of the House of Assembly of taking bribes and of being administered with juju oaths, as alleged by the media contractors?

7. Was The Honourable Etteh also responsible for Michael Ekpo's publication of the false claim that the House of Assembly in which he is a member, “was a mere rubber stamp of the executive that lacked character?”

8. Did he authorize the Michael Ekpo's publications of “ AKWA IBOMpeople regret House of Assembly representatives”, “ Funny Legislators, A 'Ibom has no House of Assembly”?(http://www.naijaleaks.org/index.php/akwa-ibom-people-regret-house-assembly-representatives/)

9. What does Hon Etteh, the leader of the State House of Assembly stand to gain from sponsoring Michael Ekpo to publish “AKHA N125bSupplementary Budget of Fraud” (http://www.naijaleaks.org/index.php/akha-n125b-supplementary-budget-fraud/)

We are not surprised that Jackson Ude, the publisher of pointblanknews.com, could rush to publish such a fabricated allegation without hearing from the parties concerned. It impugns on the credibility of his forum.

Perhaps he should first refer to “Unmasking The "Kingpin Of Blackmailer" at Pointblanknews.com-JacksonUde, as published in a popular online news bulletin: (See http://www.nairaland.com/880076/unmasking-kingpin-blackmailer-pointblanknews.com-jackson). In the report, Jackson Ude was uncovered as a blackmailer who swindled Mrs Oyindamola Amuka, wife of the Publisher of Vanguard Newspaper of £20,000.00, and how he specializes in targeting politicians with a view to extorting money from them.

For someone who is accused of having no visible means of income but lives large on blackmail money, it is pertinent for us to advise him to take his business elsewhere and leave our brother alone.

During one of his numerous visits to Nigeria some months ago, this same Jackson Ude was arrested and quizzed by the men of the State Security Service at their Headquarters in Abuja in possession of 3.5 million dollars for failing to disclose the source of the money. (seehttp://www.nairaland.com/810121/shocking-mr-jackson-ude-pointblank)

This same Ude could not clear himself when accused of publishing mendacity against the Governor of Abia State Chief T. A. Orji when the governor failed to accede to his threats of blackmail.

We strongly wish to advocate that the national assembly should formulate laws against cyber crimes with strong penalties to punish offenders just as there is in the print and electronic media. If there was, by now, most of these internet warriors like Jackson Ude and his cohorts in Uyo would have been out of business as they would be struggling in court against criminal libel.

We are aware that David Augustine the Editor-in-Chief of the Insight Newspaper and Bonny Nyong the Publisher of the Sermon Newspaper, have struck and alliance with their benefactor to smear the image of all politicians with the potentials to occupy the 2015 governorship position in the State.

It is however surprising that they have thrown morality to the waste bin and seem desperate to launch all forms of attack on our distinguished son.

We are aware of their frantic effort at cajoling the antagonistic Global Concord Newspaper, to attack both the state executive governor His Excellency Chief Godswill Akpabio, because of the governor's insistence to stand by the existing zoning arrangement that ceded the 2015 election to Eket Senatorial District.

We are however happy that these fruitless attempts to lure reputable media houses in the state to blotch the image of our Leader has persistently failed, and despite doling out huge sums of money to Editors of all newspapers, none of them has seen enough reason to be dragged into this dirty practice.

We are hereby giving Mr. David Augustine and Bonny Nyong one week to retract this lopsided story and issue an unconditional apology to our leader Rt. Honourable Opolupm Etteh, or be ready for a legal interpretation of criminal libel and/ or defamation.

Finally we suggest they get decent assignments from their paymaster instead of their present shameful vocation of blackmail.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed!

Signed

Nsima Uwak

Barr.Kingsley Mfon
National Coordinator

Secretary General

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