Dr. Iniobong Essien, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Environment and Mineral Resources, has described as false, reports in local media, alleging that Governor Udom Emmanuel awarded contracts in the ministry to his relatives.
The Commissioner, who was reacting to a recent newspaper report credited to him by a local tabloid, which alleged that Udom awarded waste evacuation contract to wife and brother, described the report as absolutely false.
He called on the Nigeria Union of Journalists to ensure that its members adhered to the ethics of the profession, and also charged journalists in state to be responsible in the discharge of their duties.
His words “This is something that exists only in the figment of the writer’s imagination. I don’t know if he can actually say when I ever met with him or a reporter from his newspaper that I granted an interview.
“For him to say that the Governor awarded contract to the wife and brother is to say the least most unfortunate and very irresponsible journalism. Why would I as a commissioner say that I am helpless, helpless in what sense over a job that I am doing regularly, doing continuously.”
Essien explained that waste evacuation is a continuous and regular exercise that is carried out by the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources because waste is generated daily.
He pointed out that in a situation where equipment is required to evacuate waste, such equipment is sourced and the intervention carried out.
He emphasized that journalists have a big role to play in the task of nation building and stressed the need for them to report information accurately.
His words, “The Nigerian Union of Journalists should be able to call members of that institution to order and let them understand that we must join hands to build our state and not to destroy it.
“They must engage in responsible journalism. They should inform the people and I believe that every responsible journalist should do his or her home work properly and inform the people appropriately,” he said.
While calling on the people in the state to desist from the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in bushes and on the roadsides, Essien warned that it was hazardous to health and inimical to the aesthetics of the environment.