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Saturday, April 10, 2021


Having read a mendacious diatribe as published in the Global Concord Newspaper of Wednesday April,7, 2021 by a self-acclaimed activist cum blackmailer, Manfred Ekpe, I am compelled to react to the lies, misinformation, deliberate mischief and distortion of facts conveyed in that hate-infused article against one of our revered Elder Statesman, Rt. Hon. Chief Nduese Essien, to disabuse the minds of those who may have been misinformed.

Most unfortunate is the fact that the publishers of Global Concord failed to adhere to the ethics of the profession by carrying out a thorough investigation before publications, to avert smear campaigns of calumny and dissemination of false information for the consumption of the public. All they do is publishing malicious contents, dragging reputable personae to the mud, and slinging invectives without considering the tenets of the revered journalism profession.

In that disjointed sling, Manfred alleged that the former Minister gets contracts from the state government to construct internal roads in Eket and thereafter subcontracts the roads to a Panel-Beater, but he forgets or maybe he is not acquainted with the practice in the construction industry that supplies of materials and other minor jobs are usually leased to others as a means of empowerment. That supplies for the said construction was subcontracted to the locals did not in any way affect the quality of work or drainages as designed and constructed, and no portion of the said road has failed since constructed, neither has there been complaint of shoddy jobs by residents in any of the communities the road construction traverses, or by the state government that awarded those contracts. 

Whereas Manfred has never made mention of abandoned NDDC projects that are dotted around Eket Communities.
On sub-contracts, Manfred is not aware that a high rated Construction of Mobil Housing Estate that was given to a Korean Construction firm; Deawoo, and the construction firm sub-constructed some of the projects to Indigenous Contractors from Eket, Ibeno, Esit-Eket and Onna. My company was given the block work of the Guest House and Squash hall building. Those structures are still standing till today.

Secondly, everyone should be informed that the Eket Civic Centre is a project initiated by Chief Nduese Essien while at the House of Representatives. The project was executed by the NDDC on a piece of land donated by Ikot Ibiok village. Having been commissioned and put to use, the Civic Centre has been in the custody of Ekid Peoples Union and effectively utilized as such ever since. So many people have been making use of the facility, as managed by the leadership of Ekid Peoples Union. At no time has the former Minister gone to ask for a dime from the use of the hall in form of rent or any other guise.

The allegation that the former Minister is deriving pecuniary benefits from a community market as his personal property, is a farce and at best laughable. The market in Ikot Ibiok- an initiative of Chief Nduese Essien when he was Minister of Lands and Housing, is built on a land personally donated by him. The market was completed in 2012 and handed over to Ikot Ibiok village at a ceremony attended by all the family heads. The market functioned under a committee set up by Ikot Ibiok village. Since then, its functionality had been at the instance of the village leadership and Chief Nduese Essien has not directly or indirectly been involved in its operations. 

It is unfortunate and regrettable that Global Concord, print mass media, could defy all known norms in mass communication, to cull the ranting of a frustrated fugitive, to publish in its print run.

It is glaring that the harbingers and propagators of this falsehood, blackmail and libelous vituperation are merely trying to ride on the back of a reputable personality to get a little public attention to themselves. 

For the records; in 2003, Rt. Hon. Nduese Essien while in the National Assembly was the Chairman of the House Committee on Anti-Corruption, National Ethics and Values, and Chairman of the Nigerian Chapter of the African Parliamentarians Network against Corruption (NIPNAC). At a continental conference of African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC), held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2003, he was elected Regional Director in Charge of West Africa. And this has clearly remained part of him, throughout his services as a community leader and anti-corruption crusader. 

Finally, it should be observed that Manfred Ekpe, the frustrated fugitive correspondent of Global Concord, has always been in the habit of blackmailing both the Akwa Ibom state government, its officials and senior citizens of the state and should not be taken seriously. He knows the series of litigations awaiting him, hence his decision to flee his state and hide elsewhere. 

Obviously, it would be a futile exercise embarking on a legal redress from Global Concord and the fugitive reporter, and they obviously can never afford to pay any imposed penalty, in exchange for the hard earned and sustained reputation of Chief Nduese Essien.

I therefore advise the former federal lawmaker to ignore the diatribe and continue in his legitimate duties as a statesman and community leader, who is pride to our people.

© Daniel Edon

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