-By Itoro Ime Noah

I do not like rejoinders but the above craft by Torobong Ekpo almost brought me so much consternation. It revealed the wicked instinct in man, a natural tendency to “Pull him down”. The above article circulating on the social media and prints is destructive to the persons involved and speaks ill of us all. I feel so compelled to lean my voice to this misnomer. The above piece authenticates the saying that ‘’writers seldom wish other writers well” and by implication, youths seldom wish other youths well.
The ugly trend I think is caused by media aides disguising as journalists and the direct involvements of the said journalists in political campaigns instead of mere reportage for the purpose of information, education and entertainment. It is sad development.
With no need to undergo in-depth analysis of the piece, it is obvious the writer Torobong Ekp only aimed to discredit the personalities of the duo, Essien Ndueso and Emmanuel Nicholas and by implication seek to deny them every perceived favour they are likely gain from their principal, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.
Torobong Ekpo in the said piece alluded that the duo, Essien Ndueso and Emmanuel Nicholas do not deserve any trust from Mr Udom Emmanuel. His main target was Emmanuel Nicholas but to drive home his wicked intentions, he robbed in Ndueso Essien and hacked to death the image of Emmanuel Nicholas. The writer made the blind and purposeless analogy of comparing Essien Ndueso to Emmanuel Nicholas which he claimed is ‘‘akin to comparing sunny Jackson and Chris Ekpenyong’s level of integrity’’ and as such he condemned Obong Chris Ekpenyong to condemn Emmanuel Nicholas. He holds the fallacy that Ekpenyong is ‘’found wanting on integrity test, after all he abandoned Benji’s project for political abracadabra’’.

To put the records straight, every informed politician in the state knows that the former deputy governor Chris Ekpenyong did not abandon Benjamin okoko and that he supported Okoko till the very moment Okoko like other aspirants could not pick the party ticket, which of course was on December 8. And as expected in partisan politics, Chris Ekpenyong had only the choice of supporting the PDP flag bearer, Udom Emmanuel. It would only have been a betrayal if Okoko was still in the race and Ekpenyong dumped him for Udom Emmanuel. To our knowledge, Okoko lost in the Guber race and Chris being a good political dancer stopped dancing when the drums stopped.

He shifted at the appropriate time. Therefore using Torobong Ekpo’s perceived betrayal of Okoko by Ekpenyong to invalidate the integrity of Emmanuel Nicholas is invalid, in as much as the premises it is built is punctured. Furthermore if Emmanuel had at any point abandoned any aspirants and finally settled in Udom Emmanuel’s camp right from the beginning of Udom Emmanuel’s aspiration, he should be congratulated for such insight and his intelligence sought after by other political image launderers.
To belittle Emmanuel Nicholas and cause friction, Torobong Ekpo sparingly glorified Essien Ndueso by not just extolling his academic qualifications but also his positions in different areas of life, a journey that exposed the write up as a product of poor research and paid falsehood as facts are not placed where it is expected.
For example, the writer claimed Essien Ndueso was a PRO in the Student Union Government of UNIUYO, whereas the nomenclature for the office then was Director of Information, and though the two seemingly offices relate, but the differences according to utility cannot be easily ignored by the educated, especially in an era we call stealing as stealing and corruption as corruption.
Torobong Ekpo further constructed what he described as ‘’controversial academic history’’ against the name of Emmanuel Nicholas. To boost his submission, as against the expectation of the informed, he supplied series of speculations as follows, that the peers of Emmanuel Nicholas said Nicholas “never attended secondary school but only wrote GCE’’, Others claimed he schooled at Community Comprehensive Secondary School, Uyo’’ and ‘’unconfirmed report states that, that he later applied to read either law or music after he secured 5 credits in English, Literature, CRK and Government at two sittings.’’ This is not what I think the masses will want to digest from a suppose professional journalist.
Issues concerning certificates are not for the streets but demands proper verification at appropriate offices concerned. He mentioned what his sources are, which are nameless ‘peers’, ‘others’ and ‘unconfirmed reports’. I don’t think information collected from such sources without any attempt to review by the writer should be taken by any serious minded person. In my own investigation, Torobong Ekpo’s information about Emmanuel Nicholas education or certification, just like his concocted sources are false.
Emmanuel Nicholas attended St Gabriel Catholic Primary school Nung Oku Uruan and started his Secondary at Idagha Secondary School , Nung Oku , Uruan and his, yearning for technical skills saw him took him to Government Technical College, Ikot Ada Idem where he completed his post primary Education. He proceeded to Rivers State University of Science and Technology and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, and has a PGD in Information Management from Dalehouse University, an online course and is currently a 400 level law student of at NOUN, Uyo campus .
The listing of school subjects purportedly possessed by Emmanuel Nicholas at two sittings is also unexpected and irrelevant in as much as his productivity is qualitative, unless he, Torobong is using the Certificate to justify Nicholas’ dismal performances as a writer. But one may not wonder as Torobong Ekpo once suffered from insanity and the traits have not departed from him.
The said Torobong Ekpo is not even a professional Journalist. He started his tertiary Education at the University of Uyo reading Law (OND ) and because he could not get the required grade , the school authority denied him the opportunity to proceed to study the course (at degree level). This is not street talk. The records are there. Again, Torobong Ekpo, who is a known drunk, went back and sat for JAMB to read Communication Arts and because he was not able to also pass with the required cut-off point was given English Education as an alternative. He has no moral authority to pull his brothers down.
Assertion that Emmanuel Nicholas has never been a journalist, talk less of attending NUJ’s congress also calls for scrutiny before spelling out Torobong Ekpo’s intention. The assertion warrants such questions as, what makes a person a journalist? And at what point in time is a good writer certified as journalist ? or did Emmanuel Nicholas contested being a journalist anywhere? Who is afraid of Emmanuel Nicholas as a journalist? or is attending NUJ’s congress a certification process as a journalist? Do people go to NUJ congresses to become journalists or Journalists attend NUJ congresses?
I do not know the procedure in my dear state to become a journalist, but universally, here are the conditions: The area of work is opened to graduates of any discipline but an undergraduate degree in journalism, English or writing has more advantage. All potential journalist show evidence of the following: Strong written and oral communication skills . Engr Patrick Ekpo was not a journalist but was the best Commissioner for Information ever in the history of Akwa Ibom State, the current Commissioner studied History and international Studies, and he is the best after the exit of Ekpo Otu.
In the entire media team of President Barrack Obama, there is only three journalists and the rest are Lawyers and international relations graduates. A keen interest in news, current affairs, business and people, accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation. Good organization skills and ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines, ability to grasp complex issues quickly and explain in single, concise language.
Resilience, determination, flexibility, persistence, motivation and integrity. #SOURCE: AGCAS & GRADUATE PROSPECT LTD. The problem of education and certification is compounded in our society today by people who keep viewing education like Torobong Ekpo, that is, they extol paper certification more than performance, even in a field such as journalism, where performance is the core. Such make the illiterate and dunce cheat to get certificates and even forge where possible.
It would have been more honourable if Torobong Ekpo had gone into any of Emmanuel Nicholas fb-posts or publications and pointed out any or series of errors or find him wanting in any of the features listed above.
If Emmanuel Nicholas as defamed and defined by Torobong Ekpo has no basic education but he writes what the masses read and appreciate and he vanguards Udom Emmanuel’s campaign from the start and made Udom the most popular candidate, then he is a genius.
Dear reader, a stripped-down of Torobong Ekpo’s post reveals the following facts: He is either out to replace Emmanuel Nicholas in Udom Emmanuel’s camp or bring down the repute and personality of the writer as his Aspirant, Hon Etteh was a failure and it also seem he was paid by Essien Ndueso to do the hatchet job, so that he Essien will be given better political appointment . This is not far to seek when one looks at such conclusions of his as ‘’majority haters of Udom are caused by’’ Emmanuel Nicholas. ‘’Emmanuel Nicholas uses media to black mail people, which includes udom Emmanuel’’. Finally, we all know where each of our political journalists had pitched their tents even before 2013. In politics as in all fields of competitions, a winner must always emerge, if your principal did not sail through, I will advise AkwaIbom people, especially the youth to cope with the principal or switch camps by applying for integration in the winning camp rather than descend to mudslinging. WE SHALL ALWAYS GROW TOGETHER AFTER POLITICS! I know writers seldom wish other writers well, because the success of one writer diminishes the success of the other inasmuch as audience is of essence. But mudslinging is never the answer , instead write better! Torobong is acting out of Jealousy and frustration.

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