Open Letter To THISDAY NEWSPAPER September 28, 2011Posted by Ibompulpit in News, Politics, Press Release.
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September 27, 2011
RE: THISDAY EDITORIAL: “THE ABUSE OF HONORARY DEGREES ” – AN OPEN LETTER TO THISDAY NEWSPAPER
- By this release, which serves for the record, members the Akwa Ibom Diaspora Network (AIDN), the premier organization of Akwa Ibomites in the Diaspora, unequivocally register their dismay over the obviously one-sided, disturbing and confounding editorial (The Abuse of Honourary Degrees) published by THISDAY Newspaper on September 25, 2011. That editorial took issues with the richly deserved award given to His Excellency-Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state by the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA.)
- We do not believe that the ill-motivated and insulting editorial reflects the overall viewpoint of THISDAY Newspaper – a newspaper that routinely touts many spectacular achievements of the Akpabio administration, even honouring Gov. Godswill Akpabio with “The Emerging Tiger” award in 2010. If it does, it leaves us to wonder what the newspaper’s real motives are.
- Our dismay roots in careless insinuations written to discredit honourary awards by the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) and insult His Excellency Gov. Godswill Akpabio and Hon. Minister Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, linking them to a perceived culture of corruption that accents the proliferation of honorary degrees and other awards. We believe that it is the height of journalistic arrogance to question the prerogative of an outstanding institution to award honorary degrees to individuals it deems fit. The insinuation of pecuniary motives by the institution in the conferment of its awards is malicious and utterly irresponsible.
- Additionally, we are surprised by the omission of three co-recipients of the Nigerian Defence Academy honorary Doctor of Management Sciences award, Sultan of Sokoto – Alhaji Muhammed Sa’adu Abubakar, Senator Jubril Aminu and National Security Adviser – General Owoye Andrew Azazi. Such is a disturbing case of editorial irresponsibility, suggesting rank ethnic-religious bias so brazen, painful and self-serving that it is capable of undermining the concept of a united and peaceful Nigeria for which many have sacrificed lives and labored over decades to sustain.
- Whether a deliberate omission or not, we are not happy with the insult against His Excellency Governor Godswill Akpabio who, by God’s grace and extraordinary dedication to sustainable development, is more than deserving of awards and honour given to him. As citizens of Akwa Ibom State, we commend his exemplary leadership and see his hard work as positively touching lives and transforming our state.
- The achievements of Governor Akpabio have been celebrated both locally and internationally. Through prudent management of the state’s resources, he has replaced cynicism with public trust for a government having capacities to effect profound and enduring transformational changes in the landscape. By the time his term expires in 2015, the emerging New Akwa Ibom State will remain a model for future elected leaders to emulate. That is why Nigerians across ideological, professional and social lines are recognizing this unique public servant and are honouring him in appreciation.
- While we thank institutions and persons who stand with us both to encourage and to appreciate a rare and charismatic leader driving the fastest growing economy in the Gulf of Guinea, we declare that no honour can be more genuine and greater than the electoral mandate given Gov. Godswill Akpabio to lead our state up to 2015. If he merits our greatest honour and abiding faith, no lesser award, including THISDAY’s “The Emerging Tiger” award accepted by Gov. Godswill Akpabio in the year 2010, is gratuitous as far as the overwhelming majority of Akwa Ibom citizens are concerned.
- As the saying goes, we cannot “throw the baby away with the bad water” simply because there is a proliferation of awards given to undeserving persons. We believe all awards honouring and accepted by Gov. Godswill Akpabio are carefully evaluated as genuine, untainted and deserving; each of them is justified by indisputable evidence that meet award criteria. No one can stop these deserving awards no matter how false propagandists or envious rivals attempt to minimize their importance.
- We call on THISDAY to publicly tender an unreserved apology to Gov. Godswill Akpabio, Honorable Minister of Petroleum – Mrs. Dieazani Allison-Madueke, the Nigeria Defense Academy and the larger Niger Delta people for the unbalanced editorial.
Signed on behalf of AIDN:
Barr. Uduak Ukpeh, Secretary General
Mr. Clement Ikpatt, President
Ms. Mary Umoh, Vice President Communication