…advocates Mental Empowerment; charges Media on Social Responsibility

By Edifon  Abasi-Obot

Fixation on age-old beliefs, traditions and prejudices that emphasize pity rather than value, has been identified as a major setback to the development of African nations.

This is evident in the tragic situation, where third world nations lay more emphasis on pity and getting help from on developed countries, rather than explore trajectories of value.

Special Adviser to Governor of Akwa Ibom State on Political/Legislative Affairs and Water Resources, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Ekong Sampson made the observation while interacting with media practitioners in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. He noted that Singapore thatwas once in the same course, has left their African counterparts behind because they were faster to learn the game of bringing value to the table.

Recalling the assertion of America’s former President, John Kennedy – “think not what America can do for you but what you can do for America”,Barrister Sampson advocated that the world has moved from pity to value, hence Africa must join that match.

He described as equally tragic, for citizens to see the government as one distant behemoth, stay completely detached and show apathy towards governance, in this modern age when value is needed in governance.

He stressed the need to reconsider the weighty issues addressed in “the immortal word of John Kennedy”, maintaining that it is essential for the people of Akwa Ibom State to consider asking what to do for the State, while charging members of the Akwa Ibom Media community to use the media to explore trajectories of partnership between the government and the larger spectrum of society.

The Special Adviser noted that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision and courage in delivering on his promises and earning for Akwa Ibom State the respect of Nigeria,show clearly that Akwa Ibom State is moving in the right direction,hence the advocacy that the people should own up the government.

“When people own up the government, they will ask the right questions and get the right answers, but when they are mentally detached, disconnect sets in”, Ekong Sampson said. He added that his Bureau makes it clear that government is for everybody and through the inclusive agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration, it becomes easier for everybody to come aboard and support the government to broaden the vista of good governance.

Such advocacies, Barrister Sampson said, will make Akwa Ibom an informed State, where value is appreciated and democracy is encouraged, while creating a consciousness that will help our youths to be focused and look beyond politics; that you must bring something to the table and invest in their future, he added.

He commended the Media community in Akwa Ibom State for their support for the government of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel and for his Bureau, but called for more cooperation to expand the principle of good governance and to promote the advocacy for our people to own up the government.

Ekong Sampson described Journalism as a noble and dignified profession, which he remains very proud to identify with. He urged that the media should be used as an instrument of social engineering; to explore trajectories of good governance, nurture partnerships and drive advocacies that would make the society a better place, maintaining that without the media, democracy would be endangered.

“As frontiers are opening, trajectories are being explored, at the end of the day, the beneficiary should be our society, because the media forms a critical plank for democracy”, Ekong Sampson said.

Accentuating the value of information as means of mental empowerment and source of confidence and leverage, the lawyer cum media pundit described the media as a very key instrument for social engineering. He tasked media practitioners to use the platform to enlighten and educate the people, explore trajectories of self-development and mental empowerment, as well as extend handshake across borders, and not for detrimental objectives.

On the Continuous Voter Registration, the Special Adviser reiterated that anyone without a voter’s card is politically impotent and has no value in democracy. He said the campaign has been taken a nudge further, with the mantra, “Me and My Family”.

According to Barrister Sampson the Political Affairs Bureau in Akwa Ibom State is driving the advocacy to deepen political consciousness and participation beyond just being a community leaders and family heads affair, to ensure every eligible family member in the State is duly enfranchised and empowered to participate in government. He called for media support to take the campaign to every doorstep.