In an atmosphere of solemnity, Akwa Ibom Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) struck out the name of the late Comrade Nnamnso Umoren, the pioneer elected Chairman, from its compendium on Friday, March 5.
Umoren who served as the first NUJ Chairman from 1989 to 1991 died on November 14, 2020 after a brief illness.
The state NUJ secretary, Comrade Dominic Akpan who brought out the compendium containing names of registered journalists in the state called four members from other chapels and they all answered.
But when Dominic called”Nnamnso Umoren!, Nnamnso Umoren!, Nnamnso Umoren!’’ three times, there was no answer.
After Ikpong Essien-Udom, a member of Pioneer Chapel confirmed that Umoren, a member of the same chapel had passed on, he drew the attention of the state Chairman, Comrade Amos Etuk to it. The chairman directed that his name be struck out from the compendium and the secretary quickly obeyed.
At NUJ Press Centre, Uyo, Mr. Moses Ekpo, the state deputy governor recalled when Umoren called in his office at The Nigerian Chronicles, Barracks Road, Calabar after the Nigerian civil war and appealed to him to offer him a job.
Ekpo, a journalist too, said he employed him as a copy typist and he helped in rewriting news stories and strengthening the professional needs of the newspapers.
He described him as an epitome of Dakkada creed and a rare professional who rose from nothing to an enviable position in journalism profession, from copy typist to permanent secretary, urging other journalists to emulate his sterling qualities.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Iniobong Ememobong extolled the qualities of the departed and added that what was published in his biography did not contradict his life while he was alive.
The State NUJ Chairman, Comrade Amos Etuk; Ikpong Essein-Udom, who spoke for past Chairmen and daughter of the deceased, Mrs Nkoyo Ebong all paid glowing tributes to Umoren for leaving behind worthy legacies in the profession and in the family.
The funeral service was conducted by Qua Iboe Church, 2 Abak Road, Uyo at Ibom Museum Park, Uyo.
Born in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Umoren began as a staffer of The Nigerian Chronicle, Calabar, before he joined the defunct Concord newspaper as editor of the Community Concord in Cross River and later, Akwa Ibom State.
A member of several professional associations including the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, Umoren later joined the Akwa Ibom State Civil Service and served as Editor, Pioneer Newspaper; Chief Press Secretary to the first Civilian Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
He also served as Director of Press Affairs/Speech Writer to some Military Governors of the State; and Permanent Secretary, Ministries of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Information and Culture, among others.