Environment Commissioner Tasks Journalists To Uphold Objective Reportage

Dr. Iniobong Essien
Dr. Iniobong Essien

Akwa Ibom commissioner has tasked journalists in the country to continue to play a big role in the nation building through objective reportage.

Dr. Iniobong Essien, the state Commissioner of Environment and Mineral Resources emphasised the need for journalists to exhibit a sense of responsibility in the discharge of their duties.

Reacting to a recent newspaper report credited to him by the Guide Newspaper, captioned, Commissioner helpless: ‘Governor Udom awards waste evacuation contract to wife, brother’, Essien described the report as absolutely false and called on the Nigerian Union of Journalist to ensure that its members adhere to the ethics of the profession.

His words, “The Nigerian Union of Journalists should be able to call members of that institution to order and let them understand that we must join hands to build our state and not to destroy it.

“They must engage in responsible journalism. They should inform the people and I believe that every responsible journalist should do his or her home work properly and inform the people appropriately.”

Describing the report as untrue, the Commissioner said “This is something that exists only in the figment of the writers’ imagination. I don’t know if he can actually say when I ever met with him or a reporter from his newspaper that I granted an interview.

“For him to say that the Governor awarded contract to the wife and brother is to say the least most unfortunate and very irresponsible journalism.

“Why would I as a commissioner say that I am helpless, helpless in what sense over a job that I am doing regularly, doing continuously.”

Speaking further, he explained that waste evacuation is a continuous and regular exercise carried out by the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources because waste is generated daily.

He explained that in a situation where equipment required to evacuate waste are usually sourced and the intervention carried out.

While calling on the people in the state to desist from the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in bushes and on the roadsides, Essien warned that doing so was hazardous to health and inimical to the aesthetics of the environment.

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Despite the rebuttal, Straightnews could not reach the The Guide reporter to confirm the story.