Akwa Ibom in mourning, weeks after a Journalist shot death

Pam Moses

As the United Nations Education and Sociocultural Organisation,  UNESCO, decries the killings of over 50 journalists across the world in 2021, the callous killing of a broadcast Journalist in Akwa Ibom state is causing disaffection in the polity as the people are putting the government to fish out the killers.

Already, the Nigeria union of journalists, NUJ, is calling on the government to wade into the killings and other acts of harassment on journalists by citizens who does not wish the profession well as this retard the survival of the media. 

This is also coming on heels of an invitation to the reporters without borders, an international body that protects journalists rights to intervene in the purported murder of Mr. Augustine Ekanem; a broadcaster in the latter days of December 2021, by concerned people in his locality.

It  was gathered that the famous broadcast journalist was trailed to a  fuel station by unknown gun men after broadcasting an invitation, calling on sons and daughters of Ibiono-Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom state to come out and celebrate the creation of the Council area last December.

Eyewitnesses said trouble started for the late Ekanem, when he earlier took a paid announcement to the state broadcast station, AKBC to invite the people to the celebration of the anniverssary  of the Council years after it was created by the  Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s administration. 

However, after the first and second stanza of that invitation was aired, the subsequent announcements were said to  be halted on the excuse that the placement did not follow due process, sources hinted.

Though, the occasion was to  coincide with the harvest festival of the socio-cultural group of the local community, a section of the polity were said to be opposed to the holding of the anniversary along side the festival during the said period. 

Speaking with our correspondent, on the matter, the youth Chairman of the local government, Mr. Edem Ita, who confirmed the alledged murder, said it was worrisome that murder of this magnitude would be concealed to give a semblance of robbery. 

He said he had spoken with the police in the area, who were also worried about the incident. Still, he fears that the perpetrators of this heinous act may escape justice if the investigation is not discreetly handled. 

“Since the creation of the local government by the IBB administration, the people in the area are divided on either the citing of the headquarters of the local government or are outrightly opposed to its creation. 

” I can tell you, politics is responsible for this, and I call on the people to bury the hatchet as we await an honest investigation and perpetrators brought to book, “he said. 

Efforts to reach the state police failed, but a police insider who pleaded for anonymity; confided that the police was aware of the incident, but details are sketchy, assuring the command would get to the roots of the matter.

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Akwa Ibom in mourning, weeks after a Journalist shot death

About The Author
- Studied Mass Communication from the University of Jos. He is a Media Consultant, Journalist, a blogger, public relations practitioner and an advocate for social justice.