By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Akwa Ibom state chapter, has pledged to support the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to assist it to complete its ongoing two-story office complex at the Press Centre in Uyo, the state capital.
Chairman of ALGON in the state, Mr. Frank Archibong made the pledge when he led a delegation of ALGON members in the state on a courtesy visit to the leadership of NUJ at the Press Centre on Thursday.
Archibong, who is also the Chairman, Eket local government area transition committee said that ALGON’s position became necessary because the roles of the media in the development of any given society cannot be overemphasized, adding that un-informed society is a deformed society.
According to him, ALGON in the state as a body sees journalists as the “geese that lay the golden egg” which deserve to eat from it too; hence ALGON is proud to associate with members of NUJ.
“We will contribute our quota to ensure that the Union has a befitting place that will assist its members in the proper dissemination of information about the activities and programmes of government both at local and state level to the people.”
“ALGON as an Association in the state cannot work better without associating with NUJ to bring development to the people at the grassroots. Our activities and programmes need to be publicized by the media to the people we serve to ensure clearer understanding”, he added.
The ALGON chairman, commended journalists in the state for being alive to the expectation of a balanced reportage of the developments in the state, and sued for continued support and commitment to the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel whom he described as a leader who meant well for Akwa Ibom State.
He also used the visit to express their appreciation to the Governor for giving them the opportunity to serve as local government caretaker committee chairmen.
Responding, the Chairman of the state council of NUJ, Elder Patrick Albert said the journalists as communicators and watch-dogs in the society need to be encouraged in order to enhance their professional capacities and functions.
Albert explained that NUJ in the state has since 2013 enjoyed cordial working relationship with security agencies in the state, thereby reducing the hitherto frictions between journalists and security operatives. He said ALGON visit to the Union is a welcoming development.
He disclosed plan by the state council of the NUJ to embark on a tour of the 31 local government areas of the state with a view to having on the sport assessments of the democratic dividends made by each caretaker committee chairman within the period of their various administrations at council.
Albert explained that the Union would at the end of the tour produce a- 500 page Compendium showcasing the activities and achievements of each local government area caretaker committee chairman.
In addition, the compendium is also expected to expose the state’s economic potentials to the outside world, thereby open ways for business opportunities for interested investors to come in through public private partnership initiatives.
He noted the immense contributions of the local government administration in the state toward creating wealth and reducing rural urban drift, describing the stride of ALGON under the leadership of Frank Achibong as laudable inspite of the lean resources available to the local council.
The NUJ chairman who thanked ALGON members for the visit also assured them that the Union would continue to support their administration by propagating their achievements to the governed.
ALGON members during the visit, inspected NUJ projects including the ongoing two-story office complex, Club house, ICT and viewing centres as well as perimeter fence.