Saturday, 7 April 2018

Attention AgbaJalingo Re: Stephen Ukpukpen, TheHonorable who cheated Bedia

 | 6 April 2018 |

‘AgbaJalingo, get your facts, take the pain to verify, rely less on gossips and rumours, divorce hate and malice from your criticisms; be truthful, mature and civilized in your write-ups because not many out there are as ignorant; and gullible’.

The attention of the Member representing Obudu State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly Rt. Hon Stephen Ukpukpen has been drawn to an article by AgbaJalingo which was published in the Cross River Watch online edition of April 1, 2018, with the above caption, where the writer maliciously attacked the person and office of the honourable member.

Hon Ukpukpen strongly feels disappointment with the ignobly cheap, petty and blatant lies byAgbaJalingoin the article that has all the trappings of defamation. It is a pity that the writer reduced himself to the despicable level of peddling cheap lies. It calls to question the integrity of an acclaimed journalist who thrives on falsehood and blackmail; who deliberately set out to invent mischief and manipulate unsuspecting members of the public into believing falsehood.

It is worthy to note that it was pressure from Hon Ukpukpen that paved way for the initial listing of the Sacred Heart Primary School as part of the SUBEB projects in 2016 and the subsequent award of the project.Emphatically,he has repeatedly enlisted the school in the budget of the state from 2013 until it was finally awarded. This claim can be verified in the budget office.

The truth is not up to 30% of the contract sum has been released, contrary to AgbaJalingo’s claim that the full contract sum had been paid yet Hon Ukpukpen does not want to complete the project hence wants to ‘eat the money’.

Sequel to AgbaJalingo’sunguarded attack on Hon Ukpukpen, the contractor of the job, Robert Utietiang made the following submission in a bid to set the record straight:
“The Contractor handling this project is passionate about it. He has demonstrated this by:
 (I) moving to the site before mobilization
(II) He commissioned the design and construction of toilets for staff and pupils when such is not provided for in the contract. (The foundation is on ground)
(III) SUBEB being a responsible body will not compromise its integrity to make full payment to a contractor for an abandoned project. Payments are often made according to milestones.

(IV) Plans are on ground to return to the site without the provocation of this write up even though payment has not been made with respect to the current milestone achieved.
(V) The integrity of this structure was never compromised at any stage. This can be proven by a structural audit which is part of any job evaluation process.

(V) The topography of that location posed an obvious challenge which required placement of reinforced concrete columns to a section of the foundation, the cost of which no variation is provided. To have that location about ten big trees were uprooted and crosscut at a cost not captured in the bill.
(VI) The purpose of this reaction is to clear doubt in the mind of anyone that may have an honest misunderstanding of the facts.”

Subsequently, AgbaJalingo came out with the update below, probably as a face-saver having maliciously accused Hon Ukpukpen:
“Stephen Ukpukpen - Work Resumes On Site (UPDATE)
I am happy to announce that information from home say, Hon. Stephen Ukpukpen has asked Robert Utietiang, the contractor to return to work and work has resumed on site at the Sacred Heart Primary School, Bedia.

We will not shut our eyes or mouth until that project is completed.
Steve is not doing us favour. It is a transaction the government has given him on our behalf and has been fully paid for.

And even if it wasn't paid for, Bedia did well to send Steve to the House Of Assembly for the past 7 years. He can and should build a block of classrooms for Bedia. He can do it on credit and collect the money later.

In the past 7 years of his membership of the House, Steve has built personal houses in Obudu and Calabar. I know them. The houses are very beautiful and worth tens of millions.

He should build Bedia a befitting block of classrooms.
Nevertheless, thank you, Hon. Stephen for returning workers to the site”.
Contrary to AgbaJalingo’s claims that member has not done anything tangible in Bedia, it should be noted that the Ohong-Bedia-Okorshie road of which Bedia is a beneficiary was facilitated by him.

It is unfortunate that AgbaJalingo would brazenly falsify his act of kindness where he, in appreciation of loyalty, willingly gave someone his watch after election monitoring. He was never attacked and his watch was never forcefully collected as claimed by AgbaJalingo.  Moreover, Hon Ukpukpendoles out thousands weekly to attend to the financial needs of his constituents ranging from school fees, hospital bills, house rents, transportation, marriage, and burial supports etc; and until lately, AgbaJalingo had been a beneficiary. Many of his constituents including indigenes of Bedia through his intervention are today gainfully employed in federal, state and even private establishments.

Again, on the claim about building personal houses in Obudu and Calabar, let it be known to AgbaJalingo that those properties were acquired during the member’s years in private sector. Then Agba was still a student. The Code of Conduct Bureau can be approached for verification.

Hon Ukpukpen’s stewardship speaks. He should be commended and not reprimanded. By all standards, he has been able to justify the mandate given to him by the Obudu people and no amount of mudslinging can dent his record.
Evidently, Agba’svitriolicattack was motivated by sheer envy and jealousy; perhaps, Agba is a dancer whose actions are being influenced by a masked drummer.

For: Rt. Hon Stephen Ukpukpen
Member representing Obudu State Constituency

Cross River State House of Assembly
 4th April, 2018