Sunday, 15 April 2018

'If you have the right to sleep, journalists have the right to report that you slept —Blogger to State Attorney General

| 15 April 2018 | Ukorebi Esien 

A Cross River State based blogger and publisher of NegriodHaven, who also doubles as National P. R. O 3 and state Chairman of Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) Mr. Efio-Ita Nyok has reacted to the indiscriminate harassment of online journalist, bloggers, and social media commentators in the state. 

Mr. Nyok who took to his Facebook wall to write his reactions,  condemned in totality what he described as 'inglorious actions' by the Cross River State Government.

The vocal activist cum blogger said the recent detention of Jonathan Ugbal of CrossRiverWatch 'for allegedly taking and leaking the sleeping-in-action photograph of the Commissioner for Justice/Attorney General of the State, Mr Sunday Abang during the ceremonial signing of the bloated N1.3 trillion state budget by His Excellency the crying governor', was not in a way Democratic as it totally opposes the concept of modern democracy. 
According to Mr. Nyok,  the 21st century democracy has gone beyond the provision of social amenities 'but, it's a value system oriented towards the PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS especially the right to think, and express one's opinion, among others'. 

He went further to opine that if the state Attorney General thinks he has the right to sleep in an official meeting with the Governor, then journalist also have the right to report that he slept. 

'I think, if you have the right to sleep, journalists have the right to say that you slept!' He stressed. 

'I am disappointed that the Attorney General of the State who is the chiefest law officer beside His crying Excellency could act ultra vires in ensuring the embarrassment of Ugbal. The question would have been : was the photograph photoshopped? Where you sleeping or not? If you think these questions were too cardinal, you would have sued instead of make unnecessary calls to the Governor, etc  as I learnt while causing a scene'. Mr. Nyok added. 

The blogger furthermore,  charged the Executive, the legislative and the judiciary arm of government in the state to ensure that 'Cross River doesn't slip beyond the present precipice to become more of a banana republic that it has evolved into in recent time that it has been already'. And to see to it that 'new media which has come to stay deepen our democratic experience in Cross River nay Nigeria be given an encouraging nod'