The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke has charged journalists in the state to be constructive in their critic of the government.
The Speaker said this when he visited the press men on Friday, May 31, at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) press centre in Uyo.
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Mr. Luke stated that singing loving tunes about the government at all times would only encourage ineptitude and advised the pen pushers to rather be frank with the government to keep it on its toes.
“Do not sing the praises of government every time, but constructively criticise it to help it improve. When you point to our lapses by your reports, we will know the areas to improve upon. But if you always sing our praises, we will go to bed thinking we have performed well,” he said.
Speaking on the just concluded elections, the Speaker noted: “The elections are over. The things we wrote and the things we spoke on the podium as campaigns were election issues. We need to forget about the past. We should not continue to call people names. Let us set a new agenda. Look at the completion agenda of His Excellency, the Governor. Look at how you can articulate it to ensure that completion agenda is done to the later,” he enjoined.
He stressed that his visit to the journalists was not political, but in a bid to appreciate the journalists for their support throughout his tenure as Speaker of the State Assembly. “My coming here has nothing to do with politics. I am coming here like I have also visited some other sets of persons who assisted me to tell them thank you. If I do something for you and you don’t come back to say thank you, I am not going to be happy. I am here to relieve a burden on me,” the speaker noted.
Responding, the state chairman of the NUJ, Mr. Patrick Albert, acknowledged the role of the Speaker for the cordial relationship established between the House of Assembly and the press.
He called on the Speaker to continue his good works by extending this kindness to journalists irrespective of his new appointment.
The Speaker is the member-elect for the Etinan Federal Constituency.