Sunday 28 July 2013

Akwa Ibom SSG disowns media aide, Bonny Nyong

The Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Obong Umana Okon Umana has disowned a certain Boniface Nyong popularly known as Bonny Nyong who claims to be a media expert working with him. This is coming on the heels of the recent attack on one of the state based opposition newspapers, Global Concord which Mr. Nyong claimed he spearheaded. In a press statement issued by Iboro Otongaran who is the head of Umana’s media team known as BestMan Media Team, the said Bonny who is the publisher of a local tabloid, Sermon Newspaper is not a member of the governorship hopeful’s media squad. Below is the full text of the press statement from Umana’s camp…

Our attention has been drawn to internet posts seeking to link Mr Umana Okon ,
Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government  (SSG) with the alleged recent
attack by unknown persons on  an Akwa Ibom state based tabloid
called Global Concord.  Mr Umana totally rejects these insinuations and
wholly  dismisses all attempts to associate his name with the attack on the
 local newspaper. Mr. Umana is a man known for his insistence on due process.
 He is a man who deeply abides by the best democratic principles; a believer in
the rule of law and an advocate of peace. Despite desperate attempts
by political contractors to use some unprofessional section of the
press to malign him, Umana has remained calm and unperturbed.
The Bestman Media Team would therefore like to state as follows:

1. That Mr. Umana Okon Umana has no hand, whatsoever in the said
attack, which he has personally condemned as barbaric, uncivilized,
undemocratic and a relic of a culture of impunity that must not be
associated with a state emerging as hub of national activities like
Akwa Ibom state.
2. That Mr. Umana Okon Umana has no media "experts", whether one or
six, as stated in the report.
3. That the only group authorized to speak or act for and on behalf of
Mr. Umana and his political ambition, is the Bestman Media Team, a
team of professional media volunteers. We want the public to note that
the so called media experts mentioned in the report are not known to
Umana, they do not have his consent to make any statement or carry out
any activity on his behalf and therefore, any actions, statements or
activities emanating from such quarters do not represent Mr. Umana
Okon Umana's actions, or politics. They are strictly on a frolic of
their own.
4. We maintain that Mr. Umana Okon Umana knows the course of action
open to him if his rights are infringed upon by the press, as he has
been consistently infringed upon by Global Concord and other such
newspapers that have been used extensively by political opponents in
attempt to rubbish the good image and character of an innocent man,
whose only offence may simply be his desire to serve his people in the
capacity of a governor. Despite such destructive publications Mr.
Umana has continued to display rare forbearance and tolerance to his
5. We state that Mr. Umana Okon Umana as a democrat understands the
great role the media play in the furtherance of the people's rights
and the deepening of democratic culture in any society. He understands
the role the Nigerian press played in the enthronement of the
democracy we are currently enjoying, so he has a great respect and
love for the media and media practitioners, and therefore cannot do
anything that would impede the freedom of the people to inform and
6. As a media team, we urge the Nigerian people, especially Akwa Ibom
people to take note of the activities of some newspapers published in
the state that are simply targeted at some individuals on how to caste
them in negative colors, which are usually lies, fabrications and
outright falsehoods.
7. We call on the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Akwa Ibom state to
look inwards and cure its rank and file of the activities of some
miscreants who have found in the media industry a platform to defraud,
blackmail for a fee, and destroy innocent individuals in the society,
all in the name of journalism. It is time for self cleansing.
8. We want to once more condemn the attack on Global Concord and urge
all the supporters of Mr. Umana Okon Umana to continue to display the
discipline, decorum and maturity associated with our principal, in all
their activities.


Iboro Otongaran
Head, Bestman Media Team

But in a swift reaction, Global Concord has said that Bonny Nyong is work for Umana and is a core member of his media team. Below is the response from Global Concord in a statement issued by the Editor-in-Chief, Solomon Johnny.

Global Concord Newspapers’ response to Umana Umana

Attn: Iboro Otongaran

Thanks for condemning the Wednesday attack on Global Concord Newspaper, sincerity question and the innuendos buried therein notwithstanding. At the risk of joining issues with you and being seeing as hating your boss, I wish to correct some impressions for record purpose. It serves my interest to state clearly before proc
eeding that your insinuations of infringement on the right of your principal, Mr Umana Umana by Global Concord are unfounded in the light of available indices and public information. I assume that same is your opinion which you have right and entitled to hold. In case you forgot as your deliberate silence on them may suggest, I wish to recast basic facts about the criminal invasion and raid of Midweek Global Concord, one of our three titles on Wednesday. Stating these facts clearly here is for the interest of those who may be tempted to rely on your rejoinder to form a negative opinion about Global Concord Newspaper which I am the Editor-in-Chief.
Fact no 1 is that Boniface Nyong is a known loyalist and fanatic and extremist of Obong Umana Okon Umana, your boss and 2015 gubernatorial aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State. This Boniface Nyong claims to be a journalist and up the notch, he is the Publisher of the Sermon Newspaper in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Fact no.2 is that Boniface Nyong is a member of Bestman Media Team of which you are the head acting as media anchor for Mr Umana Okon Umana. The same Boniface Nyong has disclosed that the team has about six members of which one of them must have been responsible for the raid.
Fact no. 3 is that after the Newspaper was carted away by the thugs used for the operation under the supervision of Nyong as He told us, He (Boniface Nyong) has send a call to Unyime Ekwere who edits that edition and claimed responsibility for the action stating in clear terms that he was being instructed to do so by your boss. I will want you to note clearly that just as I and other readers are persuaded to believe your statement above, we are also bound to hold the first as relayed by Boniface Nyong as being true and authentic information since the source, impeccable and connected is an incontrovertible member of the Best Man Media Team. placing the two in the court of sane minds, yours can be dismissed as an after-thought while the first will be upheld as true and reliable.
Fact no 4 is that on that same call log, Boniface Nyong has instructed Unyime Ekwere to "calm down" and come out with other editors for negotiation for the papers to be paid for. He has also stated that doing so was a MUST if we are to print the paper and circulate same in the future. For security reasons and investigation, I will spare us other details which Boniface Nyong gave to us. With the above information in mind, I will leave visitors to this page and whoever will read your position to make their deduction and form their opinion about us as a corporate entity. As I do so, I which to state that though the action was a sad commentary and a reminder of the junta era which such brand like Dele Giwa lost his life,Global Concord cannot be deterred from reporting the untold truth about insecurity, poverty, unemployment and human degradation in Akwa Ibom State to the best of her ability. We are used to open attacks and criminal confrontations like the one carried out by Boniface Nyong on Wednesday. The good news is that we have waded them all successfully remaining the strongest local Newspaper with audience and followership strength second to none South South of Nigeria.
The sum total of callers to our phones on Wednesday alone before 12noon reveals that not less than 4000 readers were awaiting our arrival on the newsstand. That is enough goodwill and solidarity to a paper that you cannot not dismiss. More than you can imagine, we cherish this goodwill over any goal or silver anyone can think of. For the record, our papers will continue to be on the streets of Akwa Ibom State no matter the army of criminals waiting to stops us. Most importantly, We cannot be forced to compromise or negotiate with anybody just as we have no arsenal to fight but committed to fair and truthful journalism, the risk and cost notwithstanding.
Finally, we call on Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, the SSS to investigate the forceful seizure of 5200 copies of Global Concord Newspaper on Wednesday. we call on them to use available tips to unravel who carried out the operation and their other motives. We call on all politicians in Akwa Ibom State to utilise our vast audience to market their aspirations but never to contemplate any coarsion as perpetrated on Wednesday. Such actions are counter productive and worth no contemplation.
Every one must rise in support of democracy and free press as a measure of guaranteeing freedom of expression and right to associate with or dissociate from any ideology which one does not fancy. God bless Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria.

Solomon Johnny
Global Concord Newspaper,
Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
08021075555, 08067121616.

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