Monday 30 December 2013

CONNOISSEUR Exclusive: The Big Stories that shaped 2013

2013 has been a fantastic year for newshunters and media people (especially those in the editorial department) as they have had amazingly big stories. Some of these stories shook the state and shaped the year under consideration. www.connoisseurNG.compresents you the biggest stories of the year. These stories were picked based on how far they travelled, how long it was talked about by people, how long they dominated newspaper headlines and they extent they went viral on social media.

  1. Prince Akpabio’s night club brawl: This particular story (Read HERE) travelled very far and was discussed within and outside Akwa Ibom State. It was discussed in government circles, private talks, social gatherings, etc for months. Many newspapers and blogs made a meal out of the very juicy story. 
  2. Assault on Onofiok Luke: The Member Representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Onofiok Luke was allegedly assaulted at Ika during the burial of the in-law of one of his colleagues. He is said to have been assaulted by fellow government functionaries in an event which was attended by Gov. Godswill Akpabio. The media fed fat on this story while the social media was agog with discussions about it.
  3. UNIUYO Riot: June 12 is a historic date in the annals of Nigeria, but this year, it went on to becoming an unforgettable date in the history of the University of Uyo for a wrong reason. Students of the varsity protested an increment in transport fares from the town campus to the permanent site and the peaceful protest went bloody as men of the Nigeria Police Force in the process of trying to quell the crisis allegedly ended up killing a student. The school was closed down indefinitely and it is set to re-open only seven months after the riot (though compounded by ASUU strike) with students paying heavy restoration fees. 45 students were arrested, thrown in to prison and charged to court because of the crisis. 43 have been set free (though the case is still in court) and two are reportedly still languishing behind bars several months after. (READ STORY 1, STORY 2, STORY 3, STORY 4)
  4. 2face Idibia’s wedding to Annie Macaulay: Indisputably the marriage of the year. Africa’s music legend, Innocent “2face” Idibia finally got married to longtime girlfriend, Annie Macaulay. The wedding was held in Eket in great aplomb and having had a beautiful daughter from Annie, 2face finally walked the path of honour and “did the needful”. The married was the biggest but the controversy that followed after the ceremony however continues to highlight why it was one of the biggest news stories of the year. Governor Akpabio in his usual benevolent self gave two SUV Prado jeeps to 2face and wife (though the government later denied that it was one) and paid flight tickets for 30 family members to travel to Dubai for the wedding. This sparked a serious controversy and drew hard knocks on the governor from those who think that the singer is rich enough to buy as many SUVs as he wants, hence the governor shouldn’t have given him the car(s) and paid for flight tickets. This dominated newspaper headlines for many weeks. (READ HERE STORY1, STORY2, STORY3, STORY4, STORY5, STORY6)
  5. Aloysius Etok vs Gov. Akpabio: A video where Gov. Akpabio said he cancelled other aspirants’ names out in order to make Aloysius Etok return to the senate went viral, especially on blogs and newspaper articles were not left out. After Sen. Etok had debunked claims that he was not single-handedly returned to the senate by Akpabio, a serious war broke out between the duo and political loyalists of the governor worked on a recall of Etok from the Senate. This was battled for many weeks but it never saw the light of the day. It was the most talked about political feud in the state in the year under review.
  6. Ime ‘Bishop’ Umoh’s marriage: Many call him different names such as Udo Yes, Iyammi, Bishop, Okon Lagos, Cafenol, Iraq etc because of either his act name or name of movies in stars in. Nsit Ibom born movie actor, Ime Umoh got married his heartthrob Idara in a very spectacular fashion in October 2013. The crowd at the traditional marriage was intimidatingly in the size of spectators in a world cup final match or a money-sharing political rally. Fans had the opportunity of catching a live glimpse of their favorite act say ‘I do’ in a wedding event that was well attended by Nollywood stars. (READ HERE STORY 1, STORY 2, STORY 3, STORY4, STORY5)
  7. Umana Okon Umana’s ouster from office: The immediate past Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Obong Umana Okon Umana was ousted from office in a degrading (some chose to call it commando-style) fashion. Prior to this ‘unforeseen’ act, he was Akpabio’s right hand man, the governor’s nose, eyes and ears at Hiltop Mansion. His dismissal was discussed virtually everywhere across the state and given more than cameo mentions at the national level.  
  8. Captain Iniobong Ekong vs Ifreke Nseowo: The last quarter of this year witnessed the birth  of one of the most discussed news items, the Captain Iniobong Ekong vs Ifreke Nseowo N500m court case. Ifreke Nseowo, Nigeria’s Youngest Editor (currently the record holder) was dragged to court by the Personal Assistant to Gov. Akpabio on Security, Captain Iniobong Ekong (Rtd) for mentioning in the controversial Prince Akpabio club brawl story that he (Ekong) is said to be the owner of the club (Play Terrace) where the mess took place. The court sat and the case was adjourned to early next year. (READ HERE)
  9. Mbo Crises: Mbo was constantly in the news for various reasons, ranging from attack by militants, oil-spillage, death of former chairman, and SURE-P funds. No local government had more negative stories in the media other than Mbo.
  10. Miss Akwa Ibom controversy: The Miss Akwa Ibom stool/crown has been in a very deep controversy. The current Miss Akwa Ibom, Andino Attah was crowned on 22nd September, 2012 and few weeks after, there were plans to dethrone her for various reasons. Her official car was later seized from her but recently, she opened up on why she was on the verge of being dethroned and her car seized (read HERE), an allegation the management said are all lies. Though largely unpopular and embattled, you can’t take the fact away from Andino who is a niece of former Gov. Victor Attah that she remains one of the longest serving Miss Akwa Ibom queens. (READ HERE STORY1, STORY2, STORY3, STORY4)

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