By Kelvin Ezor
The aphorism that information is power is illusory to the people of Abi Local Government. Abi, being one of the 18 LGAs that makes up Cross River State, has perpetually been in the state of incommunicado when it relates to news broadcast, events, policies and programmes within the state for decades of years.
The local government, which prides itself as the home of the immediate past governor of the state, His Excellency, Senator Liyel Imoke and the incumbent Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Barr) John Gaul Lebo is one of the most backward local government in the state, despite the fact that it has produced prominent politicians in the state prior to independence.
This owes largely to the fact that the there was and there is no master plan for the development of the area prior to its creation from Old Obubra to Yakurr and presently, Abi LGA.
A fast growing information, communication and technology society, Abi is yet to have the state owned radio (CRBC) signal, not to talk of its Television station!
A scenario that many indigenes have berated successive administrations in the state for appointing incompetent hands as General Managers of the state owned media outlets.
A popular Social Media commentator, Kelvin Ezor has challenged heads of the media outlets to be abreast with latest transmission technologies and urges them to be innovative in the discharge of their duties, with sole objective of covering virtually all sections of the state, with good transmission signals.
While, lamenting on his facebook wall, he posted thus “The more I tried hard to be silent on some certain issues of public discourse, the more my heart bleeds for the ailing public institutions.
It is very disheartening that a Local Government that just left government two years ago, is yet to be covered by the state’ owned media outfits viz CRBC (Radio and Television) transmission stations respectively.
I am always disappointed each time I tune on my radio set to listen to news headlines from the state, and instead of CRBC popping up, it’s either Unity FM, Salt FM (all in Abakaliki); Inspirational FM (Uyo); Treasure FM (Port Harcourt); ABBS( Umuahia); Heartland fm, whereas, I can’t even get a signal from CRBC.
I think the GM of CRBC has a lot to do. He should sit up and think out of the box, so that all Crossriverians, especially those in remote villages can have access to news, programmes and events of the state government, because one is not informed is deformed.
It will be recalled that years back in elapse of Senator Liyel Imoke’s administration, he had established the CRBC transmission station at Ikom to cover both the central and Northern senatorial districts of the state but due to incompetency and lack of modern facilities, the station has remained in comatose, without achieving its intended objective.
I am therefore appealing to the His Excellency, Senator Ben Ayade through the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Orientation and through the General Manager, CRBC to avail us the opportunity of having access to government programmes, policies, news and events within our state”.
The above post triggered up the following reactions by his friends, who also are indigenes of Abi LGA.
Asor Eval, “That is while he need not to be called #digital governor. Information is the pillar of reasonable government. And not to serious information is to operate in darkness”.
Kelvin Ezor replied “Bro, this is dated back to previous administrations in the state, even that of Donald Duke’s that many now claimed to have preferred more to others.
I am only appealing to HE, Senator Ben Ayade because I know he’s capable of resuscitating the moribund CRBC to cover all sections of the state.”
Another follower, Eddy Murphy commented thus “I don’t know why people behave the way they do, little thing, they will blame Governors, are the Govnors not humans? Na wa o”.
Agula Emereze also commented “My Brother Thanks For This Update, U Have Just Made My Day On This Because I Wanted To Write On This Issue Sometimes Last Year When My Goods Was Stolen By Unknown Okada Man, I Went To The Station To Report I Met Only 1 Securty Man That Ask Me To Come Back. Pls Let Them Do Somthing Cos Even Wen They Open The Only Thing U Hear Is Obitury Anouncement And Nothing More. We Need To Grow Not only In Farming Bv Also In Communications Thanks If Only They Will See And Read This.”
And later, a Political Scientist currently serving as a Youth Corper lamented bitterly “The issue of lack of radio and television coverage in Abi is not even as painful as trying to upload a post on Facebook with your Google Map on and it automatically assume your location in Ekureku to be Ebonyi State and all your effort to correct this error is usually fruitless and to avoid been talked down by your friends who are eager to know your location, you end up deleting the post”.
There is no gainsaying that, Abi, Yakurr and some LGAs in the state have no access to state news rather relying on Facebook and online media outlets for news about the state.
While, the LGA has recently been elevated and accorded the status of an ” Urban” it is therefore more imperative and appealing that the Governor, His Excellency, Senator Ben Ayade directs his Commissioner for Information and Orientation through the General Manager of Cross River State Radio Corporation to extend its radio coverage to Abi LGA, so that they be abreast with news, programmes and policies emanating from the state.
Writes from Ngarabe.