AN OPEN LETTER TO THE NIGERIAN TELEVISION AUTHORITY (NTA)
IBOM PR, on behalf of the good people of Akwa Abasi Ibom State, hereby wishes to most respectfully demand an apology from the Nigerian Television Authority for a rather disconcerting infraction.
While we celebrate Nigerian’s landslide victory in the match against Cameroon on 1st September, 2017, we wish to declassify our discontentment at the fact that the victory was reported on the Nigerian Television Authority as having been recorded in CALABAR, the capital city of CROSS RIVER STATE, whereas the said match was played at the GODSWILL AKPABIO INTERNATIONAL STADIUM, UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE, also known as THE NEST OF CHAMPIONS.
This mistake is not just awfully egregious for our national TV network; it hurts our ego as people of a distinct state, even though we are proud of and will always readily celebrate with CROSS RIVER, our sister state. The good people of AKWA IBOM have not and will not forget their political history as a state that was created from CROSS RIVER, but we retain the right to assert our identity as a different socio-political unit.
It is AKWA IBOM, not CROSS RIVER – UYO, not CALABAR! We demand an on-air apology and an immediate correction of this rather scandalizing mistake. We would be more than happy if the Nigerian Television Authority were to be swift in their response to our demands.
We feel hurt that thirty years after our state was created, we Akwa Ibomites are still being viewed, not as people of our own, but as some kind of sub-people under CROSS RIVER.
It is on this note that we would like to re-list some of the grounds on which we have been cheated:
• The 1914 Amalgamation Declaration was done in the present-day Ikot Abasi Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State. Nigeria began to exist as a single, even if incoherent, political entity from Akwa Ibom. We have Sir Fredrick Lord Lugard’s residence here, which should have, by now, become a national tourist attraction. Nigeria’s Centenary Celebration should have been done here in Akwa Ibom, where it all began. But it was not.
• The famous women’s riot of 1929 which lead to a micro-war against taxation in the entire south eastern region began in Ikot Abasi. The panel that sat thereafter to investigate the matter only did so in Aba. But till today, that riot is still fallaciously referred to as the Aba Women’s Riot. Nigerian history textbooks carry this historical distortion.
• Akwa Ibom produced one of Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor – Clement ISONG.
• Akwa Ibom produced one of Nigeria’s first legal luminaries – Justice Udo UDOMA, first Chief Justice of Kenya.
• Akwa Ibom produced Nigeria’s first Nigerian World Boxing Champion (WBC) – Samuel OKON Peter.
• Akwa Ibom has produced the likes of INI Edo, IME Bishop, Emem ISONG, etc., who are contributing their quota to make Nigeria a country to reckon with in the global movie sphere.
• Akwa Ibom has one of the first Prelates of the Methodist Church – Bishop Sunday MBANG.
• In literature, Akwa Ibom has produced Uwem AKPAN, Anietie ISONG, etc., whose works have won laurels.
• Akwa Ibom is also the number one producer of oil in the nation.
• The list is endless.
Akwa Ibom merits recognition on the grounds of her own solid personal achievements. The mistake by the Nigerian Television Authority exemplifies the tendency to overlook the independence of Akwa Ibom and to describe her in relation to another state, and not as a state on her own. And we, IBOM PR, on behalf of every Akwa Ibom citizen, would like for this to end. Identity is important.
The easiest way to kill a person is to create an identity conflict for him or her. Constantly viewing us through the eyes of another state is tantamount to suggesting that we do not exist, when we actually do. It is tantamount to creating for us a conflicting identity! We most respectfully demand that this come to an end. And we believe that an apology from the Nigerian Television Authority will set the ball rolling.
We anticipate a positive response from the authorities of the Nigerian Television Authority.