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Celebrating Ini Essien, a radical transformer of information

By Mfon Ufford
07 November 2022   |   2:27 am
Acting as the official mouthpiece of the government, the Ministry of Information and Strategy plays an important role in the affairs of Akwa Ibom state.

Acting as the official mouthpiece of the government, the Ministry of Information and Strategy plays an important role in the affairs of Akwa Ibom state.

Asides from being the main publicity organ of the government, it is the duty of the Ministry to initiate, produce and run all publicity and public enlightenment activities on development programmes in the state, with a view to uplifting the image of government within and outside the state.

Furthermore, the Ministry has the duty of debunking false news released by different media organizations. The Ministry is responsible for liaising with other national media with a view to ensuring fair and equitable reportage of the state in public relations, aimed at protecting the good image of the state. Thus, the Ministry serves as the image maker of the government of the day.

No matter how many laudable projects an administration carries out, if its Ministry of Information and Strategy is poorly and ineffectively administered, such administration will receive little to no accolades for the great work it is doing. Where such a ministry has poor leadership, it will not live up to the expectation of projecting a good image of the state and effectively disseminating information on government policies and programmes. This shows the sensitivity of the post of leadership for the ministry.

It is against this background that Governor Udom picked a Commissioner for the Ministry, selecting someone with a proven track record of excellence, competence and public service. Governor Udom settled for Comrade Ini Ememobong as the Commissioner for Information and Strategy.

The family of Mkpisong Ememobong and Rosemary Essien, of the Use Ndon, Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, welcomed their second son, Ini, into the world on Monday, 7 November 1983. Young Ini had his nursery education at the Calabar Preparatory Nursery School, Cross River State, and his primary education at Holy Child International Nursery and Primary School, Ikot Ekpene, after the creation of Akwa Ibom State in 1987. He thereafter attended St. Mary’s Science College, Abak, for his secondary education.

The University of Uyo admitted him in 2000 to study Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, and he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics in 2005. He thereafter proceeded to Taraba State for the compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps Scheme; his place of primary assignment was Darul Arkam Koranic School, where he taught the English Language.

Not resting on his oars, upon completion of his National Youth Service Corps Scheme, he applied to study Law in the University of Uyo, and got admitted in 2007, and successfully completed the program in 2012, acquiring a Bachelor of Law (LLB Hons) degree.

A year later, he proceeded to the Enugu Campus of the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Bar in 2014 as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.  In 2016, he enrolled to study for a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, and completed the course in 2019, thus acquiring an M.A in Peace and Conflict studies. He is currently studying for his Doctorate Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the same university.

His public service to the people of Akwa Ibom, started in 2013, when he was appointed by former Governor Godswill Akpabio, as Special Assistant to the Governor on Student Matters; a position he held for two years. In 2015, he was thereafter appointed as Special Assistant to the Governor on Political Matters and served for one year.

Between May 2016 and August 2020, he served as the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Akwa Ibom State Chapter. He was thereafter appointed by Governor Emmanuel Udom as Commissioner for Information and Strategy, a position he holds to date. His appointment did not go unnoticed; it drew loud applause from the media sector.

In a statement released by the Akwa Ibom chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, it said “The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council, warmly congratulates the new members of the State Executive Council for being found worthy as team players in the Completion Agenda of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel.

The NUJ is particularly excited about the appointment of Comrade Ini Ememobong as the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Information & Strategy. He has been a true friend, partner, and ally of the Union over the years, and we believe this new appointment will forge a stronger content of ideologies, values, and partnership in building better perspectives towards the development of the State. His appointment is well-deserved and we welcome him to the saddle wholeheartedly, especially as we mark the first anniversary of this leadership”

Since his appointment as Commissioner, Comrade Ini has shown commitment towards fulfilling the vision of the Ministry of Information and Strategy which is “To be the most efficient information and communication institution which directs the dissemination of information on policies, programmes, and projects of Akwa Ibom State Government to the general public”. He is also passionate about fulfilling the mission of the Ministry which is “To play a leading and proactive role in the formulation and implementation of sustainable information management strategies utilizing 21st century ICT platform in order to ensure an enlightened, well-informed, vibrant and stable polity as well as enhance value re-orientation among the citizenry”.

Some of the noteworthy publications of the ministry include Akwa Ibom Impact, Explore Akwa Ibom as well as Wetin Udom don do? For instance, the September to November 2020 edition of the Akwa Ibom Impact contains the laudatory message of the Federal Government to Akwa Ibom for keeping the state peaceful; showcases the profile of illustrious prominent sons and daughters of the State, including His Eminence, Sunday Mbang (A World Class Religious Leader), Vincent Enyeama (Former Super Eagles Goal Keeper and Most Capped Footballer in the National Team), Paul Usoro, SAN (Foremost Communication Lawyer and Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association), Professor Uduak Archibong (Distinguished Nurse Leader and one of the top 100 Nigerians in the United Kingdom to receive a Centenary Award), Nathaniel Bassey ( A Legendary Music Producer), among numerous others.

Comrade Ini is a distinguished member of notable associations in the nation including the Nigerian Bar Association, Association of Professional Protocol Practitioners in Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Media and Arbitrators (where he is a Fellow) as well as the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.

His contributions to humanity and society at large have not gone unnoticed. He was awarded by the Traditional Rulers Council, Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area as Eti Uwud (Good Example) Ibiono Ibom; Humanitarian Service Award by the Rotary Club of Uyo Metropolis District 9142 Nigeria; Humanitarian Service Award by the Rotary Club of Uyo Metropolis District 9142 Nigeria.

The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists gave him the Excellent Community Service Award. Furthermore, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria gave him the Distinguished Service Award, and the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations named him ‘Man of the Year’ Comrade Ini Ememobong is married to Mrs Chinonyerem Ini Ememobong.

The marriage is blessed with three children. He turns 39 today, November 7, 2022. In celebration of his birthday, he will be giving a business grant of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N 100,000) to thirty-nine (39) entrepreneurs in Akwa Ibom State.

Ufford wrote in from Uyo.