Journalist Threatens to Sue Lawmaker over Empowerment Offer

A Nigerian journalist, Nsikak Ekanem, has threatened to sue a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Unyime Idem for adding his name to his empowerment programme list.

Idem is representing Ekanem’s Ukanafun/Oruk Anam constituency.

The lawmaker, who recently chaired the House of Representatives’ adhoc committee that investigated tariffs of satellite television companies in Nigeria, had an elaborate empowerment programme for a cross-section of his constituents on December 20, 2021, in which 1,500 persons were listed for different categories of the empowerment scheme, which include, car gift, cash grants, sewing machines among other life enhancement tools.

But Ekanem rejected the inclusion of his name in the empowerment list.

Viewing the listing of his name as “a crass debasement of his self esteem”, Ekanem, who did not mention what he was given, turned down the offer in a statement he released on Sunday.

Advancing reasons behind his action, the journalist, stated: “My rejection of the acclaimed empowerment offer has nothing to do with the category I was placed. It is solely about my uncompromising disdain to use dole queue in moving from abyss of poverty to kingdom of prosperity.”

Ekanem, who said that his writings in OPED pages of some Nigerian dailies have offered clues to what he likes and dislikes, insinuated that the listing of the name could be “a ploy to present him for public ridicule through a booby-trap of the monetary offer.”

Extolling Idem for the intuitive, Ekanem said he is, however, suspecting that the inclusion of his name in the empowerment programme could be the handiwork of fifth columnists on a mission to throw a spanner into the works of the lawmaker.

“In fact, given that I am personally thrilled by his performance in the National Assembly in the last two and half years, this latest development, particularly the insertion of my name for the empowerment list is a killjoy,” he said, adding that he is considering legal action to clear his name.

The Guardian


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