By Patrick Obia
The Chairman, Association of Cross River Online Journalists (ACROJ) Comrade Darlington Edem, has alleged that there are plans by the Government of Cross River State to gage the media in the State, following the recent arrest and detention of four Journalists in Calabar.
Mr. Darlington stated this while speaking as a guest on Sunday regular program “The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo” on Hit 95.9 FM, where he added that there are attempt to stampede the media in the State.
“It is obvious and it is clear to the blind, we have never had it this bad in recent time. It is very clear that there are plans to ensure that the media in Cross River State is caged and controlled which is not supposed to be. It is against the media practice all over the world.
“This Government has been the most media unfriendly Government we have ever had in the history of Cross River. Don’t forget, there used to be a time previous Governors will come out and talk to the people and the press and the people here do not even know what the Government is doing. Since this Government came into power there has never been once or twice. So the people do not know what the Government is doing; when they do not know then you give room for speculation, you give room for lot of assumption and people begin to think.
“If you are performing, you must find a way of communicating with your people. The worst thing this Government has done to themselves is the inability to have a smooth relationship with the media and it is very clear because what is happening today in Cross River State, people are afraid to talk; those who the constitution guarantees them the right to write are being intimidated and there is an attempt to stampede the media which we will completely and strongly resist”.
He continued that it is a failure when the Government do not engage the media who then report back to the people adding that Cross Riverians are confused.
“It is obvious, there is that gap between the people and the Government. That gap in Cross River State, anyone on the street can tell you there is no communication, there is breach in Communication between the people and Government. It will be good If the Governor comes out and begin to tell the people this is what I’m doing.
“It is really a huge failure for the Government. No wonder you find people being confused, Cross Riverians are confused; they do not know whether the Government is performing or not”. He ended.