By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
The elevation of newly appointed Special Adviser, SA, to Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River State on Electronic Media, from Special Assistant, Imani Odey, has assured his principal of better service delivery.
Idea gave the assurance after the announcement of her elevation from Special Assistant to Special Adviser, SA, during a chat with our correspondent in a telephone conversation on Monday in Calabar.
She said that the elevation has further strengthened her ahead of better service delivery.
She enthused, “This development calls for re-doubling of effort. I assure you of better service delivery. I promised to improve on my performance.”
Before her appointment into the administration of Governor Ayade, Imani, was the Cross River State correspondent for Channels Television.
She added, “Working with the governor has been a worthwhile experience and great opportunity to contribute my quota toward the success of the administration.”
The Theater Arts graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, gained her first media exposure when she worked with NTA Sokoto as a corp member, before being absorbed by the management of NTA and posted to Calabar.
After putting in about three years of meritorious service with the NTA as Cross River State Government House correspondent, Imani tendered the resignation of her appointment and joined Channels Television.
Imani has flair for “community reporting,” what most people refer to as human interest stories; and she had done several stories on human interest, with many yielding positive impact on the society.
Some of the stories done by Imani that probably shot her to limelight include “the story about “Money Marriage” in one of the Cross River State settlement called Becheve community in Obanlikwu Local Government Area, which has to do with the giving out in marriage of under-aged girls, who usually were given out in marriage against their wishes or consent.
Imani’s stories were among stories which prompted the intervention of the international community and and other non-governmental and community-based organisations, NGOs, CBOs, to intervene on the issue, this liberating many under-aged girls, and indeed leading to the abolishment of the barbaric and age-long tradition.
Another of her stories was about her encounter with the militant group, the “The Bakassi Strike Force.”
She said, “It was my story that first exposed their activities in the peak of militancy in the various creeks of Bakassi, which later paved way for their denouncement and subsequent amnesty granted by the government.”
On the giant strides recorded in journalism practice before Ayade’s appointment knocked on her door, the the former Channels Television reporter said, “I am proud that the Bakassi IDPs can boast of decent accommodation today.
“It took me six years of constant reporting of their plights through thick and thin; unfortunately, the housing estate got vandalized during the #EndSARS crisis.
“The Calabar-Odukpani/Biase federal highway got intervention following my several contributions in terms of the several ‘Save our Soul’ reports, which I did alongside other newsmen on that highway, which almost become a death trap.
“Infact, the stretch at Biase had caved in, and got prompt response from the then Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
“For me, journalism is a passion. I have always loved to have the opportunity to speak the minds of people.”
When asked to describe herself regarding her job and as a person. The Bekwarra Local Government Area of Cross River State-born journalist said, “I am like a moving train, trying to pick speed each and everyday.”