Larry Esin Replies Thompson Essien: Mrs. Amawo Innocently Misquoted Me.

19 Jan

                                                    Written by Mr. Larry Esin
Ete Thompson,
Larry Esin

Larry Esin

Happy New Year and best wishes. Ete, this is Larry Esin, your friend; I hope you still consider me a friend. Because of my respect for you, I have chosen to write you this personal explanation vis – a – vis the controversy that has arisen over my interview with Mrs. Amawo last year.”

Ete, I assure you that I was misquoted, albeit innocently by Mrs. Amawo. I have known Mrs. Amawo from my days as National Chairman of the PPA, and I never doubted and still do not doubt her professional competency.
When Mrs. Amawo met me that morning of the interview, it was our first meeting in almost three years, and she came that morning not to interview me but to inform me of the birth of her first child after many years of marriage. It was a joyous occasion as you can imagine.
Mrs. Amawo, having spent the last two years as she put it, trying to track me down, decided to seize the opportunity that morning and secure an interview even though she was ill prepared. She did not even have a recorder with her. I pleaded unsuccessfully to reschedule, but Mrs. Amawo would have none of that. Such is the relationship I have with her. At the end, she decided to use the recorder of her small Nokia phone for the interview.
As you would imagine, the interview was interrupted frequently by incoming calls, and each time a call came through Mrs. Amawo had to apologize, pause, answer her call and reset the recorder to continue the interview. It was during one of such interruptions that I was explaining the reason and consequences of my late entry into the 2006/7 governorship race. I said then, that because I entered the race so late “I was accused of running to help my friend Akpabio “, because most people could not understand why anyone in “their right Mind” would enter such a contest barely 30 days to the elections.
I believe that during the recording, and Mrs. Amawo confessed that there were gaps in the recording due to the poor quality of the recording and the intermittent calls that came through during the interview. Unfortunately, I was out of the country in Asia (I flew out the same day of the interview) when Mrs. Amawo was transcribing and she could not reach me to fill in the gaps. She made an innocent but costly mistake in trying to fill in the gaps herself.
You may then want to know what I have done since the story broke. I did contact Mrs. Amawo to express my concern over the consequences of the misrepresentation. We also discussed a cause of action including a press/media statement on the issue. I decided to wait a bit on any cause of action because I did not want to heat up the already tense ethnic squabble in our State. In retrospect that may have been the wrong decision.
As one who seeks to govern Akwa Ibom, I am under no illusion that I will have 100% support of the electorate; neither will I be judged always by the content of my character or my commitment to the cause of a free and just Akwa Ibom, where we all will be treated as equals under the law. I lean my hopes therefore on God almighty who knows the content of each of our hearts and my commitment to the truth.
I would have felt better if all the outburst and attacks I have endured since the story broke had all to do with my capabilities or lack thereof and less to do with a friendship with a fellow Akwaibomites in 2006/7. I have not been part of the administration since its inception and cannot therefore take responsibility for its actions.
My response to Barrister Iyanam’s publication was to inform the world that the majority of us Akwa Ibom people are not ethnic minded, especially when it comes to our politics. I used my personal experience as an example, and the fact that Barrister Iyanam, an Oro man, will not vote for an Oro man simply because they share an ethnic identity.
Ete, you are a man of balanced thinking and void of sentiments, let your conscience guide you. My warm regards to your family Sir and best wishes for the New Year.
Larry Esin
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
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