My attention has been drawn to various interviews purported to have been granted by me to a certain Mr Ata Ikiddeh.  

I wish to strenuously advise any one or forum to discountenance the said Ata Ikiddeh’s interviews, publications or write-ups as not only false, fabricated and a deliberate ploy to malign and smear the image of CRARN for and
indeed a desperate attempt to create a tornado-like cynosure before the government and curry undue favour.

I have never known Ata Ikiddeh in my life. I first met him on the 16th of May when he came to CRARN Children Centre with a letter dated that same day written by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare. I actually thought he was the Director of the Ministry or the Permanent Secretary. Far from this, he is not even a staff of the Ministry as I later discovered.

But I called the CEO of CRARN to find out if he knew anything about Ata, despite the fact that a few of the children recognized his face. He told me Ata was a friend to CRARN who has sympathy for its cause. Recently, Ata published a toilet facility which up till now we don’t know how that came about. He equally went to the old abandoned boys hostel took pictures of the old unused beds only to show the whole world in order to discredit the work of his ‘friend’, CRARN. Why did he not see the toilet facilities in the new Multi-Complex child-friendly building donated to CRARN by the UNICEF/Zenith Bank and the one built by CRARN with some support from the State government? The Akwa Ibom State government has confidence in the work of CRARN despite the many lies, propagandas and blackmails run by the likes of Ata against the organisation. One is tempted to ask: what does Ata, an acclaimed lawyer stand to achieve with his campaign of calumnies against an organisation that he done documentaries to solicit for support and other assistance.

Which paper or media is he reporting for? Is it Ibom forum or Ibom  Global newspapers? Has he thrown his professional ethics into the trash can, if at all he is really a lawyer? The questions our attorneys have asked us are where is Ata Ikiddeh’s address? Or is it still Ibom Global or Ibom Forum?

Ata should stop insulting CRARN. As an NGO, our work is not limited to rescuing abandoned and stigmatized children, but entails provision of shelter, education, clothing, food, medical treatment, counselling, reconciliation, advocacy, enlightenment campaign etc.

While not trying to insult any one in any forum, media, I strongly
believe that those in the forum are learned men and women of integrity with rational thinking; and should not hesitate to ask Ata what he is actually gunning for by stooping so low in publishing interviews that
were never granted?
Unfortunately, having given my cell phone number to Ata the first day I
met him, any time he calls me and says “Hello, how are you doing?”
My mere response, “I am fine, call me later, I am busy…” This has
automatically formed a two or three page news interview. Is this how true
journalists are? At this point, I want to categorically state that I have NEVER granted an interview to Ata Ikiddeh in my life.

It should be noted that on Wednesday May 25, 2011 CRARN held a Press
Conference to express her commitment to working with the government of
Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of His Excellency, Chief Godswill
Obot Akpabio. One expects that this would have accorded Mr Ikiddeh an
ample opportunity to ask questions as he would have desired. But,
sadly, the many faces of this ‘journalist’ were no where to be found. Where
then did he carry out his own interview with me? I am left with no
option than to put up this disclaimer to put paid to the many lies
that Ikiddeh has generated using my name and office.

Aparently, I have been misquoted and misrepresented for the umpteenth
time by Ata Ikiddeh. This is very bad and I do not want this to
continue. Nobody should ever believe whatever Ata is going to report
about me or CRARN for that matter.
For the purpose of clarity, CRARN is not a rebellious organisation as
the likes of Ata wants to portray her for their personal gains and
indeed selfish interest. And that CRARN is forging an alliance with
the Akwa Ibom State government for sake of the vulnerable children with a view to carrying out a well packaged and
robust campaign to enlighten the community against stigmatisation and
mistreatment of children either in the name of witches or whatever
guise.

A development which the state government is highly appreciative of and
has expressed the desire to partner with CRARN to achieve this goal.
This, it has initially demonstrated by picking one of CRARN’s matron
to work with the children at Security Village , Uyo.

That the Akwa Ibom State government has again demonstrated its
willingness to work with CRARN to address this issue once and for all,
should not pique Ata Ikiddeh.

In light of the above, Ata Ikiddeh stop publishing false and fabricated interviews about me or CRARN as our focus here should be in the best interest of the children. However, if blackmailing is your ladder to the corridors of power, I wish you good luck!

Thank you
Bassey Antia
(Project Administrative Manager)

Child's Right And Rehabilitation Network (CRARN)
Ikot Afaha, Eket
Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
website @ www.crarn.net
Hotline +2348026693099
Registered with the Corperate Affairs Commission (CAC), Abuja, Nigeria
Charity Number: CAC/IT/No 27195
CRARN: Rehabilitating and Protecting a Child

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