By: Ekong Okpa
December 12, 1974 remains remarkable in the history of Cross River when a former Military Governor of the defunct South Eastern State, Brigadier General U.J.Esuene commissioned the state newspaper complex for production process which took off on January with the incumbent Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Moses Ekpo as first Editor of the famous Chronicle Group of Newspapers an amalgam of the daily publication which is “The Nigerian Chronicle as well as Weekend and Sunday Chronicle.”
The elevation of Moses Ekpo to the rank of General Manager (GM) of the Corporation saw the emergence of some veteran Journalists who bestowed the Corporation in a sort of dynastic succession.
They include the prolific and famous Media sage, Mr Ray Ekpu who served as Editor and latter left to join late Dele Giwa and Yakubu Mohammed for the formation of the popular Newswatch Magazine
Also very prominent in this roll call of Chronicle Editors was a former Governor of Cross River, Chief Clement David Ebri.
Among others who also became Editors and rose the rank of General Manager of the Corporation include Chief Etim Anim, Ntufam Oqua Itu, Mr Ubi Arikpo, Unimke Nawa, Mrs Onayi Egbe, Mr David Edem, Patrick Okon, Brown Ibom, Chief Patrick Okem, Engr, Bassey and Chief Bassey Ekpo Bassey who served as Sole Administrator of the Corporation, among others.
The Corporation also had a former Special Adviser(SA) to Governor Donald on Media and Publicity/Chief Press Secretary, Mr Dominic Kidzu.
Interestingly, the present Head of Service in the state, Mr Timothy Ogbang Akwaji took over as GM of Chronicle, having served meritoriously as Editor-in-Chief. Upon his appointment as Permanent Secretary, a famous pioneer Editor and proponent of Giant Strides in the State Ministry of Information, Mr. Emmanuel Akpong was appointed GM who has maintained a firm grip of keeping Chronicle alive till this day.
The General Manager in an interview with Journalists in Calabar vowed to keep the flag flying for the realisation of the dream of the Founding Fathers of the Corporation.
It is also instructive to note that Chronicle Group of Newspapers boast high media personalities of profound signature profile of reference , having at present, the Vice President (East)of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, Comrade Samuel Egbala as Editor-in-Chief of the Newspaper Corporation.
Chronicle today boast a history of fifty years with a harvest of veteran journalists including its first ever female Editor Daily, Florence Oluohu.