As Imo NUJ holds 2nd edition of Legacy Award
By Stanley Okehie
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Imo State Council, Chief Chris Akaraonye has appealed for support of journalists in the state to build a stronger and reliable union.
Akaraonye made the appeal penultimate week during the 2nd edition of Imo NUJ Legacy Award held at Rockview Hotel Owerri.
According to the Chairman, Imo NUJ Legacy Award was established in 2013 by the immediate past Chairman of the Council, Sir Innocent Igwe “to recognize people who have contributed in touching lives of others either in development or capacity building.”
“Those given award today are privileged because we selected them based on merit”, Akaraonye said while calling on Journalists in the state “to calm down and help to build a strong and reliable union”.
Chairman of the occasion, Sir Frank Ojukwu, in his address made emphasis on the imports and role of the press in nation building. He argued that the media has a role in holding the government accountable for its actions and inactions to the citizens.
Ojukwu regretted that journalists are being “harassed, intimidated, molested and even maimed in the course of carrying out their legitimate functions” and expressed the hope that African leaders improve in their commitment to the media by giving her a place of value and pride.
Government is failing in Nigeria
Dr. Sam Amadi, in his lecture entitled; “Democracy, Leadership and the Future of Nigeria, wondered why government is failing in Nigeria and not in other countries.
Amadi harped on the need for institutional leadership, maintaining that good leadership emerges from good institution.
He reeled out some of the problems bedeviling the nation.
“Half of Nigerians are extremely poor and 100 million Nigerians live below poverty line. There is no security of life in Nigeria”, Amadi said, while tasking the federal government to brace up to the challenges.
Igbos have been over-marginalized – Prof. Protus
Prof. Protus Uzoma Nathan, while also delivering a lecture on “Southeast and Rotational Presidency, A Critic of Equity in Nigerian Democracy”, said the zone had been over-marginalized since inception of democracy in Nigeria.
“Igbos are politically vanquished and marginalized”, Protus said.
He called on the people of the region to come together and build strong political allies to enable them regain power in 2023.
The Isu-born academia said the agelong adage that “power is taken not given”, appears to be in principle and not in practice in Nigeria.
He reiterated his position that Southeast should produce the next president of the country while faulting the appointments of President Muhammadu Buhari as against the principles of federal character.
Journalism is depreciating – Osakwe
Special Adviser to Imo State Governor on Diaspora Affairs, Celia Osakwe-Hibbert said Journalism is gradually depreciating and urged practitioners to rise to the occasion and restore the integrity, trust and elegance in the profession.
“Unfortunately, people write anything they want. I read so many columns and there are so many grammatical errors in them and I think it is a tragedy in the world of journalism.”
Osakwe however, commended journalists in the state and urged them to always report objectively.
Speaking on the award she received as a humanitarian, Osakwe thanked Imo NUJ and said the award meant a lot to her.
Other people who received award at the occasion were:
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe represented by High Chief Chijioke Ugwu.
He thanked Imo NUJ for finding him worthy of the award as “The Most Outstanding Senator Southeast.”
Ugwu who said the Senator is not given to accepting awards but did so because of his immense respect for Journalists, also informed that Abaribe is “guided by the principle of justice, fairness and equity in defending his people especially Ndigbo.”
Evangelist Bethran Uzodinma said the award has strengthened his belief in uplifting the standard of the downtrodden. He urged Journalists not to be bias in their reportage and ensure they practice investigative journalism and always criticize the government constructively.
Mrs Josephine Nnoham popularly known as Madam Social was honoured as an outstanding woman mobilizer of the year 2020.
She thanked Imo NUJ for the award and urged women to live a life worthy of emulation.
Rt. Hon Amarachi Iwuanyanwu – Deputy Speaker Imo House of Assembly was honoured as Most Outstanding Youth of the Year 2020, Chief Richard Agbarakwe – Outstanding Medical Doctor, High Chief Kennedy Zanders – Most Outstanding Media Personality 2020, CSP Nwaiwu Linus – Outstanding Police Officer 2020, Mrs. Chimezie Nwabueze – Outstanding Managing Director of Microfinance Bank. Chief Reginald Udeze – Outstanding Forensic Expert 2020, Darling FM – Most Outstanding Radio Station in Imo State.