Lagos -The Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), on Saturday lauded Mr Hakeem Bello, the former Senior Special Adviser on Media to former Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State as he turned 50.
The Editors gave the commendation at the opening ceremony of a training workshop for 50 journalists sponsored by Bello, to mark his birthday at “The Hub Journalism Clinic’’ in Surulere.
In his speech, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Malam Garba Shehu, (an associate member of the guild), said that Bello had all the best qualities of a journalist.
He described him as a role model who had contributed so much to the growth of journalism in Nigeria.
Shehu also commended Bello for organising the workshop for upcoming journalists.
Also Speaking, President of the guild, Mr Garba Mohammed, said that the NGE would love to identify with the workshop which was very good for the profession.
He congratulated Bello for giving back to the profession by sponsoring the training programme.
Mr Lateef Ibirogba, the immediate past Commissioner for Information, Lagos State, described Bello as an associate, colleague and brother.
“I worked with Bello to serve Lagos State on information with the Fashola administration.
“We are still together because Hakeem is an honest and hard-working person.
“There are times we had 10 to 11 events in a day and Hakeem would not stand until he cleared the last of the story from his table.
“There is no time you call on him that he will give an excuse of being tired. He is very meticulous and I pray for longer life for him,” Ibirogba said.
In the same vein, a Commissioner Designate in Lagos State, Mr Steve Ayorinde, said he had nothing other than respect for Bello.
“Throughout the series of tumultuous times in the eight years that Bello was the spokesman for Fashola, Bello never had issues that would have created problems for the administration,” Ayorinde said.
In her speech, a very close associate of Bello and former secretary of the guild, Mrs Angela Agoawike, stressed the need for perseverance to survive as a journalist.
She said there was also need for journalists to be thorough and continue to improve on their career.
“There are so many training opportunities for journalists and you should take advantage of it,” she said.
She described Bello as a sincere, honest and hard-working man who was always there to give a helping hand to others.
“I knew Bello from our days in the same platoon in the National Youth programme in Kaduna and from there to Daily times. He has remained steadfast and sincere,” she said.
At the event are : Mr Steve Nwosu, Deputy Managing Director-The Sun Newspaper and Shina Badaru, CEO-Technology Times.
Others in attendance are: Olumide Iyanda(MD-Qed, Simon Kolawole CEO-The Cable and Mr Sulaimon Gaya, the Vice President, (North) of the NGE.
Also in attendance are: Victoria Ibanwa, Secretary of the guild, Mr Ken Ugbechie, Editor-in-Chief, Political Economist, Lawal Rafiu Financial Accountant, The Nation, and Mallam Abdul Okwechime, Media Consultant, among others.
It would be recalled that Bello had served in various capacities in the media, including Editor of the Daily Times Newspapers.