By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has concluded arrangements to hold its 2020/2021 Press Freedom Lecture and Award night, as part of activities to celebrate this year’s World Press Freedom Day.
The event is scheduled to hold at Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021 at 6: pm.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila will deliver a lecture on Press Freedom, Democracy, and Good Governance, while Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Jibrin Barau will be the Chairman of the event.
The event according to NUJ is a high-profile event organized to motivate Journalists, promote press freedom, and stimulate good governance and democracy in Nigeria, through the recognition of courageous journalists (dead or alive) who have risked their lives by reporting news events beneficial to the society.
The event will also be sued honour media icons and friends of the media who have distinguished themselves in supporting and sustaining press freedom in Nigeria.
To this end, the union said its selection committee in partnership with Enentis Communications Ltd had completed the selection process of these distinguished Nigerians, corporate organizations, and members of the media for a special award to be given on May 5th, 2021 in Abuja.
They include House of Representatives Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Sen. Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Managing Director, NNPC, Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji and Mr. Akparawa Ephraim Akparawa Inyang-Eyen, Chief of Staff to Akwa Ibom State Governor were selected for the award as distinguished friends of the Media after sifting through many nominations received from Journalists and members of the Nigerian public.
For the Defender of Press Freedom wards, Senator Jibrin Barau, Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Dr. Samson Agada Omale, Managing Director, Rock Global Investment Network Ltd, London, and Chief James Ume, Chairman, Whistler Communications Ltd scaled through the nomination process. While Mr. Tony Akiotu, Group Managing Director, Daar Communications Plc, and Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, Director General, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Similarly, Press Freedom Platform Awards will be given to Arise News Television and Nigeria Info FM at the occasion.
In like manner, the Central Bank of Nigeria and Access Bank were selected for Corporate Friends of the Media Awards.
Also, seventeen (17) Journalists who have suffered acts of brutality, harassment, arrest, imprisonment, and assaults in the course of the work have been selected for the award of Torch Bearers of Press Freedom.
The Journalists are Charles Eyo, Mary Ekere, Henry Umoru, Emelda Joy Odor, King Solomon Ekhalyeme, Kehinde Shonola, Adepoju Tobi, Daniel Eniola, Wale Amoo, Isaac Ayodele, Prince Bamigbala Ademola Michael Otogo, Abiodun Williams, Bunmi Azeez, Kayode Jaiyeola, Sunday Adesanya and Abiodun Omotoso.