News

December 9, 2022

NUJ honours Sam Amuka, Osoba, Dokpesi, Obaigbena, others as media icons

•We must celebrate ourselves, flush out fake journalists —Osoba 

•Journalists under-paid making sacrifices to sustain Nigeria —Dokpesi

By Dickson Omobola

LAGOS—CHAIRMAN and Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka; former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba; Publisher of ThisDay Newspapers, Prince Nduka Obaigbena; and Chairman of Daar Communications (AIT TV), Dr Raymond Dokpesi, were among media legends honoured, yesterday, by the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Lagos.

Buki Ponle (Channels TV), Bayo Onanuga (Co-founder, The News),  Muhammad Idris, and Elizabeth Fadugba were also honoured at the colourful event themed: “Special Celebration/Milestone Recognition of Media Icons in Nigeria.”

Speaking, Chairman of the event,  Osoba, who hailed Mr  Amuka, said journalists must start celebrating themselves while alive.

He said: “Uncle Sam is not someone who enjoys ceremony, he is introverted. We tend to celebrate others be it ‘call to bar,’ medical professionals, etc. Today, we are here to celebrate ourselves. May today be the beginning of greater things for the NUJ. Let us have a website for practicing Nigerian journalists because we need to stop those who are not part of the profession.

“We must go online, register all journalists so as to flush out those non-practicing ones who are pretending to be one. Mr President, this is my recommendation to you.”

Also speaking, Dokpesi said journalists had made many sacrifices including paying the supreme price for the development of the country: 

“Recipients of the NUJ award, distinguished colleagues, I express my profound appreciation to the organisers of the award. I pay a lot of tribute to the journalists of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Journalists in this country have made sacrifices and in many cases lost their lives to ensure that this country continues to exist.

“If there is any profession that is underpaid, it is journalism but they continue to triumph in spite of all. The media profession has suffered a lot. It has not received appropriate attention from the politicians, yet it is the profession charged with the responsibility of ensuring accountability. As this election approaches, Nigeria must not divide. Our leaders have done all that is required to keep this country together. It is our duty to ensure that it remains.”

NUJ National President, Mr. Chris Isiguzo, said it was a thing of joy for the association to recognise the efforts of those honoured.

He told the awardees: “You have worked for press freedom,you have promoted public opinion and citizenship participation in the democratic processes. All awardees are worthy of being celebrated because it is a rare privilege to have the hounour of working with these set of professionals.

“We have studied their roles, their efforts, initiatives and work ethics. For us at the NUJ, it is good to celebrate our unique professionals. Though this is the first, we intend to make it an annual affair. This ceremony is a motivational occasion for those still practicing.”

Delivering the lecture titled: “The Role of the Media in the 2023 General Elections,” President of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, Mr. Mukhtar Surajo, said there was need for the media to ensure that Nigerians become politically conscious before going to the polls. Surajo, who added that media practitioners have allowed politicians to ride roughshod over them, noted that the media must ask vital questions of politicians ahead of 2023 elections.”