From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nasarawa State Council has conferred an award of excellence on Governor Abdullahi Sule for his sustained peace efforts, investment and media friendliness which has contributed to the development of Nasarawa State.
The NUJ also presented a post-humous award to the former state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the late Philip Shekwo, who was abducted from his residence in Lafia, on Saturday, 21 November, 2020, and later killed by his abductors. He was honoured for being a friend of journalists while alive.
The dinner and awards night, held recently in Lafia also featured the presentation of awards to individuals considered as friends of journalists and media professionals who have distinguished themselves in various fields of journalism practice in the state.
Speaking after receiving the award, Governor Sule said his administration has considered journalists as partners in progress, hence the appointment of the former NUJ Chairman, Comrade Dogo Shammah as the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism.
The governor who was represented by the Director General, Strategic Communications and Event Management, Mr Yakubu Lamai, noted that the friendly relationship between government and the media and called on journalists in the state to continue to support his administration to enable him succeed.
“Recently the journalists from the fold of the NUJ in North Central Zone D conferred on me an award of Champion of Continuity and today journalists of the entire state are here to say that I sincerely stand for peace and indeed the government is very friendly with the media,” he said.
He, thanked the national leadership of the NUJ for giving the state council all the support it needed and acknowledged the effort of the state council for putting up the event congratulating all for their well deserved awards.
Earlier in his remark, National President, NUJ Comrade Chris Isiguzo, decried the high level of insecurity in Nigeria which had made the country highly vulnerable.
Comrade Isiguzo called on government at all levels and traditional institutions, to rise to the occasion by putting their hands on the deck to ensure that citizens of Nigeria go to sleep with their two eyes closed
He, charged journalists to continue to exercise their constitutional responsibility of holding government accountable to the people before the country becomes ungovernable.
“The government and the governed look towards the media for a sense of direction. Today Nigeria is not secure, the challenge of insecurity has become a common thing, we are so concerned that life has become so cheap in Nigeria, the primary responsibility of every government is to protect the lives and property of its citizenry.
“Government should therefore, rise to the occasion, the federal government, the respective state governments, local governments, traditional institutions and everybody must put hands on deck to ensure that people live with their two eyes closed.
“If you go to the North East, there is challenge of insecurity, Northwest, banditry has become the order of the day, in the North Central we are faced with the herdsmen challenges, South West and south east, kidnapping which has become the order of the day and of course in the Issue of militancy has not completely given way to peace, normalcy and tranquility,” he said.
He, therefore, congratulated the state council and appreciated Governor Sule for the support he has continued to extend to members of the entire fourth estate of the realm.