By Amina Abdullahi Girbo
In a glittering ceremony held at the prestigious Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) National body bestowed the coveted title of “Media Icon of 2023” upon distinguished personalities in the media industry.
The award ceremony, held Thursday, 7th December, 2023, was attended by prominent personalities, journalists, and media enthusiasts, creating an atmosphere of celebration and recognition.
The recipients of this prestigious accolade has been an exemplary figure in the media landscape, showcasing unwavering commitment, exceptional talent, and an enduring impact on the industry. The NUJ, in collaboration with key stakeholders, carefully considered the contributions and influence of various media professionals before selecting the deserving individuals for this esteemed recognition.
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi was awarded as the “MEDIA FRIENDLY GOVERNOR OF THE YEAR 2023. “with other awardees as Media Icons in Nigeria which include, Mr Ray Ekpu, former MD of News-watch Magazine, Professor Ralph Akinfeleye, Mal. Danladi Bako, professor Stella Chinyete Okunna and Malam Baba Halilu Dantiye amongst other prominent professionals and veteran journalists.
The awardee’s name was met with thunderous applause as they took the stage to receive the trophy and deliver an acceptance speech. Expressing gratitude and humility, the media icon reflected on their journey, acknowledging the challenges and triumphs that have shaped their career. The speech resonated with the audience, inspiring young journalists and seasoned professionals alike.
The National president of the Nuj, Mr Chris Isiguzo praised the recipients, highlighting their outstanding achievements in journalism and media. He emphasized the importance of recognizing and celebrating excellence in the industry, especially during a time when the media plays a crucial role in shaping public opinion and fostering transparency.
The event also featured presentation of a key note speech by Governor Bala Mohammed, with the theme “ The place of Icons in National Development: The NUJ Milestone Award in Perspective “The governor was adequately represented by his Secretary to the State Government , Barr Ibrahim Mohammed Kasim .
In the keynote address, Governor Bala Mohammed emphasis the commendable role the media has historically played in promoting political independence and the human rights, one is not oblivious of it’s important role as a vehicle for social transformation, public enlightenment and entertainment. Let alone it’s contributions as an employer of labour and incubator of human capital for many sectors of the economy.
“my confidence is emboldened by the fact that we have a media friendly President, one who was in the trenches as a pro – democracy activist and whose exploits were beamed to the world to see.
“In Bauchi State relative peace has also been impacted positively on many areas with the provision of infrastructure. We have also recorded appreciable success in Agriculture, Housing and environment, Urban renewal, Humanitarian intervention, Health care delivery, capacity building and youth empowerment etc.”
The governor on behalf himself, his family, the government and the good people of Bauchi State thanked the leadership of the NUJ for the honor reassuring the Media Family in Nigeria that with this honor his sabbatical from active journalism practice has been renewed.
The Secretary to the State Government was accompanied to the event by comrade Usman Danturaki, Honorable Commissioner for Information and Communication, comrade Mukhtar Gidado, Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Governor and Mr Emma Agwu, Media Consultant to the governor.
The Hon. minister of information and National Orientation Alh. Muhammed Idris was the chairman of the occasion while the former governor of Ogun State , veteran journalist Aremu Olusegun Osoba was the Father of the day .
The Media Icon of 2023 award signifies not only individual accomplishments but also serves as a symbol of the collective dedication and resilience exhibited by journalists in Nigeria and beyond. The NUJ reiterated its commitment to supporting and promoting excellence in journalism, nurturing the next generation of media professionals, and advocating for press freedom.
As the ceremony concluded, attendees mingled during a lavish reception, celebrating the achievements of the honoree and the vibrancy of the media community in Nigeria.The Media Icon of 2023 award ceremony will undoubtedly be remembered as a milestone event in the history of journalism, recognizing a luminary whose influence continues to shape the media landscape.