The Zonal leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), South-South Zone has felicitated with the Cross River State Council on her Media Week, held on Friday 25th November, 2022, at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar.
The National Vice President of NUJ Zone F, Comrade Opaka Dokubo, who on behalf of the National President , was the Chairman of the Gala Night of the Media Week.
He expressed the best wishes of the National Secretariat and Zonal leadership and also confirmed the satisfaction of the national body with the Council leadership in just a few months of inauguration.
For the award of meritorious service to deserving citizens of the state, the Zonal President emphasized the importance of NUJ award, reminding the recipients that NUJ awards are sacred and well cherished.
According to Dokubo, “NUJ Award is like giving out who we are to people. We are the conscience of the society, and we pride ourselves in integrity and accountability. Our award is only given to the best on merit; and I want to plead with you as awardees, to represent the NUJ in good light going forward. Never allow us to have a reason to feel that the award given to you is misplaced.”
The Cross River Council Chairman, Comrade Nsah Gill also congratulated the awardees, reminding them they are now ambassadors of the NUJ by virtue of the awards they would be presented with.
During his welcome address, Comrade Nsah commended everyone for their support and for identifying with the Council on her auspicious Media Week which was held in the past seven years.
Moreover, he lauded the State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade for attending the opening ceremony of the programme themed “2023 General Elections: The Nigerian Project and The Media”, who promised to build the proposed remodelled press centre for the Council.
He rounded off with a vote of thanks to the Zonal leadership of NUJ and other guests for joining in the Council’s Media celebration which provides a platform of reunion for media practitioners.
Accepting the awards on behalf of the awardees, the journalist turned Head Of Service, Mr. Akwaji appreciated the NUJ for doing them such an awesome honour, promising they would not betray the confidence reposed in them as beneficiaries of such honour.
He said as a person who is thoroughly and professionally bred, he has brought visibility into the civil service of the Cross River State by setting an agenda for the rejigging and recalibration of the bureaucratic system of governance in the State.
He therefore, urged Journalists to leave behind, the primordial method of reporting news stories to setting agenda for the political class and society at large, insisting that only Journalists have the statutory right to hold government accountable and set agenda for the society.
“If we as journalists had set agenda for the political freedom and development of our dear country Nigeria, then it is not out of place to set agenda for the benefit of the rights we deserve from the commonwealth of our nation. I promise as one of you to fast-track the pledge of the Governor to bequeath to the NUJ in the State a remodelled press centre and other facilities,” he maintained.
The Awardees at the NUJ Media Week include; The awardees included a one time Secretary of the Cross River Council of NUJ and Zonal leader of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, now Head of Service of the Cross River State civil service, Mr. Ogbang Timothy Akwaji, a pioneer National President of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Dr. Brendan Akpan and a retired Commissioner of Police, Barr. Lawrence Eko Alobi.
Others were; a former Cross River State Commissioner for Health and currently APC National Women Leader, Dr. Betta Edu and retired Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onoghen.