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Press Freedom: Journalist Idibia, Benue, Borno Govs,15 others bags 2024 NUJ Awards

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Press Freedom: Journalist Idibia, Benue, Borno Govs,15 others bags 2024 NUJ Awards

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By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

In a most significant ceremony, Journalist (Mr.) Idibia Gabriel, our Kaduna correspondent, Benue and Borno States Governors and 15 others bagged Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Freedom and Good Governance Awards 2024.

The award organised by Nigerian NUJ National office, Abuja weekend, was in five categories including Torch Bearers of Press Freedom, Defends of Press Freedom, Best investigative Reporter of the year, and Life Time Achievement Awards respectively.

The fifth category, the Good Governance Award, had in its fold, the Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormen Alia, his Borno State counterpart, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC, Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari amongst other high personalities of notes.

Benue Governor Alia was honoured with good governance Award for his orientation as people’s Governor putting smiles on faces in his own state, as well as for his humanitarian life style, who’s described by many as inventor, seasoned administrator and social reformer.

On Borno Governor, he was also given Good governance award for his immense record and significant improvement in the quality of lives of people in Borno state, described as cradle, who has milk of human kindness flowing naturally in him with honesty and integrity coupled with peoples centric policies.

Journalist idibia Gabriel who has worked in different media organization with records of detentions by police over his human angles investigative news report, and had also been remanded in prison custody, was recognized under Torch Breeders of Press Freedom Awards categories.

In a remarks, Dr. Chris Isiguzo led NUJ, restated that NUJ Press Freedom and good governance Awards celebrated the important principles of press freedom, defend the media from attacks on their independence and pay tributes to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duties.

“Press freedom is an indispensable pillar in the architecture of democracy anywhere in the world”, adding that no democracy thrives without the citizens adequate access to transparent and reliable information.

He said Press Freedom is the corner stone for the building of fair and impartial institutions, as well as a catalyst in the mobilization of the citizenry to hold their leaders accountable and promote speaking truth to the power.

According to him, press freedom therefore also is a catalyst for good governance and good governance makes dividends of democracy available to citizens in real terms.

“Press Freedom is the fourth arm of government and recognized as so in the 1999 Nigerian constitution as amended. It is the press the hold government and citizens accountable at different levels. This is why we decided this year to combine the good governance Awards together with the press Freedom awards.
“The nexus between press freedom and good governance is very strong and significant. The governance awards will serve as a veritable barometer for assessing good g, promote accountability of elected and appointed public office holders and business leaders.

“Press Freedom therefore is catalyst for good governance, and good governance make make dividends of democracy available to citizens in real terms”, he stated.

Many journalists in Nigeria according to him, have face harassment, threat, physical injury, imprisonment, and even death in the course of discharging their legitimate duties. Its the courage and sacrifice of these journalists that we’re celebrating by organizing the 2024 NUJ press freedom and good governance awards.

He said “Press freedom and good governance also honour media owners political and public office holders who have actively supported press freedom and significant contributed to the development of Niigata.

The even was greeted by information Minister, and mational orientation, Mohammed Idris Malagi, House of reps Speaker , Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen as key Speaker, who dwell extensively on responsibility of the media and freedom of the press as enshrined in Nigeria constitution as amended.