By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Kaduna State Council on Wednesday, June 12, marked the Maiden Edition of Democracy Day with a public lecture, and also honoured three eminent Nigerians with Awards of excellence for their contributions to democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
The Public Lecture titled: ‘Strengthening Democracy, Good Governance and Role of the Media’ held at Arewa House Kaduna, honoured the trio of Chairman/CEO Pinnacles Communications, Sir Lucky Omoluwa; CEO Enviplan International, Engineer Musa Nimrod; and Founder Deservation.org, Dr Sani Adamu.
Speaking at the event, NUJ Vice President, North-West Zone, Comrade Yusuf Idris emphasized on the importance of truth in the pen pushing profession; assuring that the Union will continue to fight for the common man, good governance, and freedom of speech in the country.
He cited the recent clamp down on African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM stations by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, (NBC), which the media did not rest on its oars to ensure the stations were returned to live streaming.
Idris however noted that many Journalists have lost their lives in the struggle for existence, and assured that the struggles will still continue.
In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion, Chief Executive Officer, Dialogue Group of Companies, Alhaji Mahdi Shehu attributed the misfortunes bedevilling Nigeria to the lying tendencies and deceptive nature of her citizens.
He said despite the current situation the country has plunged into, Nigerians have pretentiously believed that things are moving on as expected.
According to him, most Nigerians are shameless and that is why Nigeria is sick, adding that the deceptive attitude of Nigerians is widely pronounced.
“If we persistently do bad and refused to repent, judgement day awaits all of us,” he said.
Mahdi said that politicians led Nigerians into believing lies and inaccuracies of their stewardship; and tasked Journalists to be upright at all times to defend the integrity of the country.
“You must not allow your medium be used to destroy humanity,” he cautioned.
In a lecture, a Veteran Journalist and former Chairman of the Council, Comrade Andrew Fadason who described the June 1993 Election as the freest in Nigerian history, was regrettably annulled by the same class that was now celebrating the Day.
Fadason made guests at the occasion to observed some minutes of silence in memory of June 12, went down memory on how some Journalists list their lives in the line of duty under what he termed as, “bad Governance”.
He wondered how Nigerians in hard times could be asked to celebrate an event that should be mourned.
The former Kaduna Council Chairman challenged Journalists to remain vanguard of the masses and hold government accountable rather than reporting events.
Earlier, the NUJ Kaduna Council Chairman, Comrade Adamu Yusuf stressed the need for Journalists to uphold the truth, charging them to live above board.
He however admitted the inherent risks faced by Journalists in carrying out their enormous tasks; pointing out that Journalism profession places the responsibility of the citizenry on the media.
“The society sees media as its mirror and it is only when Journalists are factual in their reportage can the people make informed decisions,” he said.
The awardees, Sir Omoluwa was awarded Icon Of Broadcast Media Development in Nigeria for his ,role in connecting millions of grassroots viewers to digital satellite television among other feats.
Engr Nimrod bagged Icon of Youth Empowerment Award for his tremendous contributions towards uplifting the standards of youth economically through sports in the country. While Dr Adamu was honoured with Young Democratic Icon Award in recognition of his contributions to democracy through effective mobilization of youth to actively participate in politics.
The event was supported by the Nigerian Breweries PLC.