By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), as part of its activities to mark the Press Freedom Day on Saturday at the Ladi Kwali Hall of the Abuja Sheraton Hotels and Towers, honoured some courageous journalists, as well friends of journalists with prestigious awards, among who was the Online Editor of the New Nigerian Newspapers, Jacob Onjewu Dickson.
Dickson after receiving his award, was congratulated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Yakubu Dogara, the Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Comrade Shehu Sani and the NUJ President, Comrade Wasiu Odusile.
Speaking to reporters, he thanked the NUJ for the honour.
“I would also like to thank the entire members of the NUJ Kaduna State council, the Chairman, Comrade Adamu Yusuf as well as the immediate past Chairman, Garba Muhammad, for standing firm at that ugly period that I spent seven days in prison.
“I thank Barrister Festus Okoye and his team who not only visited me then at the Kaduna Central Convict Prison, but has since then been representing me in court pro bono, using his own resources.
” Permit me to thank my mom, Cecilia, who also travelled from far, accompanied by my uncle, Dr.Okidu and mt younger brother Owoichoechi to vusitbme then in prison. The list is endless, my cousin Sam Inalegwu, and many others. Thank you, thank you and thank you, I would eternally remain grateful,” he said.
Speaking further, he said the award was a huge source of encouragement that would be a motivating factor for not just himself, but other journalists.
Others journalists that received the Torchbearers of Press Freedom Awards are Luka Binniyat, Lemmy Ugbegbe, Victorson Agbenson, Emmanuel Ogbeche, Desmond Utemwem, Akin Orimolade, Emmanuel Antswen and Dapo Olorunyomi and Evekyn Okakwu.
Others are Olajide Ayodeji Fashikun, Sunday Nwakanma, Chidi Asonye, Boniface Okoro and Friday Ogungbemi.
In the Distinguished Friends of the Media Category, Speaker Dogara, Senator Shehu Sani, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami and Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje were honoured.
For the Defender of Press Freedom Award Category, Chief Olivia Okpala, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Waziri Mamman, Inuwa Bwala, Ugochukwu Ezekiel Hanks, Mr. Agha Ukpai Agha, Richard Akinnola, Festus Keyamo and Femi Falana both Senior Advocates of Nigeria were presented with the prestigious award.
The Chairman of the Channels Media Group, Mr. John Momoh was the sole beneficiary of the Lifetime Achievement Award, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) shared the spoils for the Corporate Friend of The Media Award at the ceremony, which was attended by several dignitaries, including the Ambassador of the United States of America, Mr. Stuart Symington.