The Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, has commended NewsRay Communications for organizing its 2013 Annual Leadership Award/Public Lecture programme, saying the event encourages private individuals and public functionaries for their hard-work, tireless and selfless service to our fatherland and to humanity.
The Governor, who gave this commendation at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, venue of the event, as the Special Guest of Honour, said he believed NewsRay was honouring the selected group of Nigerians because they asked questions on the challenges facing the society and committed themselves to finding answers to such challenges, rising above board and standing out of the lot in the committed desire of effecting positive change in Nigeria.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Edmund Allison-Oguru, the governor stated further: “I commend the management of NewsRay Ventures for their foresight towards awarding these deserving set of Nigerians from across the country, who have brought hope and a better future to fellow Nigerians and an improvement to the social condition of the different communities where they come from; and by extension, the overall development of the country at large through the various accomplishments they have achieved in their fields of endeavours.”
He therefore charged the worthy award recipients, saying, “by this awards bestowed on you today, NewsRay Ventures and by extension Nigerians in general have faith in what you have done, what you are doing, and in what we hope you will continue to do.”
Though the recipients did not provide all the answers to the challenges facing their communities and fellow citizens in society, Governor Dickson noted that, he was sure that the NewsRay Awards had provided a platform where the recipients of the awards can launch themselves to higher positions of responsibilities, with greater degree of conviction, understanding and clarity that their efforts towards excellent service and performance will never go unnoticed or unrewarded.
He further stressed that, the path towed by organizers of the award ceremony, by encouraging individuals to participate fully in the transformation of our country, and that the idea of looking at what they can do for fellow citizens and communities with their God-given positions and at various places of endeavours, should not be abandoned, but intensified, promoted, emulated, supported and encouraged.
The Governor also called on the organizers to sustain the initiative and always follow strict criteria in identifying and rewarding capable and well-deserving Nigerians with exemplary leadership qualities for the awards, stating that it would be a worthy way of encouraging good service delivery to the people and for the development of the Nigerian society.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who was the Keynote Speaker at the occasion, in his paper, titled, “Rethinking the Transformation Agenda from the Cultural Perspective: The Imperatives of the Media,” submitted that for the media to perform creditably, there must be adequate funding, good equipment, good remuneration, strategic programme planning, conducive environment for the practice of effective journalism, and inter-sectoral partnerships with stakeholders.
Dr. Ayakoroma noted that, the media has a strategic role to place in the Transformation Agenda, by getting people to know the efforts of government towards bringing transformational development in the society because when the people are not provided adequate information in order to be aware of the functioning of government, it gives room for rumours and idle talks, stressing that the media had a critical role to play in providing such information.
According to him, without the media backing the efforts of any administration, there would hardly be any meaningful impact as there is no way the administration can reach out to the general public, arguing that it was pertinent for the media to be at the centre of all cultural, political and economic programmes of government to responsibly publicize and influence the direction and extent of success of such government policies and activities.
He also charged the media to focus more attention on the culture sector because media content aids society if it is deeply rooted in that particular society’s cultural values, adding that the culture sector, through its creative industry, is a veritable tool in bringing about the needed transformation in Nigeria because of its ability to impact positively on the lives of the people.
Dr. Ayakoroma posited that artists have the ability of vividly mirroring the challenges in society, and society will then reflect on the pictures painted by artists through their various performances, urging media practitioners, as opinion builders for society, to embrace truth and objectivity in the performance of their duties in order for policy-makers, political leaders and the society to reflect correctly on such issues presented and draw meaningful conclusions from the submissions.
The award ceremony saw about 16 prominent Nigerians from different walks of life, from across the country presented with various awards, ranging from leadership qualities, performance excellence, service delivery, peace building and advocacy, to community development and youth empowerment.
Prominent among the awardees were the Emir of Machina, Yobe State, HRH Alhaji Bashir Bukar Machinama, OON; the Emir of Talata Mafara, Zamfara State, HRH Dr. Bello Muhamadu Barmo, OON; the Emir of Damaturu, Yobe State, HRH Ibn Umar Alamin El-Kanemi Shehu Hashimi II; the Executive Secretary, Yenagoa City Capital Development Authority, HRH Chief Ige-Edaba Iboro Yilhziba; the Honourable Commissioner for Sports, Bayelsa State, Hon. Obodor Mitema; the Director, Finance & Accounts, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Elder Godson Igbo Ordu; the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs, Yobe State, Hajia Asmau Kabir Kolo, and the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State, Mr. Tarinyo Akono, among others.
Present at the occasion were His Excellency, Hon. Seriake Dickson, Executive Governor, Bayelsa State, represented by Prof. Edmund Allison-Oguru, Secretary to Bayelsa State Government, as Special Guest of Honour, HRH King Amalate Johnny Turner, Obigbo Mikimiki I of Opume Kingdom, Bayelsa State, as Royal Father of the Day, Rt. Hon. Tunde Akogun, as Chairman of the Occasion, Ambassador Ibrahim Gusau (Wamban Gusau), as Guest of Honour, Arch. Mohammed Saleh, as Chief Launcher; NICO’s ES, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, as the Keynote Speaker; and the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Ahmed Amshi, among other dignitaries.
Jonathan N. Nicodemus