The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has concluded all arrangements to bestow on ARISE NEWS Channel its Press Freedom Platform Award.
The award presentation which holds in Abuja on Wednesday, according to a statement signed by the Assistant National Secretary, Midat Joseph, would also involve the union's 2020/2021 Press Freedom Lecture and Award Night, as part of activities to celebrate this year's World Press Freedom Day.
The statement revealed that House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Governor of Bayelsa State, Sen. Douye Diri; Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari; Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Chinedum Orji, among others, were selected for the award as Distinguished Friends of the Media, "after sifting through many nominations received from journalists and members of the Nigerian public."
According to the NUJ, for the Defender of Press Freedom Awards, Chairman, The Whistler Communications Limited, Chief James Ume; Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Jibrin Barau; and Managing Director, Rock Global Investment Network Ltd, London, Dr. Samson Agada Omale, scaled through the nomination process.
Gbajabiamila will deliver a lecture on 'Press Freedom, Democracy and Good Governance,' while Barau will be the Chairman of the event.
"This is a high profile event organised to motivate journalists, promote press freedom, and stimulate good governance and democracy in Nigeria, through the recognition of courageous journalists (dead or alive) who have risked their lives by reporting news events beneficial to the society.
"We will use the event to also honour media icons and friends of the media who have distinguished themselves in supporting and sustaining press freedom in Nigeria.
"To this end, we delightfully announce that the NUJ's selection committee in partnership with Enentis Communications Ltd had completed the selection process of these distinguished Nigerians, corporate organisations and members of the media for a special award to be given on the May 5th, 2021 in Abuja.
"Press Freedom Platform Awards will be given to Arise News Television and Nigeria Info FM. The Central Bank of Nigeria and Access Bank were selected for Corporate Friends of the Media Awards," it stated.
In all, it listed 17 journalists who had suffered acts of brutality, harassment, arrest, imprisonment and assaults in the course of the work that were selected for the award of Torch Bearers of Press Freedom. The journalists are: Charles Eyo, Mary Ekere, Henry Umoru Emelda Joy Odor, King Solomon Ekhalyeme, Kehinde Shonola, Adepoju Tobi, Daniel Eniola, Wale Amoo, Isaac Ayodele, Bamigbala Ademola Michael Otogo, Abiodun Williams, Bunmi Azeez, Kayode Jaiyeola, Sunday Adesanya and Abiodun Omotoso.