GOODWILL REMARKS OF
His Excellency, Dr. Kayode FAYEMI
Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria
On the Occasion of the Grand Awards P...
are making towards the objectives of society. The media is the quintessential witness to
truth and justice, the anticipate...
Gentlemen and ladies of the Press, other distinguished personalities, I welcome you
once more to Ekiti, the Land of Honour...
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Goodwill Remarks on the Awards Presentation of Nigeria Media Merit Awards

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Goodwill Remarks Of His Excellency, Dr. Kayode FAYEMI
Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria On the Occasion of the Grand Awards Presentation Ceremony 2013 of the Nigeria Media Merit Awards , Held in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State
On Saturday, December 7, 2013.

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Goodwill Remarks on the Awards Presentation of Nigeria Media Merit Awards

  1. 1. GOODWILL REMARKS OF His Excellency, Dr. Kayode FAYEMI Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria On the Occasion of the Grand Awards Presentation Ceremony 2013 of the Nigeria Media Merit Awards Held in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State On Saturday, December 7, 2013 Protocols Distinguished members of the fraternity of truth-seekers and informers – which is one that persistently grows mightier than any known convocation of swords, cudgels or mortars – who have come to reward the excellence of members in the pursuit of your mandate as the Fourth Realm of the Estate, through the Nigeria Media Merit Awards’ “Grand Award Presentation Ceremony 2013”, I welcome you to our State – the Land of Honour – on behalf of my administration and the good people of Ekiti. Yours is a profession charged with the noble responsibility of informing and enlightening the public within Nigeria and beyond, and carrying out oversight of the social and political processes of society. The Nigerian press has come of age as a beacon of hope and renewal in our national experience. Despite the various challenges that appear to have come to bear upon it in more recent times, the Nigerian media has always been at the progressive vanguard of an ethos that continually seeks to advance and preserve the course of our society, its systems and institutions from its earliest incarnation to the present. I have equally observed, first-hand, how a vibrant and effective – particularly print – media can crusade against injustice and lend its weight behind the cause of truth, whilst advocating the best for the good of the people. These have been the honourable tradition upon which the media has thrived through the years in our environment. Being the only formal institution granted an oversight function on the government, its activities, organs and departments in Nigerian constitutions through several decades, the media has a very sacred role in enabling the attainment of the Nigeria of our aspirations. It also offers some of the most redoubtable platforms on which the contest between those who wish to give meaning to, and those who strive to take in away from, the lives of regular people are enacted. Since nations are essentially narrated entities, the media has been the crucible holding together the narrative of the directions or tangents that our reality has set on, while showing this up as evidence of how much progress or regress the nation and its citizens Page 1 of 3
  2. 2. are making towards the objectives of society. The media is the quintessential witness to truth and justice, the anticipated arbiter on the side of Truth, and its messenger. I have always considered myself as your colleague and comrade, even if my trajectory in life has taken me through other engagements, as it was in this vocation that I found an initial sense of social purpose in the editorial fellowship of The Watch and Alpha Magazine during my days in the University of Lagos in the 1980s. More so, I cut my professional teeth as a contributor to a host of print media publications, including The Punch, and as a cub reporter in Sonala Olumhese’s now rested City Tempo. It was the skills that I acquired in this earlier practice of journalism that readily lent itself to the subsequent activities I took on in the years of our work in the democracy movement in the United Kingdom, particularly in the setting up and running of the Nigeria Now magazine. And, also in acting as a media advisor and facilitator for the Nigerian civil society in exile during the dark days of military dictatorship. As such, I never waver in fellowshipping with you – my colleagues – whenever I am offered the privilege of doing so. Many of you here are colleagues who I have known and interacted with over decades, and I am most delighted to see you again. The Nigeria Media Merit Award is considered as one of the most reputable prizes for media excellence in our country, instituted by some of the great veterans of the Nigerian press to encourage and reward distinctions in the practice of journalism, while promoting a symbiotic relationship between the media industry and the society. With an originary moving spirit in the person of the late Alhaji Babatunde Jose – widely regarded as the Doyen of Nigerian journalism, and its direction being given by such illustrious practitioners and personalities as Hadj. Alade Odunewu, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Engineer Vincent Maduka, Dr. Christopher Kolade, Mallam Wada Maida, Dr. May Nzeribe, etc., it is quite easy to see how the NMMA has become a very prestigious gauge of media practice in Nigeria. The Nigeria Media Merit Awards is a celebration of the highest standards of media excellence in Nigeria, which has continued to evolve as newer fields of engagement are identified and novel realities, including technological capabilities influencing the profession come on board, with the Awards growing from about10 at its inception in the 1990s to over 50 at the present time. The testimony of the vital role of the media in society and the need for it to keep aspiring to the condition of excellence in its service is in the number of individuals, public and private sector organisations that are supporting the NMMA and have endowed various categories of Awards, with some of these being in perpetuity. These are private and public interests that recognize the power of information of which the media is a custodian, and the need for greater professionalism and distinction in the delivery of information. The NMMA is also a celebration of the remarkable openness that our country has achieved – even while this is still in process and there are still some challenges in this regard – since the return to a more democratic dispensation, which has broadened the space for citizens to offer their views on the state of the polity, whilst journalists can carry out the pursuit of informing without the fear of victimization to large extents. This 2013 edition of the Awards is equally a significant reunion of some of the finest minds in the profession, and other eminent members of the society and media stakeholders. Considering those of you converged here is not only a gathering of notable Nigerians, but its equally like having a peek into the inventory of Who is Who in the spheres of media practice, scholarship, and regulation, etc. Page 2 of 3
  3. 3. Gentlemen and ladies of the Press, other distinguished personalities, I welcome you once more to Ekiti, the Land of Honour, and thank the board of the NMMA for considering our State worthy of hosting this edition of the yearly fare of rewarding excellence in the Nigerian media profession. I also wish to congratulate and celebrate with all the ladies and gentlemen of the media whose efforts have been adjudged significant enough for reward this year, and also to urge those who might not have made the cut this time not to relent in their quest for professional excellence, as this would definitely find its day in the sun. In the past three years, our administration in Ekiti State has striven to create life more abundant for our people, and to make Ekiti a destination of first choice for business and pleasure – a fact that many of you are already well informed about. Evidences of our work abound in our infrastructural drive and the creation of an aesthetically delightful environment. While a number of you might have taken time out since arrival in Ekiti to check out our notable landscape, attractions and sights, I will recommend to others who are yet to do so to take advantage of being in Ekiti to experience some of the wonders of the natural and man-made world that are unique only to our terrain, either by staying back a few extra days or on your way back to your locations. We have the Ipole-Iloro waterfalls, Fajuyi Memorial Park, the Olosunta and Orole Hills in Ikere, the world-class Ikogosi Warm Springs and Resort, the Erinta waterfalls, etc., and I am optimistic that your visit to any number of these sights will be an experience you will relish for a long while. Once again, I welcome you to Ekiti State and wish you a very interesting awards night and fulfilling visit. Thank you. Dr. Kayode Fayemi Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria Saturday, December 7, 2013 Page 3 of 3

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