The world is watching Nigeria till after 2019 elections, says US
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, W. Stuart Symington has said the whole world is paying attention to Nigeria, till after the 2019 election.
The envoy made the remarks on Saturday while delivering a goodwill message at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Award Night.
He said given the strategic importance of Nigeria to Africa’s economy, “There is no person in the world who is not paying attention to Nigeria”.
Symington said there is no other place in the world like Nigeria where a huge number of people with diverse religion and culture are bounded under one national creed.
He said the future of the West African would depend on how conscientious the journalists would be in the coverage and reportage of events before, during and the after the 2019 elections.
He encouraged journalists to continue to fight for freedom for the people: “It is important to say that we need good leaders. But it is more important to say that we are the leaders. You can build the future of your choice from today. There is nothing so important to the democracy of this world than trust; and trust is built on two factors: fact and communication”, he said.
The NUJ gave awards to deserving individuals and organisation such as: This Day, Daily Trust, The Nation, The Guardian and Vanguard newspapers, The Nigeria Television Authority, the Africa Independent Television, Silverbird TV, Channels and TVC News.
Others are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB); News Agency of Nigeria (NAN); National Human Rights Commission; UNESCO, US Embassy and the Nigerian Press Council (NPC).
Individuals who received award include: Chief Executive of the Channels TV, John Momoh (Lifetime Achievement Awards); Senators Shehu Sani, Speaker Yakubu Dogara Umar Garba Danbatta, Isa Ali Pantami, and Gov Umar Ganduje of Kano State (Friends of the media Awards) Femi Falana, SAN, Festus Keyamo, SAN, Richard Akinlola, Agha Ukapi Agha, Edetean Ojo, Ugochukwu Ezikiel Hanks, Inuwa Bwala, Waziri Mamman, Lanre Arogundade, and Oliva Okpala got Defender of Press Freedom Awards.
Journalists who distinguished themselves in the practice were also rewarded: Lemmy Ughegbe, Luka Binniyat, Victorson Agbenson, Emmanuel Ogbeche, Desmond Utomwem, Akin Orimolade, Jacob Onjewu, Emmanuel Antswen, Dapo Olorunyami, Evelyn Okakwu, Olajide Ayodeji, Sunday Nwakamma, Chidi Asonye, Boniface Okoro, Friday Ogungbemi, Yomi Olomofe, Mohammed Abdulkadir, Lawal Ogienagbon, Ikechukwu Ibe, Lawal Muhammed, Charles Otu and Alifa Daniel.