David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State was sunday honoured with the 2017 Man of the Year Award by the Abuja Council of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ).
Obiano was presented with the award at the Governorâ€™s Lodge, Amawbia, by a three-man delegation Led by its Chairman, Mr. Paul Abechi.
While presenting the award which was conferred on the governor during this yearâ€™s Press week celebration of the council, the leader of the delegation, Abechi said the award which was approved by the national secretariat of the union, was conceived in keeping with their tradition of celebrating achievements in leadership as a way of promoting good governance.
He revealed that the decision to honour the governor was as a result of a thorough survey which they conducted which showed that the Obianoâ€™s administration had performed creditably especially in the areas of security, agriculture, workerâ€™s welfare, education and infrastructure.
The delegation also congratulated the governor on his recent victory during the just concluded Anambra governorship election, describing it as a well deserved.
Responding, Governor Obiano thanked the council for the recognition which according to him goes to show that the developmental efforts of his government is being acknowledged nationwide.
He said that members of the NUJ, especially in the employment of the state government have been supportive of his administrationâ€™s effort in making life more meaningful for the people by holding brief for the electorate.
Obiano, also commended the NUJ, saying that they have been fundamental to the defence and promotion of democracy and electoral materials process in Nigeria, urging them to sustain the integrity and reputation the profession accords.
â€œI urge you to continue to guard your reputation and integrity against the activities of fifth columnists who may want to capitalise on the fluidity of internet communication to post scurrilous and unfounded information on supposed blog sites to cause disharmony and disaffection in the country.
He urged them to seize the occasion of the Press Week to review the various channels for accessing information, especially in the public interest, including the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
He specifically charged the Union to see the celebration as an opportunity to scrutinise the effects of internet technology on the training and practice of journalism in Nigeria.
â€œJournalists are agents of change by virtue of your profession and relevance to the society. The influence of information managers affects the way we live and do business, more importantly in the global community,â€ he said.
Obiano also charged the NUJ to support the efforts of his administration by deploying their skills in helping to find solutions to some of the nationâ€™s challenges.
â€œIn addition to communicating the message of â€˜changeâ€™ and holding individuals and government officials accountable for their actions, I believe you possess the training and skills to effectively collaborate with relevant government agencies in beaming light on critical national issues bordering on corruption insecurity among other crimes in the society.
He assured that his administration would continue to promote freedom of speech with responsibility, just as he assured that a safe and secured Anambra that would be a haven for all to live and prosper would continue
to be given top priority going forward.