The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council has concluded plans to honour worthy and deserving personalities during her 2016 Press Week beginning Monday, December 5.
Dropping the hint during an interaction with newsmen in Uyo over the weekend, the Chairman of the 2016 Press Week planning Committee, Comrade (Elder) Edet Okpo said among the dignitaries qualified for awards include the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and his Imo State counterpart,Owelle (Dr) Rochas Okorocha who shall serve as a Special Guest of Honour during the Dinner/Award Night scheduled to hold on Friday 9th December, 2016.
Also to be honoured is the Peoples Democratic Party’s National Chairman and former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator, Ahmed Makarfi who will also double as the Chairman on the Dinner/Award Night. The immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio in view of his outstanding legislative strides at the red chambers of the National Assembly will also bag an award in outstanding leadership and all round development.
Other awards recipients include the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Barr) Onofiok Luke; the Deputy Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Princess Felicia Bassey, former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Elder Aniekan Uko, Provost COE Afaha Nsit Dr. Patrick Uko, DIG Udom Ekpoudom (Rtd.), Sir (Dr.) Val Attah the Registrar and Ag. Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Pastor Mkpandiok Mkpandiok a Communication Expert/Head of Population Media Centre, Abuja, Abom Ephraim Okon, amongst others.
Speaking further, Edet Okpo noted that the seven days event will begin with a seminar/lecture and a session with ExxonMobil Nig. Unlimited on Monday and Tuesday, December 5 and 6 at the NUJ Press Centre, Information Drive, Uyo from 8:30am has its general theme as, “Akwa Ibom Media and the Challenge of Development Journalism”.
He averred that an Associate Professor, Peter Esuh of the Communication Arts Department of University of Uyo, will handle a Lead Paper on the general theme while Professor Des Wilson, of the same department and institution shall address the gathering on the topic, “Media Management in a Challenging Economy”, just as the CEO/MD of Teledom Group, Lagos, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem shall lecture participants on, “Social Media and the Image of Akwa Ibom State”.
Similarly, Dr. Aniekan Brown of the Sociology Department, University of Uyo, shall on day two, deliver a lecture on, “The Role of the Media in Facilitating Rural Development”.
Edet Okpo explained that while Wednesday, December 7 will feature inspection of some government projects across the state, Thursday is billed for visitations to orphanage homes within the state and a Novelty football match between Female Journalists and Female Lawyers at the Technical College, Ewet Offot, Uyo by 3:30 pm with the kick off to be done by the Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan.
Meanwhile, the Dinner/Award Night is billed for Friday the 9th of December at the Emerald Event Centre, Edet Akpan Avenue, Uyo from 6pm which shall feature awards presentations to journalists on different categories of reportages. The Chairman stressed that the gathering will be the first of its kind owing to the quality and strategic plans the committee has mapped out to give it the quality and uniqueness it deserves.
The weeklong programme shall be rounded off with a thanksgiving service at the Apostolic Church, Ewet Offot District, Uyo on Sunday, December 11 by 9am after a
road walk along the major streets in Uyo on Saturday, December 10 by 6am.
Consequently, the opening ceremony which shall be solely performed by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel is to be chaired by the able speaker of the State Assembly, Barr. Onofiok Luke.
The events which shall be graced by very highly placed individuals both from public and private sectors within and outside the state, is also open to members of the public who are expected to share the moment with members of the press community within and outside the state.
Asked why he had drawn up such a huge programme for the Press Week, the Committee Chairman said he was poised to make a difference and leave a legacy for posterity.
Here him, “I’m very honoured, in the first instance, to be so chosen by our dear Chairman, Elder Patrick Albert to chair the 2016 Press Week Committee. I have observed that our Union has been consistently carrying out this necessary ritual on a yearly basis. But one thing is sure, you cannot give a professional award of diligence and extreme commitment to journalists without making it unique.
“Journalists are very serious minded people. They sacrifice their time, resources and sometimes their lives to make sure they fulfil their constitutionally ascribed responsibilities. I am sure you are familiar with the hazards of journalism. The most tedious work to do is that of engaging your reasoning faculty and gathering words to craft a report. It is not an easy task.