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‘Baba Ijebu’ bags NIJ Fellowship award

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The Nigerian Institute of Journalism on Thursday conferred a fellowship award on the Chairman, Premier Lotto, Chief Kesington Adebutu, popularly known as Baba Ijebu.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the award ceremony took place at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

Chief Olusegun Osoba, Chairman, Governing Council of NIJ, while conferring the award, commended Adebutu for his humanitarian services in the country.

He noted that the award was approved by the International Press Institute, which is made up of editors, media executives and journalists.

Osoba said: “This award is of upmost importance because of the humanitarian services this wonderful gentleman has rendered to this institution and the country as a whole.

“All your contributions to the society have been deservedly noted and the IPI has approved this award for you as your contribution is genuinely appreciated.

“We hope that this will serve as a springboard for other people to take a cue from your cap and also impact the society in more ways than you have done.”

In his speech, Gbenga Adefaye, the Provost of NIJ, described Adebutu as a global icon of philanthropy, an illustrious son of Africa and a proud Nigerian.

He said Adebutu’s colossal investments in the lives of others had affected the socio-economic, political and cultural landscape of the country and, by inference, the media industry.

Adefaye said that NIJ was a unique centre of communication excellence driven by the critical stakeholders in the media sector.

He said: “As a public trust, NIJ requires continuous support from public and private organisations and well-meaning individuals to assist her fulfil the mandate of training critical drivers of democracy and sustenance of good governance.

“The training and retraining of those charged with this onerous responsibility of the watchdog and holding government accountable cannot be taken for granted.”

The provost challenged privileged Nigerians to emulate Adebutu’s commitment to humanity, education and health development, declaring that the award was a celebration of such attributes.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State commended NIJ for maintaining its code and ethics in the teaching of journalism.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Gbenga Omotosho, Commissioner of Information and Strategy, urged well meaning Nigerians to impact other people’s lives.

He said: “The NIJ must be commended for the great job it has been doing in bringing up professional journalists who are knowledgeable, fearless and abide by the rules of the profession.

“Also, the Golden Jubilee Special Convocation for the conferment of the fellowship award must be applauded as it shows that the recipient’s contribution to the society hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“Mr. Adebutu has been carrying out several humanitarian efforts for decades and he is deserving of this award, but I’m also appealing that he should not stop.

“He should continue to impact and improve the lives of the people.”

Adebutu, recipient of the award, in his remarks, said that journalism must be given the right support to enable it carry out its role in the society.

According to him, journalism plays a vital role in the lives of human beings.

He said: “The importance of journalism cannot be overemphasized; that is why it needs all the support it can get so as to thrive well.

“The press is vital and very important because it is a major source of information which determines what happens to the society. It is essential that they get all the support they need.

“I’m very grateful for this award given to me and I promise that I wouldn’t relent in my efforts in serving the people.”

NAN reports that dignitaries at the event included John Momoh, Chairman, Channels Television; Maiden Alex-Ibru, Chairman, Guardian Newspapers; Sheyin Ephraim, Head of Lagos, News Agency of Nigeria; and royal fathers.

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Corps member empowers ex-convicts in Ekiti, warns against stigmatisation

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A serving corps member in Ekiti State, Anuoluwa Elizabeth Balogun, has empowered ex-convicts in the state with tools in various skills, as her Personal Community Development Service (CDS) project in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Balogun, whose passion was borne out as a result of the numerous psychological challenges ex-convicts faced when released from prison, such as stigmatisation, discrimination, isolation, and instability, embarked on the seamless project to make an impact in her immediate environment.

The ex-convicts were presented with the tools at the one-day sensitisation programme tagged “Sensitisation of the Public Against Stigmatisation of the Ex-Convicts,” in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday.

Balogun said that the project is to rehabilitate, reform and reintegrate the ex-convicts, while urging the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to map out programmes towards their proper reintegration into the society.

She added that during her pre-release counselling sessions with the ex-convicts, she discovered that the various offenses they committed were as a result of poverty and improper upbringing.

According to her, “This project is set to rehabilitate, reform, and reintegrate a sizeable number of ex-convicts in Ekiti State. It is a smaller version of the big institution I have in mind, which the Federal Government and the State Government should take up, being also ably supported by individuals in the society.

“During the one month pre-release counselling sessions with the inmates, with the professional services, I realised that most of the crimes committed was as a result of poverty, poor upbringing and a bad influence.

“It is on this note that I urge the government to have a well structured rehabilitation centre for them in the custodial centre, so that the psychology of the name is not just being changed but a lot being changed about them by getting them upskilled with also a lot of therapy sessions.”

On her part, the NYSC Ekiti State Coordinator, Mary Chikezie, lauded the efforts of Balogun noting that it is in tandem with the reasons behind the formation of the scheme.

Chikezie enjoined the public to assist corps members who are embarking in their personal CDS projects while urging them to desist from stigmatising ex-convicts.

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ECOWAS Youth Council appoints Osungbade youth ambassador

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The Youth Council of the Economic Community of West African States (EYC), has announced the appointment of Osungbade Akeem as its youth ambassador.

This was made known in a letter released recently by the president of EYC, Ambassador Seun Williams, and seen by Tribune Online.

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The letter stated, “This appointment is not unconnected to his laudable antecedents, hardwork and diligence in the area of service to humanity even in the face of oppression and intimidation.

“As a relentless crusader of promoting entrepreneurship for African youths, we are optimistic of his positive impacts in the region and organisation.”

Ambassador Osungbade Akeem, when reached for comments on his appointment, stated that, “Service to humanity is one that I’ve dedicated my life and this is just a call for more innovative actions that would create values among West African youths. I’m glad to accept this as a challenge.”

Akeem is the founder and CEO of Cyberxox, a remote website, application and logo designing agency. He is also the Head of Marketing of Cudium, a cross-border payment technology company.



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