The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has conferred an “Award of Excellence” on Gov Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State for his unprecedented infrastructural development efforts.
The governor, who bagged the “Golden Merit Award” dedicated the award to market women in the state, saying they deserved the honour for adopting the standard weighing and measure called ‘Osuwon Omoluabi’ after about two years of resistance to the initiative.
Aregbesola expressed shock at the Award going by the portrayal and seeming silence of the media about his massive achievements in infrastructures, education, security, cultural and ethical revival among others.
“To say the least, I was shocked to receive a notice of award from an organisation that coordinates the affairs of journalists that comprise, going by the terse and sometimes, negative portrayal of our activities and successes in the media.
“Though our effort in infrastructural renewal is being recognised, to me, the greatest achievement of our administration is the revival of ethical values, that is, the Omoluabi’ ethos. I didn’t create Omoluabi, I met it with the Yorubas.
“Yorubas acknowledge the epitome of life and the essence of being to be the soundness of. character.
“So whenever they want to appreciate an individual with noble character, they say, he is an Omoluabi – meaning a man of virtues.
“Seven years ago, in February 2011, we rebranded our state, among several states, as the Land of Virtues – Ipinle Omoluabi.
“It is certain that one day, roads will collapse and the building will crumble, no matter how well constructed; what will remain is the strength of character, our human essence and the virtues we possess.
“I, therefore, wish to dedicate this award to our market women, who after two years of resistance have recently adopted the Osunwon Omoluabi which stands for ethical dealings where neither the buyer nor the seller is cheated in commercial transactions,” Aregbesola said.
An elder statesman, Chief John Fademi as well as the Chairman of the NUJ, Mr Abiodun Olalere epitomised the achievements of Aregbesola, describing him as a governor who will never play to the gallery but will allow his achievements to speak for him.
Olalere noted that the nomination never recorded a single dissenting voice within the state, even as journalists agreed that, irrespective of the governor’s imperfections as a human being, the state has never witnessed the level of infrastructural renewal witnessed within the 25 years of its creation.
Eulogising the sterling qualities of the governor, the state Commissioner for Water Resources, Rural and Community Affairs, Mr Babatunde Ibirogbe described the award as well deserved for Aregbesola’s non-parallel feats in infrastructural development.
“Aregbesola is an Avatar of Good Governance and inimitable panjandrum of Osun politics. His unassailable and unimpeachable legacies remain unequalled in the political trajectory of this virtuous state. The denizens of Osun are appreciative of his sterling performance as he is being garlanded today,” he said.
Other Awardees at the events are: the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi for the Evergreen Award for Humanitarian Services; Dr Yemi Farounbi Former Nigeria Ambassador to the Philippines for the Distinguished Professional Award and Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin, the President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers for the Award of Excellence in Administration.
The Future Minds Investigative Reporter of the Year was Olaniyi Ajibola of Daily Post. The Best Reporter of the Year (Print) went to Clement Adeyi of the Sun newspaper; Alhaji Ibrahim Alege of TVC was the Best Reporter of the Year (Broadcast), Femi Olanipekun of Rave FM became the Best Newscaster of the Year while Gbenga Adeniyi (Osun Defender won the Best Photo Journalist of the Year.
The Chairman’s Award went to Abimbola Babatunde while the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation clinched the Best Television Station of the Year, Rave FM emerged as the Best Radio Station of the Year.
The Award Night was part of the ongoing 2018 Press Week of the Osun NUJ Council.
By Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo