The Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), held its first National Merit Award recently in Abuja, with prominent Nigerians, who have made immense contribution to the media world honoured.
Most significant among those honoured was the former Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, who was conferred with posthumous ‘Meritorious Service to Humanity’ award.
According to the National President of RATTAWU, Comrade Yemisi Bamgbose, late Akunyili was honoured because of her immense contributions in the struggle for a better welfare package for media workers.
“We decided to honour her posthumously today because of her efforts at securing better welfare for our members. Whatever we are enjoying today as improved welfare package was made possible with her efforts. We believe award should be bestowed only to those who have genuinely contributed to society and most especially as it concerns us, the media sector.”
Also honoured for his immense contributions was the immediate past Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu; while former Chairman of INEC, Professor Atahiru Jega, received the ‘Stabiliser of Nigeria Democracy Award.’
Some retired and practicing media professionals, former heads of media organizations, as well as political leaders who have contributed to the growth of the Nigerian media, were honoured.
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikinle Amosun, received the award for Transformatory Performance in Governance Award, while Dr Umar Ganduje, Kano State Governor received the award for Excellent Performance in Governance.
Bamgbose, in his speech noted that the awards were in recognition of hard work, professionalism and patriotic services to Nigeria.
“A portion of our National Anthem says, the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain. We believe an award should be bestowed only to those who have genuinely contributed to society and most especially as it concerns us, the Media Sector. The event is also considered necessary to recognise and appreciate some of our members who have excelled in their chosen careers.”
Comrade Bangbose stated that the event was also a “home coming as it provides opportunity for the younger ones to meet with those God had used in laying solid foundation for the industry”.
On national issues, the RATTAWU president commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his unrelenting efforts which led to the release of the 21 out of the kidnapped Chibok girls.
He said: “It is a cheering news and a positive development that has clearly shown that the good days are here again.”
Sen. Amosun, who responded on behalf of the awardees, expressed commended RATTAWU for its thoughtfulness in organizing the event; adding, “I am very happy to be a part of this history-making event which is designed to honour hard work and patriotism. This award is undoubtedly credible because no one collected a penny from me before receiving this award.”