The Holy Scripture talks about the trajectory of the life of a good man getting better. For winners of the Governor Hope Uzodimma Media Excellence Awards, life is looking up for them. Things are getting better and better for them. The awards are attracting bigger cash prizes and predisposing the winners to improved career prospects.

Those who will clinch the awards in the 2023 edition are to be sponsored to all-expenses-paid courses overseas. That is not all: the winners of the 2022 edition smiled home with double the prize money of those who won in 2021.

Advertise Here

While each of the winners of the 2021 edition got N500,000; 2022 winners will get N1million each.

The initiator of the awards and Imo State governor, Senator Hope Odidika Uzodimma announced this on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at the ceremony where the 2022 winners were presented with their awards.

In his speech at the ceremony held at the exquisite Nick Banquet Hall, Government House, Owerri, Gov. Uzodimma emphasized that the monetary benefits are essentially not the issue.

The real issue, he said, is for journalists to ply their trade professionally and help democracy to thrive and deliver the goods to the people.

He noted that most world leaders either came from the fourth estate of the realm or leveraged on the reportage of media practitioners.

This, according to the governor shows how strategic and important the media practitioners are.

Gov Uzodimma expressed the desire to see journalists in the state carry themselves with honour and dignity, adding that he opted to sponsor winners of the next edition on training abroad to widen their scope and enhance their career.

The governor also emphasized the need for discipline among journalists even as he urged the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Imo State Council to enforce discipline among its members.

When he announced the prize money of N1million for the each of the nine award recipients, the hall erupted in an orgy of jubilation and applause. Both the winners, their friends and well-wishers rose to give the governor a deafening applause.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba lauded the governor for the love he has been showing to journalists in the state through the institution of the awards.

Emelumba noted that Governor Uzodimma has entered the annals as the first and only governor in the country to institute awards for members of the fourth estate of the realm.

According to him, the positive impact of the awards is already showing on media practice in the state.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Awards Selection Committee, Chief Fidel Onyeneke expressed his profound gratitude to the governor for instituting the awards. He equally lauded the governor and the commissioner for information and strategy for giving the committee free hand to select the winners.

The former Chairman of NUJ, Imo State Council noted that the committee was also given free hand in the 2021 edition to select winners.

Owing to the huge success which the 2021 edition was, the 2022 edition was expanded. While the 2021 edition had seven categories, the 2022 edition was expanded to nine categories.

The categories are Most Outstanding TV Presenter, Best Documentary TV Journalist, Most Outstanding Radio Presenter, English, Best Sports Reporter, Most Outstanding State Correspondent, Best Investigative Journalist of The Year, Best Documentary Radio Journalist, Most Creative Cameraman TV and Most Outstanding Radio Presenter, Igbo.

The winners of the different categories namely Akunna Sonny-Azuike, Reginald Mbajunwa , Uche Mary Omeni Nwode, Cosmos Chukwuemeka Faith Chichi Igwilo, Chris Anucha, Ngozi Ejimadu, Emeremgini Augustine Chigozie and Adaeze Opara Anyanwu were presented with the award plaques by the governor at the ceremony which was graced by high net-worth media practitioners and other dignitaries.

On behalf of other recipients, the 2022 Most Outstanding Radio Presenter, English and staff of MyRadio FM,  Uche Mary Omeni Nwode was effusive in her thanks to God and Gov Uzodimma for the awards which she sees as a recognition and reward for hard work.

She added that the awards will spur the recipients to aim at greater heights even as she assured the governor that media practitioners in the state would strive to disseminate only factual and verified information to the public.

Dignitaries and practitioners who graced the ceremony included Hon. Emma Dike, Chairman, Imo Broadcasting Corporation, IBC; Ms Ify Onyegbule, the Director General, IBC;   Ifeanyi Nwanguma, Chairman, NUJ, Imo State Council; Declan Anaele, Chairman, Imo Newspaper Publishers Association (INPA); Dr. Dorothy Nnaji, Chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ); Imo State; Chief Ken Njoku, Coordinator, International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), Owerri Study Centre; Eze Adiuku, Secretary, NUJ Zone C and Ken Anyanwu, General Manager,  Heartland 100.5FM Owerri.

Also in attendance were Prof. Placid Njoku, deputy governor of Imo State, Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie, Chief of Staff to the Governor and Chief Cosmas Iwu, Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

The journalists also seized the opportunity to let off steam after a year of hard work and brainstorming


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here