By Dominic Akpensuen and James Anaana:
Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, last Friday graced the public presentation of DAILY ASSET newspaper and the 50th birthday celebration of its publisher, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, with a call on journalists in the country to put Nigeria’s unity above any other consideration in the discharge of their duties, saying ‘‘developmental journalism should be their watch word.”
According to Saraki, the media is a veritable tool to engender unity and progress of the country, especially at this trying time, adding the nation’s unity cannot be compromised.Represented by his Special Assistant on Print Media, Chucks Okocha, he noted that the country’s media was vibrant enough to galvanize all and sundry with a view to making the nation overcome its current challenges.
He then saluted the courage and professionalism of the publisher, saying the newspaper is impressive in content and outlook and should not relent in its impact since it entered the journalism market a few months ago. Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson who was the chairman of the event spoke in similar vein and commended the DAILY ASSET’s Publisher for coming out with a national publication which virtually coincided with his 50th birthday, saying he was not surprised by Dr. Akwaya’s initiative, a person he said is noted for his “dogged spirit , initiative and tenacity of purpose.” Gov Dickson who was represented by Mr Ono k.Akpe at the event urged the Publisher and his management not to relent in their efforts at making Nigeria a better nation through their reportage.
The Governor expressed his faith in giving opportunity to all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic and religious affiliations, and said that it was on this account that he made an indigene of Benue state, Francis Ottah-Agbo his Chief Press Scretary. He said Ottah-Agbo would have been at the event to honour the Publisher but for the demise of his mother, barely 24 hours to the event. He prayed for the repose of the soul of Mrs Agbo.
For his part, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, urged Daily Asset team to be ethical in their reportage and always balance stories in fulfilment of the tenets of the noble pen profession. Governor Ortom, who was represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Media Honourable Tahav Ageezua, added that journalism practice requires proficiency.
Besides, Tahav Ageezua who recalled his long relationship with the publisher, expressed satisfaction for the courage, determination for taking a giant step to publish a newspaper of national interest and appeal as well. He expressed the desire of the state government to adequately support the efforts of the publisher to make the newspaper play desired roles in promoting peace and development of the country.
Similarly, the immediate past Benue State Governor, Rt. Honourable Gabriel Suswam, expressed satisfaction in “the total commitment and determination being demonstrated by the Publisher’’, noting that such attributes are basics for publishing a newspaper.
Honourable Suswam, who was the chief host at the occasion, said having carefully studied the editorial pattern of the publication, described DAILY ASSET as a non-partisan medium.
Also speaking at the event, former Minister of Interior Comrade Abba Moro, noted that publishing a newspaper that is capable of competing with other prominent media is quite challenging.
In this vein, he urged Dr. Akwya remain focus on the good work he is doing and the sky will be the limit for the newspaper.
Furthermore, the Managing Director, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, stated that the publisher should be encouraged through patronage, according to him publishing a newspaper is another way of imparting knowledge on people.
Therefore, DAILY ASSET came on board at the right time, “those who understand what knowledge means to humanity should support the medium in whatever way they could,” Jime said.
He further said that he was emotionally attached to newspaper because the publisher is a young man who he has known for long period of time, the MD also said that he was extremely happy over the quality of personalities present at the event.
In his welcome addressed, the publisher Dr. Cletus Akwaya thanked God Almighty for giving him the grace to attain the age of 50, noting that it has not been an easy journey, “those of you who have attained the age of golden jubilee must understand what it means”, Dr. Akwaya stated.
The colourful occasion was graced by high profile personalities from different walks of lives including representatives of British High Commissioner to Nigeria, other members of the diplomatic corps, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, top echelon of the media, civil servants, captains of industries, bank chiefs amongst other dignitaries.