From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
For his undiluted patriotism, for his unprovoked service to humanity, for what has metamorphosed into his hubby for over 20 years now, for a selfless service being rendered to the society without expectations of any reward, Umar Haladu Sumaila, on his late 70s, did not only suddenly became a celebrity, but was elevated to a higher standard of living, when on Saturday, 28 November, he made the list of Kano state Correspondents’ Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Award and Recognition for unsung heroes.
The agile old man who has been voluntarily controlling traffic at Court/Zoo Road junction, for over 20 years was taken to the next level when he came out to pick his plaque and cash prize. His agility and testimony were soaked in the emotions of the Deputy Governor of Kano state, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna who upon handing over the Award to Umar declared automatic employment for him at the Kano State Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA).
Gawuna who commended Kano NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel for coming up with such initiatives that connect government with the ordinary people, described Umar’s selfless service to Nigeria and humanity as worthy of emulation. Umar was recognized for voluntary service on Kano roads.
More so, another gentle man and Officer of KAROTA, Mansur Suleiman, was also honoured by the Kano NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel for his dedication to duty. Mansur caught the fancy of former Speaker of Kano state House of Assembly and current Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Pensions, Hon. Kabiru Alhassan Rurum who promised to get him a brand new motorcycle and cash gift of N50, 000. The motorcycle gift was to ease his means of transportation as he comes to work everyday from Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area. Mansur was honoured for his honesty and dedication to duty.
Fauziyya D. Suleiman, a Social Media Influencer was honoured for her philanthropy and support to vulnerable people to get health assistance, while Hauwa El-Yakub was recognised for using her NGO, AHIP to help children on malnutrition. While handing over the awards to them, the state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, who is a member of the state COVID-19 Palliatives Committee, said he was directed by the State COVID-19 Taskforce Committee Chairman, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, to make available some Palliatives to the duo so that they too can help government reach out to the real vulnerable people through their NGOs and contacts.
The ceremony, tagged: Kano Correspondents’ Chapel NUJ 2020 Award/Appreciation Night which held at Bristol Palace Hotel attracted a huge crowd of media gurus, practitioners and Chief Executives from within and outside Kano. Heads of security agencies and members of the business community were also present, including community and religious leaders.
Recipients of the second segment of the Award were honoured based on their achievements and track records. Kano state Deputy Governor, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna who also represented Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje at the occasion, was honoured for his doggedness in fighting COVID-19 as the chairman, state Taskforce on COVID-19, as well as, his unflinching loyalty to his boss, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. Minister of Justice, Alhaji Abubakar Malam I (SAN), also received award for instigating uncommon reforms in the justice sector. The Director-General, NITDA, Malam Kashjfu Inuwa was recognized and honoured for championing a revolution in the information technology sector of the country. The state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba also received a beautiful plaque and certificate for his prowess in blending media professionalism with politics, thereby serving as a role model to media practitioners in the country. Kano state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Habu A. Sani was also among eminent Nigerians who were honoured on that day for using Community Policing strategy to restoring and maintaining peace and order in Kano. The Executive Chairman of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission, Bar. Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado was also honoured for his commitment in the fight against corruption in the state, while the Chairman, UMZA Food Nigeria Ltd, Hon. Mohammed Abubakar Maifata, was honoured for his role in ensuring food security in the country.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, Correspondents’Chapel, NUJ Kano who doubles as the Chief Host of the event, Comrade Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu, described it as an important and remarkable event which will remain in the history of the Chapel for ever.
He explained that, “the Correspondents Chapel is made up of practicing journalists representing the major news outlets within and outside Nigeria reporting from Kano. You would all agree with me that we have taken the pain to organize this event after taking a careful scrutiny of the respective pedigree of the awardees, whose immense contribution to the development of the society cannot be over-emphasized, having successfully attained the height of greatness in different aspects of human endeavour.”
According to him, “It is also important to note that as forth estate of the realm, the Correspondents Chapel has enjoyed a cordial relationship with the Kano state government especially with the signing of the Executive Order 003 by his Excellency Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the governor of Kano state in 2019. This has eased our activities in the Open Government Partnership OGP and the sourcing of information.
“What we are doing here today was conceived to give a human face to such a sustained struggle which had undoubtedly gingered our confidence of according honour to whom it is due, for them to have a sense of belonging in the ever competitive media age.
We have undoubtedly been saddled with the task of finding ways and means of acknowledging their contributions to the society, a result of which we are today paying them with the positive side of the coin, for the good judgement of history.
“We have also taken into cognizance the fact that, spreading our tentacles from where we stopped last year to reach out to another set of eminent personalities here present, whom we all believe that it would be foolhardy to sweep their contributions under the carpet. As my speech was designed to be short, lucid and straight to the point, I find it necessary to urge each and everyone of you here, to observe a pin drop silence, as a post-humus recognition to the late Professor Balarabe Maikaba, of the faculty of Communication studies, Bayero University Kano and the Editor of the Triumph Newspaper Malam Musa Ahamad Tijjani who have passed to the great beyond at the time their professional guidance were most needed in propelling the journalism profession to greater heights.”
He added that, “while wishing each and everyone of you a happy and successful award night, I once again thanked all those that had taken the pain to honour our invitation, and wish them journey mercy back to their respective destinations. I will not end this speech without expressing our gratitude to organizations, groups and individuals who contributed to the success of this gathering today especially the management of Bristol Palace Hotel that has expressly eased our being present here today.”