The Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) Thursday honoured a renowned businessman, Sir Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu, with a fellowship award at a special convocation, which was part of the celebration of the golden jubilee of the journalism training institution.
At the ceremony attended by media gurus and many members of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the owner of the institute, the Chairman of the Governing Council, Chief Olusegun Osoba, said Sir Adebutu’s philanthropy is second to known.
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This is just as the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged more corporate organisations and philanthropists to support the press and commended the NIJ for its “great job” in raising professional, bold journalists who are knowledgeable and fearless.
According to Osoba, the fellowship had the imprimatur of the International Press Institute (IPI). He said, “The award we are giving him today is recognised by the International Press Institute (IPI), which is made up of editors, publishers and who is who in the media worldwide. What that means is that what we are doing is recognised globally.
“The award is in recognition of his contributions and support for education. There are many people who are richer than him but who are not as generous and supportive of education and other causes like him.” The provost of the NIJ, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, reiterated that the institution decided to honour Adebutu for touching lives with his wealth. Sanwo-Olu represented by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho described Adebutu as an exemplary and enviable personality who had dedicated his wealth to better humanity and transform lives.
In his acceptance speech, Sir Adebutu decried the neglect of the press, which is regarded as the fourth estate of the realm, noting that while the other three estates – executive, legislature and judiciary – are being catered for in the budget, the press is left in the lurch.
He vowed to support the press in Nigeria while challenging others to do the same, saying this is imperative towards engendering a better society.
From Abdullateef Aliyu & Ibrahim Kegbegbe, Lagos
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