By Lawrence Olaoye1
President Muhammadu Buhari has been decorated the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Media Merit Award (NMMA) vowing never to disappoint the confidence reposed in him by Nigerians from all walks of life.
This is coming as he promised that the contributions of worthy Nigerians to national development will soon be appreciated through the award of National Honours.
Speaking after his decoration by the Board of Trustees of the prime media awards organization in the country, the President described the investiture as “a timely honour,” adding that he had known a good number of the members of the NMMA board, “since the time I didn’t even know I would be here.”
Former Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Engr. Vincent Maduka, who led the delegation, said Buhari was qualified to be grand patron, “because you respect the rights of the media to practice, without any hindrance.”
It was noted that under President Buhari, no media house has been shut, and the first ever campus television license was awarded to the University of Lagos, under the chairmanship of veteran Mass Communication teacher, Professor Ralph Akinfeleye.
Engr. Maduka said the NMMA was established in 1990, to promote excellence in Nigerian media, and has hosted 26 grand award presentations, with the latest holding just a week ago.
Part of the goals of NMMA, he added, was the promotion of patriotism, and unity of the country.
In a related development, the President while receiving a delegation of members of Buhari Support Group Centre (BSGC) at State House yesterday said the intention of the administration was to “leave a better country for our children, and for coming generations,” and those who partake in such national effort would be duly rewarded with National Honours.
“Many people are qualified for such honours. We are looking at it, and we will appreciate the contributions of such people,” Buhari said.
He commended members of BSGC, who have made immense personal sacrifices to support him since he joined partisan politics, adding that they did so out of personal conviction, “because I’m not known to be a very generous person.”
The President added: “What you are doing can’t be materially compensated. You are doing it out of conviction, at the expense of your pockets, and it is God that will reward you.”
Speaking, Director General of BSGC, Umaru Dembo, said the group had sensitized Nigerians on the need to get their voters cards, keep them safe, “and voting the right candidates during elections.”
Buhari was equally decorated as Grand Patron of the Buhari Support Group Centre, and also presented with two books and discs done by the group.