Former governor of Ogun State and a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Aremo Segun Osoba, has expressed delight over his emergence as winner of The Sun Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018, saying he was proud of it.
Osoba, who revealed that he had turned down several awards in the past, including an honorary doctorate degree, said he was, however, accepting The Sun award because of the revolution the paper created in the history of journalism practice in the country, adding that he has willingly and happily accepted the award.
The Sun Awards ceremony holds on Friday, January 25, 2019, at the Expo Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, with 22 people lined up to be honoured.
Osoba spoke in Lagos when the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Eric Osagie, led a delegation to present the letter of notification on the award to him.
Said Osoba: “I am always very unwilling to accept awards. I have never accepted any honorary doctorate degree before, including from our own university.
“As a reporter, we are trained to report others. But I willingly and happily accept The Sun award. I am proud to be given the award. Why? I have always noted the revolution The Sun created in journalism.
“Yes, it is a tabloid, but one with high quality editorial policy; not one for reporting scandals and fake news. The Sun revolutionised the system in such a way never before in the history of journalism in Nigeria. Yes, you will see banner headline and when you read the story, you will see quality information in the story. You also have serious columnists, with quality presentations. The Sun’s performance and mark in journalism will be on record forever.”
Earlier, The Sun Managing Director said The Lifetime Achievement award was bestowed annually on “persons not less than 70 years old, whose achievement and track record over the years have become a reference point.”
He said the Board of Editors of The Sun chose Osoba in recognition of his uncommon achievements in journalism, politics, governance and philanthropy.
Osagie said: “In your days as a journalist at Daily Times, you were a hard-nosed reporter, who sought after the big story. It was your drive to be the first to report any major news that made you find the bullet-riddled body of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first Prime Minister, killed during the 1966 military coup. Until you found and reported this, nobody knew the whereabouts of the late Nigeria’s Prime Minister, but your bold journalism reflex provided the first and only clue in those hazy days.
“Your days at Daily Times saw you functioning, first, as a trainee crime reporter (1966), then diplomatic correspondent (1967), news editor (1968), deputy editor, Sunday Times (1971), deputy editor, Daily Times (1972) and Editor (1975) before leaving to become General Manager, Nigerian Herald. You returned to Daily Times in 1984 as the Managing Director.
“In politics, you proved your mettle, becoming a two-time civilian governor of Ogun State, from 1992 to 1993, under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and 1999 to 2003, under the Alliance for Democracy (AD).”