By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
The Osun State Correspondent of Daily Post Online Newspaper, Mr Olaniyi Ajibola has emerged the Best Investigative Journalist of the year 2018 in Osun, for the second time, an award, sponsored by Futureminds Development Initiative.
Ajibola, clinched the very competitive award with five of his investigative reports, including the one on the terrible condition of four lions of the Obafemi Awolowo University Zoological Garden, among others.
He had earlier won the award in 2017 with a damning revelation of how some aides of the fist lady, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola shortchanged the parents of the first baby of the year, giving N15,000(Fifteen Thousand Naira) as gift to them instead of approved hundred thousand Naira.
Ajibola in an exclusive interview with CityMirrorNews Correspondent at the sideline of the event on Thursday said the major impetus of his achievement was courage.
According to him, the greatest underlying factor of success in journalism is “undiluted courage”, adding that journalism as a profession remains an illumination to the dark sides of the society.
“I am convinced that conscience is the bedrock of every true courage, if a man wants to be celebrated, if a man wants to be applauded, if a man wants to be appreciated and remembered by the power and passion of history, let him listen to his conscience.
“What distinguishes investigative journalism is it’s content, which tends to dig beyond the surface and illuminate the dark.
“Obviously, my inspiration has been the dictate of my conscience, the cornerstone of my zeal and courage to report the unusual and hidden.
“This award is indeed the profound impetus for me to do more with high level of consistency and courage”, he said.
Other awardees include Mr Clement Adeyi of The Sun Newspaper, who emerged as the Best Reporter of the Year (print).
Adeyi, a Chief Correspondent, beat other competitors with an entry of his features report on Kiriji War Genesis, lessons of Yoruba ethnic bloodshed of 1877-1886 which was published on December 28, 2017, in The South West Magazine section of the Daily Sun.
Mr Femi Olanipekun of Rave FM, clinched the Best Broadcaster of the Year, Ibrahim Alege of TVC emerged the Best Reporter of the Year (Broadcast), GBENGA Adeniyi of Osun Defender won the Best Photo Journalist of the Year among others.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola also received Golden Merit Award in Unprecedented Infrastructural Development.
Also, Nigeria’s former ambassador to the Philippines, Dr AKINYEMI Farounbi received distinguished Professional award, while an Osun monarch the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed-Adewale Akanbi, got Evergreen Award for Humanitarian Services.
The Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Abiodun Olalere, in his remarks said journalists had been able to demonstrate commitment to hard work and contributions to the journalism profession and nation building and deserved recognition in form of award and for encouragement to do more.
He added that Aregbesola’s track records in the last seven years and uncommon display of exemplary leadership qualities which reflect in “The New Face of Osun” and apparent display of love and affection to the people of the state in particular had endeared him to the young and the old deserved the award.
Receiving the award, Aregbesola expressed happiness on the level of infrastructural development his administration has been able to put in place.
He added that out of the achievements of the present administration in the state, the most fulfilling to him is the rebranding of the state as the “The State of the Virtures” and the success in making residents of the behave in such manner.
He urged every resident of the state to always display the “Omoluabi Ethos” in their day to day activities, stating that the revival of good character, the ‘Omoluabi virtues ‘ is one of the greatest achievements of his administration.
“It is good to know that you have given me an award because of the various achievements of our administration, roads are good, good school buildings are fantastic, but I want tell you that my greatest joy as a governor today is that this administration has been able to revive the Omoluabi Virtures among our people”, he said.
He dedicated the award to the market men and women in the state for their supports, explaining that he was delighted that after two years, they had finally embraced the government weighing scale known as ‘Osunwon Omoluabi’ for use in their businesses.
He appealed to journalists in the country to imbibe the spirit of developmental journalism as a means of helping the country to grow.
He charged them to always see themselves as a major stakeholders who will determine whether the country will be peaceful and experience growth