By Jerome Utomi
The Publisher of the GbaramatuVoice Newspaper has stated that the burning desire to promote media excellence and provide platform where fresh graduates desirous of carrier in the media industry can be trained, informed his decision to build in the Niger Delta region a world class media institute equipped with state of the art facility.
Abai gave this insight while presenting his welcome address at the Newspaper’s 6th Anniversary Lecture held recently at Eko Hotels and Suite, Lagos, where the media institute and Resource Centre were unveiled by the Kogi state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Speaking further at the event which had His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, Vice President, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the Special Guest, Abai explained that the Resource Centre when completed will provide endless opportunity for critical research geared towards attainment of sustained national development.
In his words, “The third and very germane reason for our gathering today is to unveil/launch a Resource Centre for Niger Delta Studies and other critical research geared towards attainment of sustained national development as well as a media institute where fresh graduates from the region interested in media practice shall be trained on different media skills for self reliance.
In a related development, the GbaramatuVoice boss used the opportunity provided by the welcome address to take his guest through memory lane of his organization’s achievements and how the brand called GbaramatuVoice was first incubated.
To copiously quote him, he said in parts; “established in August 2015, GbaramatuVoice, the Newspaper has used this annual lecture and merit award instituted six years ago to promote national unity/cohesion and build bridges of harmony across geopolitical zones in the country. We have often always, to the admiration of stakeholders, used the opportunity provided by the annual lecture to craft for discussion, topics relevant to the nation’s socioeconomic development and critical research areas that proffers array of solutions to the Niger Delta challenge.
“It will interest you to know that like the Biblical grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches. (Mathew 13; 31-32, Mark 4; 30-32, Luke 13; 18-19), even so has the GbaramatuVoice become a platform for pursuing the truth and the decentralized creation and distribution of ideas’.
Very remarkably, he added, the news organization has within the past six years become reputed for not just trumping to the surface hidden injustices and tensions that were alive and active in the Niger Delta region to where it can be seen and treated, but, like decentralized body, evolved to a development partner with governments at all levels in the promotion and protection of the people’s life chances.
“We have continually supported the fundamental needs of the country, and the positive purpose of the elected government. As a media organization, we have been alive to our primary responsibility to the masses in a democratic society.
On human/Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, Abai captures it this way; “the GbaramatuVoice Foundation incorporated among other things, provision of succor to the less privileged. It has indeed become a vessel of hope to the less economically and socially disadvantaged persons in the rural communities of Niger Delta region. We have used this platform (foundation) as a vehicle for promoting girl-child education; awarding scholarships to these economically disadvantaged classes.
“Our operational office and well equipped studio has become an attractive and most sought-after destination for Mass Communication/Theatre Arts students in the region for their compulsory Industrial training/experience as well as the National Youth Service Corp Members. We have provided, and performed these responsibilities at the most fundamental levels. As an illustration, within this period under review, we trained many, retained as staff those that expressed interest in building their career with the organization and awarded scholarships to those that demonstrated academic excellence in their areas’.
“Towards the tail end of 2019, we opened a Food Bank. As if we got the premonition that the CoronaVirus (Covid-19) was locking around, the vision then, was to serve the coastal dwellers ravaged by the perennial flood. But with the crisis of CoronaVirus pandemic, the GbaramatuVoice Intervention Food Bank served even a greater purpose –as it distributed food items of various varieties to over eight hundred residents/families. These were achieved from the creative use of our meager resources and your support.” He concluded.
Present at the event include but are not limited to, namely; Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, SAN, (ably represented by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Edobor Iyamu); Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri (represented by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS), Mr. Daniel Alabrah; Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, represented by His Deputy, Chief Edward David Onoja; Rt. Hon. Ahmed Mohammed, Deputy Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly; The Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, HRM, King Monday Whiskey, Udurhie I; Emeritus Professor Joe Alagoa; Chief Brown Odeworitse Tesigimoje, Chairman/CEO, Gimbrown Marine Security Oil Limited, among others.