From DAUDA PAM, Maiduguri
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has won the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ 2019 Award, for “Most Promising First Term Governor in Nigeria”, an honour the NUJ said was in recognition of the Governor’s “shocking performance” that topped a nationwide comparative assessment carried out by the group of journalists.
”Normally, the NUJ in Borno State does not celebrate the achievements of Governors in less than one year of their tenure. Journalists are critical people.
“Before we give out awards, we look at things critically. This will be the first time we are celebrating the performance of any Governor in less than one year of service”, Chairman of the NUJ in Borno State, Comrade Bulama Talba announced in Maiduguri.
Our Correspondent reports that the Chairman had led seven affiliated chapels of about 200 resident journalists to present the Governor the award that was ratified by the NUJ’s highest national executives.
.The Chairman explained why the Borno State Governor won the NUJ award in the early stage of his four-year renewable term.
“We compared Governor Zulum’s performance with those of all Governors serving their first term in office. To our amazement, we discovered without the slightest doubt, that we could only compare Zulum’s achievements with those of some Governors in their second term. ý
“His achievements in the first quarter were shocking to us. Everyone may remember that Governor Zulum delivered 120 projects in 100 days, but what we will like to remind people that, some of these 120 projects include the construction of entirely new schools, each of them, counted as one project.
“The 120 projects also include an ongoing estate of 300 houses counted as one project. The journalists in Borno State are very proud of the Governor’s performance.
“Perhaps, I should also add, that the best way to be a friend of journalists is to continue to deliver more and more projects and improve the quality of governance.
“When you perform very well, journalists will naturally favour you in their reporting. Journalists mainly report what public office holders do rightly or wrongly.
“In the case of Borno State, the verdict of journalists is that Professor Babagana Umara Zulum is winner of the NUJ’s 2019 award as Most Promising First Term Governor in Nigeria”, Talba said.
The journalists informed the Governor of NUJ’s plans to, on quarterly basis, send him report that will identify the shortcomings of his administration, so that governance can be improved for the benefit of Borno people.
Zulum, in his remarks after receiving the award, said, he considered working for Borno people as fulfillment of his constitutional oath of office and moral obligation.
“I swore with the Holy Qur’an to do whatever I can to protect lives and property and to raise the quality of governance in terms of delivering projects and programmes and executing policies that will impact positively on the lives of Borno people” the Governor said.
He tasked journalists to in their reporting, to promote peace building, security of lives and good governance.
Highlight of the NUJ’s visit was presentation of grand award to the Governor by the NUJ chairman, who was supported by chairpersons of all seven affiliated chapels of state correspondents of different national and international media organizations and Maiduguri based NTA, Borno Radio Television, Peace FM, Kanem Radio amongst others.