By Miracle Enuji
The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah was today honoured as the SMART Ambassador of the year 2017 by Journalists of the Indigenous Correspondent Chapel (ICC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Delta State Council, Asaba.
The prestigious award which is the first from the Chapel to any individual was conferred on the commissioner following a critical appraisal of his outstanding service, commitment and sterling administrative leadership as the spokesman of the state, especially at a very trying period in the socio-political history of Delta state.
Chairman of ICC, Comrade Inneh Ozah Bartholomew who presented the award on behalf of the Chapel, stated that as an extra responsibility of Journalist to appraise the leadership ingenuity of public officers with the aim of pointing out lapses and recognizing excellence, the chapel has taken an extraordinary step to honour the Information Commissioner with its maiden award.
Inneh said, “As part of this responsibility and in endorsement of your outstanding service commitment and sterling administrative leadership as the spokesman of the state, especially at this very trying period in the socio/political history of Delta state, the Chapel is glad and proud to consider you worthy as the recipient of its inaugural official award of recognition as a SMART Ambassador of the year, 2017.
This rare honour is in recognition of your untiring efforts in propagating the very articulate and exceptionally brilliant SMART agenda of the administration of His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Executive Governor of Delta state, in the visionary effort to ensure prosperity for all Deltans.
On behalf of the Exco and members of the Indigenous Correspondents Chapel, which by God’s grace, I am privileged to lead, I wish not only to applaud you for your support for the Journalists in the state, but to place on record, the tremendous goodwill, attention and and generousity you have continually extended especially to our Chapel inspite of the obvious challenges and harsh economic realities you face.”
Comrade Inneh also appreciated the efforts of the commissioner’s team who he said have not only ensured constant update of news from across the state, but have admirably managed the various social media platforms of the Ministry of Information to ensure that both journalists and Deltans do not miss out on any important news anytime. “They have been wonderful in relating with the press and we say kudos and keep up the good work”.
The Chapel Chairman however charged the Commissioner and his team not to relent stating that there is always enough room for improvement and consolidate on the existing relationship with journalists in the state.
In his response, the elated commissioner said if a body like the Indigenous Chapel can recognize me as SMART Ambassador of the year 2017, which is the philosophy and mantra of the present government, it means that you have observed something.
“It is heart warming to hear that it is inaugural, everybody in life will always like to score the first. So, I want to thank your executives and members for deeming it fit to recognize me as the first to receive the award.
“Your group is very critical and fearless and for a group that is that critical to give this award, I am proud to be a recipient of that award. It means you criticize where you need to criticize without fear or favour and it helps us to step up.
“The acknowledgment that you have given to my team today also tells me that you are watching. I want to thank you people immensely, I want to thank you from the depth of my heart. If you recognize me, you have recognized my Governor and if you recognize my Governor, you have recognized God. Please continue to support us well.”
Speaking further, Mr Ukah submitted that the Indigenous Chapel is a Chapel that we can consider our own noting that it represents what is called the local content and local content are the custodians of the real story. “You live in our community, you feel us and and you are one of us. So I believe so much in Indigenous Chapel in the sense that you feel what I feel and you see what I see. I pray that this relationship continues.”
He promised to continue his support for the Chapel and made a donation of a Desktop Computer and an Internet device to the secretariat of the Chapel.