Journalists in Borno State on Friday donated a trailer load of cement to the state government as their contribution to the rebuilding of communities destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents.
The donation was made as media practitioners in the Boko Haram-ravaged state flagged off the annual Press Week celebration in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The theme of the week is the “Role of Journalists in Post Conflict Rebuilding and Livelihoods.”
The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, BabaShek Haruna, said the donation of the 600 bags of cement was made possible through the individual contribution of the union’s members in the state.
The Borno State NUJ press Week is being celebrated for the first time since 2013.
The annual event could not hold in the past four years due to the prevailing security challenges in the state.
Speaking during a courtesy call at the Borno State government House, the NUJ state chairman informed Governor Kashim Shettima that the union has decided to have a 2014-2017 joint press conference to demonstrate to the world that despite the challenges “there is still life in Borno State.”
“As journalists in Borno State who are either directly or indirectly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, we felt it is duty bound for us to make our contribution beyond the reportage of the challenges being faced by the displaced people in the state.
“We made this token contribution in order to help our displaced brothers and sister to get their communities rebuilt which is the focus of government right now,” he said.
Mr. Haruna said the 2014-2017 Press Week was flagged off with prayers in Friday mosque. He said the day two would be marked with a media lecture for the members.
“On Sunday, we would be having another session of prayers in the church where our Christian colleagues would commit the union and the state unto the hands of the almighty,” he said.
“In the evening of Sunday, there would be a novelty match between NUJ members and the members of Radio, Television and Theatre Workers Union (RATTAWU).
“Monday would be the peak day where we, the NUJ members, would be awarding notable individuals and organisations that have one way or the other come to the assistance of Borno State in its hour of need.”
He said Borno NUJ selected the Dangote Foundation, the UNHCR, and the federal ministry of defence as part of those to receive the star awards.
He said newspapers like the Daily Post online, Borno Radio Corporation and Vanguard newspaper are to receive awards for their “tireless contributions in the reportage of the reconstruction effort of the state.”
In his speech, Mr. Shettima said he was very pleased with the contributions made by the NUJ towards alleviating the plight of the displaced.
He said he was particularly touched by the journalists’ gesture because it was coming at a time when many “illustrious and wealthy sons of Borno could not come to the aid of the displaced.”
“We are proud of NUJ and the entire journalists in Borno State for sharing in our moments of sorrow. I will not forget this gesture,” he said.