PREMIUM TIMES reporter is The Future Awards Young Person of the Year

The awards ceremony held in Port Harcourt Sunday

By Ben Ezeamalu

A PREMIUM TIMES reporter, Idris Akinbajo, was on Sunday named The Future Awards Young Person of the Year 2012.
Mr. Akinbajo beat nominees Banky Wellington (Banky W), Dapo Oyebanjo (D’banj), Peter and Paul Okoye (PSquare), Chinwe Njoku, and Linda Ikeji to clinch the top prize.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Port Harcourt, Mr. Akinbajo, who was an investigative journalist at NEXT newspapers and currently Head of Investigation at PREMIUM TIMES, dedicated his award to colleagues at PT and the defunct NEXT newspaper.
Other winners at the night included Michael Collins (Don Jazzy) as Entrepreneur of the Year (Entrepreneur); Ayo Balogun (Wizkid) as Musician of the Year; and Tonto Dikeh as Actor of the Year among others.
Mr. Akinbajo is the current African Investigative Journalist of the Year, and the Nigerian Investigative Journalist of the year 2011.
Idris Akinbajo breaking the news of the award to colleagues
He also won the best Nigerian investigative story in print, and second best Nigerian investigative story (Online) awards at the  2011 edition of the Wole Soyinka Investigative Reporting Awards.

He was also among the four editorial staff of PREMIUM TIMES who were finalists at this year’s CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Awards held in Lusaka, Zambia.

An elated Mr. Akinbajo later told this reporter he is excited about the award.

He believes such nominations are motivating factors for him to continue to do well in journalism.

According to him, “journalism is the best channel available for me to push for change and growth in my country.”

The award ceremony began with a keynote speech by banker and entrepreneur Tony Elumelu who said that he will launch a mentoring programme on twitter.

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“The world is at your feet. This generation should indeed do much better,” Mr. Elumelu, the Chief Executive Officer of Heir Holdings, said.

“It’s always tough, but out of tough times, great ideas and thoughts come up,” he added.

Mr. Elumelu further said that in the mentoring programme, he would “personally answer questions” on entrepreneurship about one hour every month.

Despite the initial technical hitches and most of the stars billed to attend absent; the ceremony lived up to expectations.

Former World Bank Vice President, Oby Ezekwesili, and Rivers State Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, were, however, in attendance.

Tinsel star Gideon Okeke and R&B singer Waje as co-hosts, nominees and eventual winners began o emerge.

Michael Collins (Don Jazzy) took the award for the Entrepreneur of the Year (Entertainment); Ayo Balogun (Wizkid) as Musician of the Year; and Tonto Dikeh as Actor of the Year among others.

In his address, Chude Jideonwo, Executive Director of The Future Project called on the Nigerian youth to have faith in the country.

“It is difficult to have faith when you look at the young people… It is herculean to believe in it,” Mr. Jideonwo said.

“This ship has been sinking, but it hasn’t yet sunk.

“Let’s handle Nigeria the way a mother handles a child with drug addiction…

“Let’s keep the faith. If we stumble, let’s rise. Let’s keep changing until we tear down these walls. Because we can,” said Mr. Jideonwo.

The Future Awards is held annually to recognise young Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in their careers.


*Young Person of the Year

Bankole Wellington (Banky W)
Dapo Oyebanjo (D’banj)
Jason Njoku
Peter and Paul Okoye (PSquare)
Linda Ikeji
Chinwe Njoku
Idris Akinbajo

Winner: Idris Akinbajo

*Producer of the Year (Screen)

Clarence Peters
Onye Ubanatu
Anietie James Ekins

Winner: Clarence Peters

* Producer of the Year (Music)

Samuel Oguachuba (Samklef)
Jeremiah Shelika (J. Sleek)

Winner: J. Sleek

* Actor of the Year

Ini Edo
Tonto Dikeh
Okechukwu ‘OC’ Ukeje

Winner: Tonto Dikeh

* Musician of the Year

Ice Prince

Winner: Ice Prince

* On Air Personality (TV)

Denrele Edun/Channel O
Uti Nwachukwu/Jara
Maupe Ogun/Channels TV

Winner: Denrele Edun

* On Air Personality (Radio)

Oladotun ‘DO2DT-U-N’ Kayode/Cool FM
Ayenowowon ‘Twitwi’ Oluwatobi Kenneth/Wazobia FM
Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru/Beat FM

Winner: Toolz

* Best Use of Advocacy

Adanma Umeofia/We Built: Nigeria
Priscilla Usiobaifo/Brave Heart Initiative
Babafemi Oyediran/Red Project

Winner: Babafemi Oyediran

* Best Use of New Media

Japheth Omojuwa/
Gidi Traffic

Winner: Gidi Traffic

* Creative Artist of the Year

Obi Somto/Photography
Bayo Omoboriowo/Photography
Mohammed Abbagana/Painter

Winner: Bayo Omoboriowo

* Designer of the Year

Yomi Casuals/Olorunyomi Omoniyi Makun
Toju Foyeh/Toluwaloju Olowofoyeku
House of Nwocha/Ugonna Omeruo

Winner: Toju Foyeh

* Excellence in Service (Government)

Ohimai Amaize/National Sports Commission
Akin Rotimi/Government House, Ekiti
Hadiza Abdullahi/The Presidency (MDG Office)

* Excellence in Service (Journalism)

Chiemelie Ezeobi/Thisday
Alkasim Abdulkadir/CNN
Toyosi Ogunseye/The Punch

Winner: Alkasim Abdulkadir

* Excellence in Service (Corporate)

Adim Isiakpona/Marketing Manager, HP
Seye Ogunro/Associate, Banwo & Ighodalo
Ngozi Nkwoji/Brand Manager, NB Plc

Winner: Ngozi Nkwoji

* Innovator of the Year (Technology)

Olumide Adewunmi/Gidi Lounge
Zubair Abubakar/Nigerian Constitution Blackberry App
Seun Onigbinde/BudgIT

Winner: Seun Onigbinde

* Innovator of the Year (Education)

Tolulope Sangosanya/LOTS Resource Centre
Gossy Ukanwoke/Beni American University
Otto Orondaam/Slum to School Project

Winner: Otto Orondaam

* Entrepreneur of the Year (General)

Ola Orekunri/Flying Doctors

* Entrepreneur of the Year (Agriculture)

Tochukwu Ikpegbu/Emmanuel Farms

* Entrepreneur of they Year (Media & Communication)

Uyi Omokaro/DM2

* Entrepreneur of the Year (Technology)

Jason Njoku/Iroko TV

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