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Azu Ishiekwene, Leadership newspaper editor-in-chief, wins ‘columnist of the year’ award

Azu Ishiekwene, Leadership newspaper editor-in-chief, wins ‘columnist of the year’ award
November 28
21:36 2022

Azu Ishiekwene, editor-in-chief of Leadership newspaper, has won the ‘columnist of the year’ award at the 30th edition of the Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA). 

Azu, who was announced the winner on Sunday in Lagos, beat Abimbola Adelakun and Tunde Odesola — both of PUNCH newspaper — to clinch the award.

This is his fourth time winning the award as he is reportedly one of Nigeria’s most syndicated columnists, with articles also published in platforms in Ghana, Argentina, South Africa, Europe, and the US.

In a statement, Raliat Ahmed-Yusuf, managing editor of Leadership newspaper, said “the award showed once again a consistency in the quality of Mr Azu’s public commentary which has hardly dimmed over the years”.

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At the award ceremony, Dele Adetiba, chairman of the NMMA board, said the award in Azu’s category was named after Alade Odunewu, one of Nigeria’s all-time best in punditry, who was famous for his wit and clarity of language.

He said the entries for the category were assessed based on “accuracy, originality, initiative, evidence, freshness of idea, depth, perspective, language, mood, balance and objectivity, human interest and social significance.”

He added that this year’s award had 837 entries from 588 applicants for 50 categories — an increase from the 11 categories in 1992 when the award made its debut.

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, who was present at the event, encouraged journalists to continue to be the voice of the people, hold institutions to account, and project issues that need to be addressed.

“Your standards must never be lowered for anything and definitely not in this age in which social media and the internet have enabled the easy amplification of fake news, malicious reports, and hate speech that are intended to give undue political advantage or to divide our society or even derail this our democracy,” Sanwo-Olu added.

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