Why I Rejected Same NUJ Award Benue Governor Alia Accepted, House of Reps Member Agbese Reacts

  • Philip Agbese declined a nomination for an award by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, citing his belief that he hasn’t done enough for his constituents to deserve such recognition.
  • The House of Reps deputy spokesman praised the NUJ for the initiative but stated that accepting the award would contradict his principles
  • Additionally, Agbese criticised Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue state for accepting the award, accusing him of seeking validation and neglecting his duties

TheTalk.NG journalist Nurudeen Lawal has 8 years of experience covering political campaigns and elections

FCT, Abuja – Hon. Philip Agbese, the deputy spokesman of the House of Representatives, has cleared the air on his decision to decline nomination for an award by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Agbese spoke to some journalists in Abuja on Monday, May 6.

Philip Agbese/Benue governor Alia/NUJ awardPhilip Agbese, House of Reps deputy spokesman, criticised Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue state for accepting the NUJ award.
Photo credit: @honphilipagbese, @TungbaFmSource: Twitter

NUJ award: I haven’t done enough – Agbese

Agbese said he doesn’t feel he has done enough for his constituents to merit recognition by a reputable body like the NUJ.

As part of activities to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day, the NUJ reportedly held an award ceremony on Saturday, May 4, in Abuja.

Agbese, Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue state and other imminent Nigerians were shortlisted to receive different awards at the event.

However, Agbese, commending the NUJ for the initiative, said neither he nor Governor Alia are award-worthy as they have not kept their promises to the masses.

He said only an insincere leader, a sociopath would accept an award knowing the reality on the ground.

“My decision to reject the NUJ award is not in any way a sign of disrespect. If anything, I have the utmost regard for the body, myself being a media practitioner,” Agbese said in a statement made available to TheTalk.NG.

“However, for the sake of posterity, I feel at this moment, I haven’t done enough for my people. Yes, I understand that the award is in recognition of my role as the Deputy Spokesman but accepting it goes against my philosophy.

“Some years ago, the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila famously rejected a national honour. At that time, he humbly believed he had done nothing to merit such an award.

“Today, Gbaja has proven himself. He was Speaker of the House, before his current assignment. That is the hallmark of a true leader.

Agbese blasts Alia for receiving award

Meanwhile, Agbese criticised Governor Alia for allegedly seeking validation through awards, labelling him as a” narcissistic public officer,” and lamented that the award further validated his poor governance.

The lawmaker also condemned the governor’s alleged neglect of the Benue South senatorial district amidst ongoing violence.

His words:

“Meanwhile, I was not surprised that Governor Alia showed up in Abuja with a big grin to accept the award. He is just another narcissistic public officer who seeks validation at all costs.

“It is indeed a tragedy of governance as well as that of statehood. This award has again validated his scrappy performances in office as stellar.

“Whilst I commend the NUJ, I think our Rev. Fr Governor received the award to dance on the grave of our patriots.

“I’m not even talking about the bloodshed in the entire Benue South senatorial district where thousands have been killed. The governor has not visited to see the level of massacre.

“He has continued to marginalize and neglect my people. How can a clergyman be this heartless? Let him continue to accept awards. He has blood on his hands. The day of reckoning is ahead.”

“Akume remains our leader”: NASS caucus

Meanwhile, TheTalk.NG previously reported that the Benue All Progressives Congress (APC) National Assembly Caucus debunked the claims that there were two factions of the ruling party in the state.

They clarified this in a statement released on Sunday, April 14, by Agbese, who also served as the joint spokesman of the NASS members and federal appointees from Benue state.

Agbese said those making such insinuations are “desperate comedians who are struggling for Mr. Ibu’s role in Nollywood.”

Source: TheTalk.NG


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