By DAMILOLA AKINBODE
It was a night of glory for Leadership Newspaper at the 13th Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award where its Assistant Business Editor, Anthony Awunor emerged the best aviation writer for the year 2019.
The annual award ceremony, which was held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, recently witnessed the crème-de-la-crème of the society, especially in politics, business, and entertainment, property, banking, ICT, media and others.
Awunor, LEADERSHIP Newspaper aviation writer was announced as the winner of ‘Aviation Writer of the Year’ award after his nomination alongside five other journalists from Punch, Daily Trust, BusinessDay, Guardian and ThisDay Newspapers.
Awunor after receiving the award commended organisers for their objectivity and due diligence in picking him as the winner. He also lauded the management of LEADERSHIP Newspaper for offering him the platform to exhibit his skills, while he dedicated the award to God.
Top personalities who were honoured at the event include Governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle who won the Best Security Conscious Governor of The Year. Others are: Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, the first lady of Ondo state, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu among others.
The theme of this year’s award ceremony is “Nigerian Economy and Political Development: Finding the Missing Piece” delivered by a former presidential aspirant, John Onche Shaibu, who also doubled as the Keynote Speaker.
The organizers of Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award also honoured late Precious Owolabi, the Channels Television Corps member who was killed by a stray bullet in Abuja during the clash between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force.
NMNA which was put together by the convener, Sola Olugbemiro presented a post-humous award of reporter of the year to Precious’ parent at the event, while a property firm, Revolution Plus, also donated a plot of land to the parent in his name.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Revolution Plus, Bamidele Onalaja, the heroic act of the young journalist who tried to carve a niche for himself as a corps member with Channels Television must not be allowed to be forgotten.
Semiu Okanlawon, the former Special Adviser to former Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, was honoured with the award for the Innovative PRMedia Relations Expert of the Year. Other winners are TVC, Ayodele Ezekiel Ozugbakun, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, Zobi FM, Seun Okinbaloye of Channels TV, Wazobia FM Kwara among others. In the banking category, Fidelity Bank emerged Media Friendly Bank of The Year.
Meanwhile, Anthony Okechukwu Awunor hails from Ubulu Uku in Aniocha South LGA of Delta State and was born in 1970. He attended St Anthony’s College, Ubulu Uku before proceeding to the University of Lagos where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics. He started his journalism career with Financial Standard in 2006. After which he joined National Mirror Newspaper. From there, he moved on to The Moment Newspaper as a Senior correspondent, covering Motoring and Aviation beats. From The Moment, he moved on to the Union Newspaper where he rose to the position of an Assistant Business Editor.
When Union Newspaper closed shop, Awunor relocated to Abuja where he was appointed as the Editor of Zest Travellers Magazine, an international tourism publication circulated all over the world.
It was at Zest Travellers, that leadership appointed him to work with the Newspaper as an Assistant Business Editor, a position that he holds till date.
Awunor has attended many professional courses at home and abroad, including the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria Kaduna State.
The Assistant Business Editor is currently, the Head of Media and Communications of the Umu Umu Anioma Foundation Worldwide, a non-religious, non-for-profit socio-cultural organisation, made up of indigenes of Anioma in Delta State and has bi-sect headquarters in Asaba and Atlanta, Georgia U.S.A.
His hobbies include volunteer services, reading and travelling. He is married and blessed with children.
Other dignitaries present at the Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award ceremony were: Vice Chairman NMNA, John Onche Shaibu; celebrities, media gurus, politicians and professionals.