By Temidayo Ajibola
The President of the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM), Ajibola Abayomi, was among top dignitaries both in Nigeria and overseas honoured with the United Nations Economic And Social Council (UNESC) 2021 awards and induction into humanitarian hall of fame held in Abuja at the weekend.
The event was organized by the UNESC in conjunction with the Global Fundamental Need Aid and Development Forum. The UNESC- Africa, The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is responsible for the direction and coordination of the economic, social, humanitarian and cultural activities of the United Nations.
The UNESC-ECOSOC was established by the UN charter of 1945 with amendment in 1965 and 1974 to increase the numbers from 18-54. The ECOSOC membership is based on geographic representation where 14 seats are allocated to Africa, 11 to Asia, 6 to Eastern Europe, 10 Latin America and the Caribbean and 13 to the Western Europe and other areas.
Presenting the award, the UNESC Africa Chairman, Dr Williams Azuma Ijoma said the JIFORM President was singled out because of his passion for migrants and migration reportage over the years.
“Ajibola, is one journalist that is passionate about migration matters. We recall how he was able to mobilise the media to call the attention of the Nigerian government to the plight of thousands of Nigerian-migrants that were stranded in Africa and the Middle East since last year. Not only this, JIFORM under his leadership has become a global force in migration issues championing the humanitarian advocacy for safe, orderly and regular migration. On behalf of the UNESC Chairman, His Excellency Prince Dr Yodel Lang and the entire UNESC team we are proud to present to you this award.”
Responding, Ajibola said the award was one of the most surprising laurels he has received in his career as he was only in Abuja to be part of the UNESC celebration but unknown to him he had been penciled for the hall of fame. “Let me say on behalf of the JIFORM with over 300 journalists covering migration across the continents, I received and thank UNESC for this honour. I am pledging our support for all your humanitarian activities and we shall make available to you the media machinery at our disposal to promote your event.
“I am dedicating this award to all JIFORM members and migrants that are in challenging situations across the globe. Please be rest assured that help is on the way. With this, I am resolute to do more for humanity.”
Recipients of the UNESC awards in different categories Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, the former military governor of River State now His Royal Majestic Diete Spiff, the Amayunabo of Towu Brass, Bayelsa, HRM Dr Herbert N. U Ukutaa JP, Group Captain Miss Ajani Aileru, Ambassador A. Hajaig, CP Frank, the Public Relations Officer, Ambassador Paul Obazele and others.
Caption:From left: Dr Williams Ijoma Azuma, the African Chairman, United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESC) with the winner of the UNESC Humanitarian Migration Award 2021, Ajibola Abayomi, the President of the Journalists International Forum For Migration, (JIFORM) at the Chida Hotel Abuja on October 29, 2021 during the induction into the UN Hall of Fame.