Celebrating the ingeniously outstanding contributions to the journalism profession, Publisher of Neptune Prime Online Newspaper, Malam Hassan Gimba Ahmed, a native of Fika in Yobe State, has been conferred with an honorary Ph.D (Honoris Causa) in Creative Writing and Journalism by the African American University, Porto-Novo, Republic of Benin.
At the 2020 awards ceremony of the university held at Sango-Ota, Ogun State, Malam Hassan Gimba Ahmed was conferred with the honour alongside 25 other awardees.
An elated Hassan Gimba who is the first in his state to receive such award, speaking with Neptune Prime reporter at the occasion, said the award has further given credit to the saying that not all efforts go unnoticed or unappreciated.
In his words, “I am elated to be honoured today. Normally, these awards, people buy them. So when they told me I will be given an award, the first thing I told them was that I don’t have money.
“I know how people go out of their ways to get such awards. But they told me, ‘No, you are not going to give a kobo, it is based on your achievements in journalism’. So I feel honoured and I feel that all the efforts that I have been doing, though not for rewards have gotten me a reward.”
Dr Gimba, who is also a columnist with Blueprint newspaper, however diffused any insinuation of him deviating from his vision in life, adding that his new elevation will only strengthen him to continue on the path he has chosen for himself.
“Well, at my age, there is nothing more that I have an ambition for, I will continue doing what I have been doing. This award just goes to strengthen me to continue to do what I have been doing and to remain on the path.
“This is because if I had a doubt that what I have been doing may not have been known or seen by people or recognized, now I know it’s not so! So I will continue with what I have been doing, nothing more, just what I have been doing”, he emphasised.
Also speaking at the event, the Chancellor and Founder of the University, Professor Benjamin Ezeohagwu described Malam Hassan Gimba as a great Journalist of repute who the faculty members of the university have monitored over the years.
Ezeohagwu further explained that Hassan Gimba, by virtue of his contributions to Nigeria and journalism, African American University has found him worthy to be awarded and conferred with PhD honorary causa in creative writing and journalism.
“Malam Hassan Gimba is a great Journalist, and having gone through his works and contributions on daily basis for the past six months, I realised am dealing with a great Nigerian Journalist”, he added.
He, therefore, described Hassan Gimba as a model to the young generation of journalists.
Also speaking with Neptune Prime correspondent, a close friend of the awardee Professor Muhammad Khalid Othman, who was at the event described the award as well-deserving, adding that the awardee had encouraged numerous individuals including himself to find their feet in journalism.
“This award is based on recognition, this is because Malam Hassan is someone who is a social crusader, who writes about society, he wants modern society, he wants the good of this nation and he has even been doing more with his own media outfit, Neptune Prime.
“For him to be recognised by a university, I think it is to say that the university watches what happens and recognises those who deserved to be recognised”, Othman said.
Felicitating with the awardee, a former Deputy Director of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Baba Goni Mustapha, described the award as a rare and prestigious honour bestowed on Hassan Gimba in recognition of his highly intellectual, incisive, progressive and balanced journalism that touches on various subjects in this country.
In a direct message sent to Dr Malam Hassan Gimba, the deputy director wrote “You have persistently and passionately been re-echoing that our failure as a nation is largely due to lack of purposeful and visionary leadership which I share with you and indeed by any progressive mind.
“When most journalists in this country have compromised their roles as watchdogs and voices for the people due to greed, you are amongst the few that shunned bootlicking and praise-singing of our leaders but continue to stick to your role as the conscience of the people.
“I am once more proud of you today for the honour conferred upon you and may the Almighty Allah continue to bless, protect and guide you in shaping the minds of Nigerians towards making our great country functional and a responsible one”.
Story by Neptune Prime