MEMBERS of Staff of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday celebrated the retiring Assistant Editor-in-Chief, Mr Donald Ugwu, for his diligence and fatherly roles played throughout his service in the agency.
They poured encomiums on him, describing him as a simple and humble man, who fears God.
Many also described Ugwu as hardworking, generous, patient, tolerant and trustworthy during the event which took place at the Abuja newsroom of the headquarters.
NAN Editor-in-Chief (EIC), Mr Silas Nwoha, narrated his good working relationship and moments with Ugwu which started in Port Harcourt where they were both reporters.
The EIC said Ugwu’s diligence and patience at work was his first point of attraction before he later realised they were brothers, describing him as somebody very pleasant to work with.
Nwoha advised the younger journalists in the agency to tap from Ugwu’s wealth of experience even in his retirement, while wishing him all the best in the new phase of life.
The EIC said there was a time to come and go and it was time for Ugwu to leave the service.
“As you go, please go in peace and your retirement is the beginning of an exciting journey of your life.
“Congratulations on delivering your best to the service of our fatherland through NAN,” he said.
Also, reporters and other senior colleagues who spoke at the brief ceremony praised Ugwu for always being there to work on their stories, even at odd hours.
Malam Basir Rabe-Mani, also a Deputy Editor-in-Chief in Abuja prayed for success in all his future ventures.
He described Ugwu as a good writer and a competent news controller.
He advised other members of staff to plan for retirement, set a goal for themselves and work towards achieving such goals in order to have something to fall on after retirement.
He advised the retiring AEIC to get something doing in order to keep fit and be active, to avoid boredom and unnecessary thinking,” Rabe-Mani, advised.
He prayed also for Ugwu to have a healthy and restful retirement, full of blessings and opportunities.
Ms Fatima Sule an Assistant Editor-in-Chief who worked with Ugwu on his current retiring desk commended him for his elderly advice and respectable roles played while in service.
She prayed for his success and wished him well in his endeavours in life.
Also, Mr Emmanuel Yashim, an Assistant Editor-In-Chief, described Ugwu as a mentor, a father, a dependable boss and a considerate person while in service.
He said that Ugwu had been so supportive to all the members of staff in Abuja with a unique quality that distinguished him from others.
“I succeeded Ugwu on the Foreign desk of the agency, he spoke to me in a brotherly way and not as a boss, I wish him well,” he said.
Mrs Bridget Ikyado, a Principal Correspondent, said that Ugwu was ”a patient man and highly talented”.
She described him Ugwu as a man with smiles that could calm a colleague down, regardless of challenges faced.
“Mr Ugwu would stay back after closing time at work to work on a report if you approached him, and he did that with a smile, which was a sign of belonging, being carried along and cared for.
She prayed that his hard work and attributes in NAN would open doors for him in retirement.
Mr Gabriel Agbaje, a Principal Correspondent, also praised Ugwu for his selflessness and willingness to always offer assistance.
He commended the outgoing AEIC for his hard work and soft-hearted personality.
Also Mr Emmanuel Oloniruha, a Principal Correspondent on politics desk, advised the retiring editor to be closer to the Almighty God and be more religious.
He recalled that Mr Ugwu was once a controller on the desk and never treated them badly.
“He is calm, approaches and resolves issues in the right way by not being biased,” he said.
Responding, Ugwu who was served last as Head, Science and Technology Desk, was full of gratitude , thanked all his colleagues, appreciated all the prayers, goodwill messages and advice..
Ugwu who will be 60 years on Saturday, encouraged staff of the agency to remain united towards a prosperous news agency.
According to him, there is need for young journalists to be part of the change making process of the profession and the Journalism industry.
“There is need for people not to demean one another in the process of the Journalism profession, don’t ignore anybody because we can always learn from each other.
“Wherever you are, do your best to make an impact in spite of the desk, always explore to learn more,” Ugwu said.
He recalled how he had been practising the profession since 1985, trying his best to liaise with colleagues anywhere he worked.
“I started Journalism as a student and I have never had a bad record in history since then, I have worked with radio, television; newspaper houses and the multi-media.
” I have been in Journalism to explore and I explored,” Ugwu said.(NAN)