, 24 September, 2019 / 5:30 PM
Various personalities who have been supporting a Catholic newspaper in Nigeria, The Catholic Star, were celebrated and awarded at an event last Friday where the publication was also recognized “the overall best Catholic newspaper in the country,” Nigerian Spiritan priest Fr. Kuha Indyer who was part of the event reported.
Four members were awarded following their support of the newspaper over the years, among them, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, Prof. Laugh Kembe, Julius Atorough, and Governor Samuel Ortom.
“Celebrating people who have been assisting the growth of the newspaper is a worthwhile venture,” Prof. Tor Iorapuu said.
He acknowledged the significant role of the Catholic newspaper saying “The Catholic Star has saved the state.”
“The Voice Newspaper, which is published by the state government was hot cake in its heydays as it was sold all over the nation,” Prof. Iorapuu observed and shared about the challenges the State is having in sustaining its age-long source of information.
“The Catholic Star has come in as an intervention to fill the information gap in the state and it is patronized in the state and beyond,” Prof. Iorapuu disclosed.
The Friday, September 20 event took place at Holy Ghost Parish, Makurdi, the capital of Benue State in Nigeria.
At the event, the Executive Secretary of Benue State Teaching Service Board, Dr. Wilfred Uji lauded the Catholic Church for her contribution to development in society and asked rhetorically, “Where could we have been without the Catholic church?”
Dr. Uji highlighted the role of newspapers in the liberation struggle of many countries including Nigeria saying, “Publishers of newspapers such as The West African Pilot, struggled to bring changes to society.”
He encouraged online presence by the church and challenged Church media outlets “to do more in terms of Research and Documentation which is important in the academic sphere.”
Lady Dorcas Ukpen recognized the Motto of the Catholic newspaper “The Voice of the Voiceless” and said that the newspaper “stands for the marginalised who have no voice in the society.”
“It is thus a commendable thing to honour those who ensure that the voiceless are given a voice in our society,” Lady Ukpen underscored.
In 2016, the newspaper celebrated and awarded selected members in recognition of their humanitarian services.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa