The TV station last won the Best Station of the Year in 2017, in addition to claiming the prize in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Channels Television’s General Manager (Special Duties), Mr Steve Judo, led a team of staff members to the event to receive the awards on behalf of the organisation.
Others in attendance include the Controller of Programmes, Mr Ambrose Okoh, and Channels TV Presenter, Gimba Umar.
Elsewhere, TVC’s Mike Okwoche won the Television Newscaster of the Year while the Punch Newspaper beat the Guardian Newspaper and Daily Trust to win the Babatunde Jose Prize for the Newspaper of the Year.
Also in the print category, Abraham Ogbodo of the Guardian Newspaper bagged the Dele Giwa Prize for Editor of the Year, beating Nasir Abubakar of Daily Trust and the Punch’s Martin Ayankola.
A former governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, as well as a marketing communications practitioner, Biodun Shobanjo, were also recognised for a professional life dedicated to media excellence and service to the nation.
Prior to the postponement, the electoral body had said it would not shift the election, but later accepted the advice of the security agencies.
Inconclusive Election Fears
INEC has conducted several elections after the former Chairman of the Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, left office after the general elections of 2015. Most of the elections were declared inconclusive.
The recurrence of inconclusive elections in different states since the new chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, took over, has triggered concerns, with analysts expecting possible inconclusive election in Edo State, having considered the weight that the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osagie Ize-Iyamu and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Godwin Obaseki, pull in the state.
Electorates in Edo State had filed out in their numbers on Wednesday, September 28, to choose their next governor. It was one of its kind, an election holding on a weekday.
Electorates in Nigeria are used to weekend voting, but this Edo Election is peculiar, with so much expected from the electoral body that had been offered an opportunity in the postponement to perfect its strategies to give the people of Edo State a free, fair and credible election.
Voting began early enough, with INEC holding on to its new strategy – simultaneous accreditation and voting.
Voting ended pretty well and in good time in most polling units and votes were counted at the locations with voters waiting to get the results of the votes before leaving.
With the process running smoothly till evening, observers and reporters expected that the collation of results would begin few hours later at the headquarters of the INEC in the state’s capital, Benin City, but that did not happen.
Gradually, their patience waned, some voters could no longer wait, while reporters resorted to watching movies at the headquarters of INEC where they were waiting.
Voters that had become nervous over the delay in return of materials from the local councils began to gather at the headquarters of INEC questioning why there was delay in return of the ballot papers for final collation and result announcement.
Despites the assurance of an INEC National Commissioner, Solomon Soyebi, that some results were ready, none came in till Thursday morning.
“From tracking we know that some results are ready,” he said, but none came in.
While APGA called for total cancelation of the process, the PDP claimed that the incumbent Governor, Adams Oshiomhole of the APC and INEC planned to rig the election at the collation centre.
While these claims were made, the delay compounded issues, leaving most Nigerians awake through the night.
Patiently they waited for the results which came in on Thursday.
Some minutes after 12 midnight, Channels Television’s political correspondent in Benin City, Seun Okinbaloye, said some vehicles moved into INEC Headquarters blaring siren. “It appears they have some results,” Seun said.
Collation of results began later that morning, leading to the announcement of Godwin Obaseki as the winner of the election.
Mr Obaseki of the APC polled 319,483 votes while the candidate of the PDP, his closest rival, for 253,173 votes.
The result ended expectations that the election could be declared inconclusive, but did not end claims by opposition parties that the result was manipulated.
With the results announced, it was time for Nigerians to react to the process and performance of INEC in the governorship election that sought of ended an inconclusive election jinx.
A poll was initiated by Channels Television on Twitter and over 5,000 Twitter users voted in the poll that began hours after the election result was announced.
Expressing their displeasure with the process some residents and supporters of the PDP had held protests after the result was declared, claiming that there were irregularities that flawed the process.
War of words have continued over the election process, but this is not new to Nigerians’ as Nigeria’s elections are usually characterised by post-election Tribunal cases, a ‘deja-vu’ that may follow the governorship election of Edo State that was largely adjudged peaceful by observers.
The pains felt after the 2015 election of the National Assembly’s leadership still lingers within the All Progressives Congress (APC).
National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun, says the party is still bitter that they lost the seat of the Deputy Senate President to the PDP.
In an exclusive interview with our political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, Chief Oyegun said that the party would continue to maintain the high level of discipline over its members and insists that impeachment plans against the President will be futile.
Nigerians could be in for more surprises in the New Year as more high profile personalities might face trial in 2016.
The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Professor Itsey Sagay, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, said that the last set of looting of the nation’s wealth was in desperation to win elections at all cost.
“What I saw from all I have put together is that this last set of looting arose out of determination for reelection. Money was being distributed recklessly and thoughtlessly in order to get back to power at any cost.
“The evidence is still hot, the witnesses are present. The amounts are huge and unprecedented; amounts that have crippled the government from functioning effectively.
“The only thing you can do is to go after those first and there is much. I can tell you that the corruption is at every level; from these prominent politicians to the lowliest civil servants and even private sector.
“But the ones in the public sector, over which these high profile politicians are involved, I suspect, (would make up) probably over 90% in terms of assets that have been stolen.
“Those are the things that have to be dealt with first because they are immediate. So it is not discriminatory, it just happened that the people in government are doing these things. We are all living witnesses of what happened in the NSA’s office.
“You cannot overlook those things and say ‘oh they may suspect me of being selective’. If you leave it then you have left the substance,” he said.
Professor Sagay gave the assurance that the present government remains committed to fighting corruption at all levels but acknowledged the need for caution.
“My personal view, not the committee’s view and certainly not the government’s view, is that the position of the President is a sensitive one. If somebody has been a president before he should be very careful in thinking of any physical thing like incarceration and so on.”
He added, “Efficient investigation, effective prosecution, speedy adjudication and effective sanctions. Those are the four policies we are working on.
“You’re going to see slowness at the beginning but the results, when they begin to come, will make a great impact – a decisive departure from the past.”
The Police might have assured Nigerians that it has made adequate security ahead of the Kogi polls, but there are fears that some unscrupulous people have plans to make things difficult for them.
The Chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group, Zikiru Llahi Ibrahim, said that the group has information that lends credence to this troubling development.
Speaking to Channels TV Correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, live from Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, Mr Ibrahim said that in Ofu Local Government, TMG observers noticed the movement of light arms which they reported to security agents.
He said that the security agencies have assured the group that they had swung into action and their men were on ground to prevent any lawless acts.
He noted that asides this development in Ofu, the state has remained peaceful with heavy presence of security operatives, and based on their observation there is no cause for alarm as no local government has been identified as volatile.
The Transition Monitoring Group has over 300 men in Kogi State for the election.
Nigeria’s Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has asked Nigerians not to expect a miracle from the incoming government of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Channels TV correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, the former Vice President stressed that the challenges facing the country are enormous, stating that such would require a step-by-step approach to solving them.
He also noted that devolution of powers should be an urgent matter the Buhari administration should pursue, expressing his fears that too much powers lie within the office of the President of Nigeria.
Alhaji Abubakar decried the weakness of the Nigeria institution, advising that Nigerians should be patient with the incoming government in order to achieve its campaign promises.
The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu has backed the call for troops to take charge of security to ensure peace in the forthcoming general elections.
This is coming after some Nigerians kicked against the deployment of the military for the exercise based on a court judgement against the move.
However, it appears the debate on the deployment of soldiers for the conduct of the general elections may not end soon.
In an interview with Channels Television’s political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, Mr Odinkalu gave his opinion on the matter, noting that Nigeria is currently in a state of war, which justifies such action in line with the Geneva Convention Act.
The immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, says there is no governor in the history of the state that has done more stomach infrastructure than that of his administration.
This is coming as the newly sworn in governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, said that he would give attention to stomach infrastructure.
Dr Fayemi, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, believes that he has provided a lot of physical infrastructure to lift the people of the state out of the darkness of the past and he has no regrets on any of his actions during the four years he spent as governor.
He also revealed to Channels Television that there is a mystery behind the results of the June 21 governorship election, where he was defeated by Mr Fayose. He said that the mystery would soon be revealed.
The term ‘stomach infrastructure’ has become synonymous with the politics of Ekiti State, as the politicians keep making reference to it.
The term came into prominence during the build-up to the election when candidates devised several means, including the distribution of food items, to win the hearts of voters.
It is also believed that ‘stomach infrastructure’ refers to policies and projects with direct impact on the economic condition of the citizens.
The Nigerian government pays millions of Naira in subsidies daily to help reduce the cost to as low as 50 Naira, but the average Nigerian buys the product at a price almost triple the official rate.
It is the most popular fuel for domestic cooking in Nigeria, but the high cost is making life difficult for Nigerians who depend on the product to cook, light their lamps – lack of electricity- and even (Atupa) lamps at night markets.
Channels Television’s correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, investigated the pricing of the product and how the average Nigerian struggles to buy and is ripped of his little earnings even as subsidy payment on the product continues.
Where does the subsidy money go? What is being subsidised?
Nigeria has over 30 million households; 90 per cent of these cook at least once everyday with fuels like kerosene.
The Bureau of Statistics says an average household spends about 500 Naira on food daily, but spends half that amount on kerosene daily.
Although there are huge health, environmental and economic benefits of switching from kerosene to gas for cooking, but gas is perceived as a rich man’s product.
Nigeria holds the world’s seventh largest gas reserves and is among the world’s top oil producing countries.
Despite this, more than 100 million Nigerians are unable to afford electricity or gas and greater chunk of these number are stuck with kerosene.
The Nigerian government pays subsidy on kerosene and so they require marketers to sell kerosene below market rates. It pays the marketers the difference between the market price and the government-approved retail price of 50 Naira. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is the sole importer of the fuel but even at their own retail filling stations you hardly will find the product being sold let alone getting it at the retail price.
Seun moved around town and found the prices of kerosene written boldly on the signs as 50 Naira, but the reality is that it’s hardly sold at that price. In fact sometimes it is sold three times more.
When he visited some filling stations, starting with government owned NNPC the discovery was shocking, Kerosene was not available for sales.
From NNPC to yet another one, again, it’s a sorry tale.
At another private filling station, this time the product is available but the retail price of 50 Naira boldly written on the ‘price sign post’ is just a deceit.
It appears most people have lost hope in the filling stations and for people living in the interiors some roadside retailers are common place.
Wahab Arowosaiye, one of such retailers, has been in the business for many years. He said the product is sold to them at 130 Naira per litre and he sells at between 135 to 140 Naira.
An economist, Bismack Rewane, said that the high price of the product was as a result of the fact that Nigeria’s Kerosene serves dual purpose – as aviation fuel and domestic use.
The situation is not any better in some other parts of the country.
In an area like Port Harcourt at the heart of Nigeria’s oil producing region the situation is pitiable, even though some of the oil products are explored in their backyards, with a saddening story of polluted water and land, here, kerosene is gold.
The situation in the south may be dire but one can only imagine what goes on up north.
The Osonwa’s have a family size of about nine. They reside around new extension area of Kaduna State. Kerosene is what they use for their cooking but their story is not pleasant.
“We buy one bottle (1.3 litres) for 150 Naira. In a month, we spend more than 7000 Naira to cook. Even though you go to the market to buy food stuff, the kerosene to cook it with is the problem,” a member of the family said.
The essence of the subsidies on kerosene is to ease pains on the average Nigerian but, increasingly, the situation is looking rather hopeless.
Figures like a whooping 700 million Naira is spent on subsidising kerosene daily but the effect is not felt by Nigerians. Where do we go from here?
Mr Rewane suggested a total removal of the subsidy and a reinvestment of part of the funds into the education and productive sectors.
What has been done about the situation? Many will ask.
A lawyer, Femi Falana, stressed that “it is the duty of the government to do something about the anomalies and corruption that have swallowed-up the implementation of the subsidy.
A few people benefit from the subsidy while the poor groan over the scarcity of kerosene and the high cost of the available quantity. The essence of the subsidies appears lost, one hopes the dilemma will end soon.
But one question we ask is: Is it not better Subsidy on Kerosene is removed?
Voting in the Osun governorship election in Nigeria’s south-west region has ended, while sorting and counting are on-going.
The exercise began with accreditation as early as 8:00am on Saturday and ended at 12:00 noon.
Channels Television’s correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, reports that the turn out of voters was on the high side in most parts monitored and that the situation has been largely calm, as residents went about the process without any rancour.
Twenty candidates, representing 20 political parties are vying for the ticket to the Osun government house. One of the candidates is the incumbent governor, Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress.
A total of 1,407,222 registered voters spread across three senatorial districts, are expected to exercise their franchise.
Osogbo, the state capital, has the highest number of registered voters with 110,670, followed closely by Ife Central with a voting population of 95,471.
Nineteen domestic and 10 foreign observers were accredited by the electoral commission to monitor the election.
The commission has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that the election result reflects the will of the people. It had requested for the deployment of a large number of security personnel in the state for the election to ensure that the process was peaceful.
Click here to view more pictures from the election that observers have described as peaceful.
The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Ekiti governorship election has berated the use of money to sway the minds of electorates during the election insisting that he has left everything in the hands of God.
Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, he said “money for me in this game will destroy so many things and will destroy our future. For me, I have been in my house and I have left everything to God. Whichever way it goes, I have taken it as every good gift comes from God almighty.
“I have put in my best during the campaigns and I have left everything in the hands of God”, he said.
The incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), speaking after casting his vote noted that he had cause to speak to the Inspector General of Police he failed to reach President Goodluck Jonathan.
He noted that he was compelled to reach them over the violation of the election procedure by the Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.
In his words “I haven’t been able to get Mr President or his Chief of Staff. I had cause this morning to speak to the Inspector-General of Police, not once, not twice, particularly about this minister of state who was violating the election procedure.
“I have also had cause to speak to the Chief of Army Staff about some untoward activities by his own men on the ground here”, he said.
He however noted that “it has not reached a stage where this should be escalated to the president yet but I will like to think that the president himself will not want a situation that throws Ekiti into jeopardy”.
Meanwhile, candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Bamidele Michael Opeyemi noted that “it feels good to participate in an election that will herald me into the office as the next governor of Ekiti State” insisting that “that is my fate, that is my belief and that is my conviction.
“I want to say that so far, the process appears reasonable and again my hope and prayer is that what I have witnessed here at my polling unit, will be the standard of what is going on in each and every of the 2195 polling units being used by INEC to conduct this election “ he opined.
Vote Counting Begins
Ballot counting has started in some parts of Ekiti State after the governorship election voting exercise that witnessed large turnout of voters.
Voters waited patiently after casting their votes in the Saturday election to get the results from their polling booths. They echoed results as ad-hoc officials of the electoral body counted the ballots in Ado Ekit, the capital of the state.
Channels Television’s correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, reports that it has been a peaceful process with heavy security presence in the state.