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President Tinubu congratulates veteran journalist, Ray Ekpu at 75

Mr Ray Ekpu veteran Nigerian journalist 640x390

Nigerian President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has felicitated with Mr Ray Ekpu, a veteran journalist and celebrated columnist on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

President Tinubu extended his message of goodwill to the veteran journalist via a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Ajuri Ngelale, on Sunday in Abuja.

According to the President, Ekpu’s life was synonymous with the struggle for freedom, democracy and the entrenchment of good governance in Nigeria.

Ray Ekpu

Mr Ray Ekpu in his office as Daily Times Editorial Board adviser

He lauded Mr Ekpu’s doggedness and commitment towards progressive ideals while noting that the journalist has althrough his years, lived a purposeful life.

His statement reads, “I join friends, family and admirers of the veteran journalist and respected columnist, Mr Ray Ekpu, in celebrating his purposeful life as he marks his 75th birthday.

“In a career spanning over 50 years in the Nigerian media landscape, Mr. Ekpu has consistently demonstrated a dogged commitment to progressive ideals.

“His pen has been deployed to the service of society through frank, analytical and engaging commentary that is uniquely characterised by his beautiful prose.

“As he marks his 75th birthday, I send my heartfelt congratulations to this doyen of journalism on behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria,” the President said.

Mr Ray Ekpu is a veteran journalist, prose craftsman, prolific writer, renowned columnist, analyst and informed commentator. He is a co-founder of Newswatch Publications.

Uncle Ray as he is fondly called across the nation, was born on August 6, 1948, in Ukanafnn, Akwa Ibom State. He is married to Uyai Peter Ekereke.

Uncle Ray and his wife got married in 1977.

After several years of garnering professional experience and working in various media outfits including the Nigerian Chronicle, Calabar as Features Editor between 1974 – 1976, Sunday Chronicle, Calabar as Acting Editor from 1976 – 1977 and also working as Director, Yadara Nigeria Limited, Uncle Ray was once a Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Cross River State Chapter between 1976 – 1977 and a one time Vice-President of the Commonwealth Journalists Association.

Currently, he is a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Commonwealth Journalists Association as well as the Nigerian Human Rights Commission and Police Service Commission.

Uncle Ray Ekpu is also currently a member of the National Agency for the Control of HIV and Aids (NACA) and ultimately, a Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors.

He attended the Ibibio State College, Ikot Ekpene from 1960 – 1964, Holy Family College, Abak, from 1966 – 1968 and had his tertiary education at the University of Lagos between 1970 – 1973.

He also attended the Indiana State University, Bloomington, USA from 1977.

Due to his meritorious service spanning through the years, Mr Ray Ekpu has been a beneficiary of several categories of award and recognitions including the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Akwa Ibom State Award “for Excellence in Journalism,” Award for Professional Excellence by Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio in 1990, winner, The Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award (TOYP), for 1988, by Jaycee International in Sydney, Australia, 1988 as well as the winner, International Editor of the Year Award by World Press Review, New York in 1987.

Others include Distinguished Alumnus Merit Award by University of Lagos Alumni Association, Akwa Ibom State Branch in 1994, Gold Awards for 25 Nigerian Celebrities by Delight Productions Limited, 1988 and University of Lagos Alumni Association Achievers Award, 1997 amongst others.

The veteran journalist also has to his credit, several published works in a myriad of both local and international newspapers and magazines including the Portland Oregonian, Milwaukee Sentinel, New York Times, International Herald, Tribune and the Journal of Democracy.

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