Ethical fiasco! Untold truths about The Sun’s hospitality award to Obi Cubana

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Ethical fiasco! Untold truths about The Sun’s hospitality award to Obi Cubana

October 09
19:13 2021

• Pundits fume as newspaper names night club entrepreneur winner of its esteemed prize

• The scandal of awards in Nigeria’s media landscape

A wise man once said that all shady personalities in world history reappear in one fashion or another. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.

Whatever the nature of their appearance, their humanity or otherwise is vividly captured in their deeds and character. The three grades of character are superior, medium and inferior: the superior is just good, the medium is capable of development either in an upward or a downward direction, and the inferior is just evil.

Of these three grades, the recipients of most press awards in Nigeria have been known to achieve random spread.

There is no gainsaying Nigerian newspapers’ penchant for giving awards to politicians, technocrats, and magnates, recently took a bad turn with The Sun’s recent pronouncement of nightclub owner and businessman, Obi Iyiegbu, aka Obi Cubana as The Sun Hospitality Icon 2020.

The newspaper clearly subjected itself to ridicule by giving the award to Cubana using no convincing or justifiable yardstick to determine his win.

Cubana was named alongside others including Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, Buba Marwa, Frank Okafor, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Shuaibu Ibrahim among others.

Obi Cubana’s award has incited condemnations within and outside sociopolitical circuits, as critics cite a conflict of morality and media ethics in the wake of the event. Many have flayed The Sun for allegedly pawning off the prize to the highest bidder thus losing the significance of the awards.

He barged into public consciousness due to the extravagant funeral ceremony he held for his late mother a few months ago.

Since that incident, Obi Iyiegbu has not stopped receiving gifts from his friends, employees, and those he had supported through life. It was earlier reported that Obi got 46 cows from his former employee Cubana Chief Priest and 10 cows from his old friend and young billionaire. Jowi Zaza.

Born on April 12, 1975, Obi Cubana, CEO of the Cubana Group, launched his first nightclub known as Ibiza in 2006 in Abuja, which recorded tremendous success. In 2009, he was crowned king of the nightclub following the establishment of the Cubana Group that provides all-around entertainment and satisfaction.

The group currently operates restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, including Rollace Hotels, Lagos, Cubana Leisure Outfits in many parts of the country, Pablo Cubana, Lagos, Crave Cubana, Abuja, Grand Cubana Hotels, Abuja, Opium Cubana, Owerri, Cubana Rapsody, Ikeja, Lagos; Cubana Night Clubs, Lagos, Gustavo Cubana, Enugu and others.

Obi Cubana became a media sensation recently following the grand burial of his mother.

In the wake of The Sun’s award to Obi Cubana, the Nigerian press has come under severe criticism for abandoning its constitutional responsibilities to hold the government accountable to the people in favour of seeking patronage from the corridors of power.

Critics have argued that instead of exposing the societal wrongdoings and corrupt practices, journalists now run after politicians demanding cash thus contributing to the high-handedness of politicians their penchant for corrupting. siphoning public funds.

For instance, every year, media houses organize awards for politicians and their ‘man of the year’ is not the teacher or somebody doing an excellent job, but a member of the political class who in the real sense, may not be qualified for the award.

It would be recalled that Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike, last year, urged journalists to hold government officials accountable, rather than give them awards on the basis of “friendship.”

He stated this when the national leadership of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) paid him a courtesy visit at the government house in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital.

Wike, according to a statement by Kelvin Ebiri, his special assistant on media, said there is a need for journalists to put in more efforts as the strong voice and conscience of the society.

He said, “What I have seen of you is that you praise us and give us awards because of relationship or friendship. That’s not the way it should be. Challenge us — the people in authority — and we will sit up to our responsibilities. We will have no choice but to perform and serve the people as it should be.

“There was a time you were exposing the ills of society. If not for you, certain things will not be known. Assume your role, grow strong again, and speak out.”


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