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Gen Ndiomu, Shittu, Adeniyi, Others Felicitate Beks @ 70


Amongst earlier callers that sent goodwill messages to Elder Asu Beks, publisher of Shipping World magazine, a leading independent maritime industry newspapers on the occasion of his birthday today, January 8, 2024, are Prince Olayiwola Shittu, Chairman of Skelas Group of Companies, the Comptroller General of Customs Service, Wale Adeniyi, President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN, retired Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, Abubakar Bashir and Mrs. Ify Okolue.

The customs CG in a goodwill message noted that   Beks life has been marked by excellence, resilience, and invaluable contributions to the maritime media and wished him and his family well.

“On the occasion of your 70th birthday, I wish to extend my warmest felicitations to you and your family.  As we felicitate with you on this milestone, we note with admiration that you have traversed a remarkable journey filled with academic achievements, professional milestones, and unwavering dedication to your craft.

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“As we celebrate this landmark, it is with all humility that l admit your immense contributions to my success story during my tenure as the National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). Your role in using the might of your pen to contribute to the development of NCS and the nation at large is unquantifiable.

“May this milestone birthday be a joyous occasion filled with reflections on a life well-lived and the anticipation of continued success in the years ahead”, Adeniyi said.

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju , the President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on his part described Asu Beks as a fearless journalist whose professionalism has positively impacted the industry and the nation at large.

In his goodwill message, he said “I am proud of you, Comrade Elder Asu Beks; we as a Union profoundly celebrate you once again, given your tenacity, boldness with your publication, Shipping World Magazine, which has become a trailblazer in the industry .

“May your tireless and selfless efforts in the sector continue to wax stronger and as you celebrate today, the Almighty God will continue to grant stronger as you celebrate today, the Almighty God will continue you good health and sound mind enmeshed in longevity.”

In his own goodwill message, retired ACG Bashir and current Barden Kudun Zazzau, described Asu Beks as a journalist that places premium on the truth in his reportage.

He said, “Asu Beks my friend and brother, an astute journalist, I have come across you in 1992 while I was transferred to Area 1 port Harcourt from Warri Customs command and later we became close and related very well.

“I marked you as a journalist that suffices on the side of the truth hence the long cordial relationship.

On behalf of my family and myself,I want to join your family, friends and well wishers to celebrate you today on your Birthday. May you live long in good health, with uplifted values and virtues from ALMIGHTY ALLAH.”

On his part, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, former ANLCA President, described Asu Beks as an indefatigable doyen of maritime media and one-man squad industry advocate for good governance; noting that the veteran possess a rare childlike attribute that marks him out as a free human being, unburdened by the past and one without malice.

“I understand that Asu Beks means many things to different people; for some of us, he remains a jolly good fellow. His uncommon facility to fight and then makes up easily with the one he had fought with the next day after had always fascinated me, because it speaks about a childlike nature that l think is missing in many of us.

“His unassuming characteristics are one l think is not easily faked, so l believe he possesses that rare quality of childlikeness clothed in the purity of unsoiled innocence. Of the two prefixes to his name, l have been used to the Godfather, corrupted as ‘godfada’ for a long time already; while l am still struggling to situate his other title of ‘elder’; because l think that former clearly overshadows the later .

“His claim to being the maritime media god fada is almost authoritative, since his colleagues have concurred; and that settles the matter. And without controversy, as for the revered title of an Elder, l guess that having clocked 60 years back, it is of no avail to begrudge him that too, having merited it by grace and entitlement; he has joined the elders club.

“I have known Elder Asu Beks for close to three decades, as a diligent, hard working media professional and likeable personality. But of course, he has also courted trouble as those opposed to his unique life style and perceived foibles. But perhaps, Asu Beks was born a survivalist.

“For the open minded, it’s difficult to want to shut him out for reasons of his occupational quarrels and fights; and indeed his other associated fights, as it were. Today, at 70, l believe he has paid his dues in helping to reshape this industry through his immense contributions vide constructive and developmental journalism.

“l wish to join many others celebrating this great guy today, the best of luck as he journeys on to 80 and beyond; and to doff my hat for him for every act of good we as individuals can identify him with.

“I desire to see more of these in the coming years as l wish him a fabulous, safe and secured future”, Shittu said.

Others, including Mrs. Okolue, Hajia Tumaka, Hajia Muse, Dr, Eugene Nweke, Engr, Jato Adams,  and media veterans including Sesan Onileimon, Frank Meke, Pius Mordi, John Iwori, Funsho Olojo, Remi Itie, Godfrey Bivbere, Paul Ogbuoikiri among others felicitated the godfada of maritime journalism and prayed for his continued good health and vitality.

Asu Beks foray into activism and unionism started at the College of Education when he got elected as Public Relations Officer of the Students Union Government. This early involvement set the stage for a career that later defined his commitment to the relentless pursuit for the truth, justice and excellence.

His professional odyssey started at the Bendel State Ministry of Information and later the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, where he served as the Nigerian Tide Lagos City Editor and Northern Area Editor in Kaduna. Upon the establishment of the State’s Democrat Newspaper, he played a pivotal role as the Rivers State Bureau Chief.

From there Asu Beks  The Guardian Newspaper as Bureau Chief in Port Harcourt, where he bagged  the prestigious “Best Reporter Award” in December 1989 sequel to his impactful reportage, especially in  uncovering an attempt to dump toxic beef at the Tin Can Island Port by an Italian vessel.

He is on record as the founding President of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) and as a founding member and pioneer leadership of the League of Maritime Editors (LOME), and was also the pioneer Board of Trustees Chairman of the Association of Maritime Journalists (AMJON).

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