4:42 pm - Saturday January 19, 2841

The GLORY of AFRICA: Nigerian Investigative Journalist, TOBORE OVUORIE defeat Canada, USA, Australia; other nations to win DW Freedom of Speech Award 2021 in Germany… ‘On no account should we let our voice be silenced’ *Risks life as an undercover to pose as a would-be sex worker to investigate the widespread human trafficking ring in Nigeria, discovery prompt federal government to launch investigation *‘I hereby present the DW Freedom of Speech Award 2021 to Tobore Ovuorie, who has met extreme challenges during her investigation into the trafficking of young women from Africa to Europe’- DW Director General Peter Limbourg *‘I cannot think of a more courageous journalist than Tobore Ovuorie. Her passion to unearth the truth, to reveal the plight of the victims and the cruelty of their persecutors, led her to take a leap that very few journalists ever could summon the bravery or replicate’ – Laudatory speaker Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch Executive Director * “Ovuorie’s work is an outstanding example of investigative journalism and human braveness’-Antoaneta Vassileva, vice president of the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings  *”Being a journalist in Nigeria is difficult. We struggle for an economic basis for our work and fight for access to information. Critical and sophisticated journalism in Nigeria is shrinking”-OVUORIE *BY PAULINE DAMIEN/MEDIA Staff Writer, Germany

 The GLORY of AFRICA:

Nigerian Investigative Journalist, TOBORE OVUORIE defeat Canada, USA, Australia; other nations to win DW Freedom of Speech Award 2021 in Germany… ‘On no account should we let our voice be silenced’

*Risks life as an undercover to pose as a would-be sex worker to investigate the widespread human trafficking ring in Nigeria, discovery prompt federal government to launch investigation

*‘I hereby present the DW Freedom of Speech Award 2021 to Tobore  Ovuorie, who has met extreme challenges during her investigation into the trafficking of young women from Africa to Europe’- DW Director General Peter Limbourg

*‘I cannot think of a more courageous journalist than Tobore Ovuorie. Her passion to unearth the truth, to reveal the plight of the victims and the cruelty of their persecutors, led her to take a leap that very few journalists ever could summon the bravery or replicate’      – Laudatory speaker Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch Executive Director

* “Ovuorie’s work is an outstanding example of investigative journalism and human braveness’-Antoaneta Vassileva, vice president of the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings 

*”Being a journalist in Nigeria is difficult. We struggle for an economic basis for our work and fight for access to information. Critical and sophisticated journalism in Nigeria is shrinking”-OVUORIE

 *BY PAULINE DAMIEN/MEDIA Staff Writer, Germany

SHE BELIEVES JOURNALISM IS NOT A CRIME. SHE strongly adheres to the fact the media should serve as the ‘voice to the voiceless.’ Against all odds, TOBORE OVUORIE, a well-trained investigative journalist risked her life for years as an undercover to infiltrate the deadly human trafficking ring just to cover the ordeal victims undergoes in Nigeria, amidst limited resources and access to information. She brazed all odds in her detailed reports which outshines entry made by other journalists from Canada, United States, Australia; South Africa, Ghana, Liberia; and United Kingdom to win the coveted prize, DW Freedom of Speech Award 2021 in Germany. In so doing, Ovuorie has brought honor to Africa.

In a special award ceremony at the DW in Bonn, DW Director General Peter Limbourg honored the investigative journalist today as part of the Global Media Forum. Ovuorie is the seventh Freedom of Speech Award laureate

This historic ceremony which began in 2015, the DW Freedom of Speech Award (FoSA) has honored media persons or initiatives for showing outstanding promotion of freedom rights, especially freedom of expression and press freedom.

This year, the FoSA was awarded to Nigerian investigative journalist Ovuorie who has had a decade-long career in journalism. Seven years ago, she went undercover posing as a would-be sex worker to investigate the widespread human trafficking ring in Nigeria. Following her revelations, Nigeria’s authorities launched criminal investigations into those behind it.

DW Director General Peter Limbourg said of this outstanding Nigerian journalist: “It is an honor for me to be able to present the DW Freedom of Speech Award 2021 to Tobore Ovuorie who has met extreme challenges during her investigation into the trafficking of young women from Africa to Europe. She brought the fate of thousands of victims to the attention of authorities, who without the work of this brave journalist, would not have been forced to act.”

Laudatory speaker Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch Executive Director, called Ovuorie “an inspiring choice.” He said: “I cannot think of a more courageous journalist. Her passion to unearth the truth, to reveal the plight of the victims and the cruelty of their persecutors, led her to take a leap that very few journalists ever could summon the bravery and sense of duty to replicate.”

Antoaneta Vassileva, vice president of the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), described Ovuorie’s work as “an outstanding example of investigative journalism and human braveness. I am thankful to her passion for justice and high spirit in the darkest moments of her work undercover.” Human trafficking continues to be one of the most vicious crimes around the world and many women, girls and men are forced into different forms of exploitation where some of them lose their lives, she said.

In her acceptance speech, Ovuorie highlighted the plight of journalists in Nigeria. “Being a journalist in Nigeria is difficult,” she said, “we struggle for an economic basis for our work and fight for access to information. Critical and sophisticated journalism in Nigeria is shrinking.” Nigeria was this year ranked 120th out of 180 countries in the World Press Index by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders. The recent Twitter ban in the country has also hindered access to information, further restricting the work of journalists. “This should not be in a democracy,” she said. Ovuorie called upon the international community to help put an end to the ban.

“On no account should we let our voice be silenced. We must refuse to conform to dictatorship. That way, we will bring light into darkness and our various societies, communities and countries will become saner, safer and better spaces for us all and generations to come,” said Ovuorie.

CERTAINLY, Good journalism costs a lot of money. Without doubt, only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government. We are ready to hold every corrupt government accountable to the citizens. To continually enjoy free access to the best investigative journalism in Nigeria, we are requesting of you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavor.

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