11th November, 2010
At a media event to announce an auto award in Nigeria, P.M.NEWS Motoring was deniedÂ entry. Reason: According to the organisers the publication had been writing negativeÂ stories concerning the outfit, (not that the stories were untrue).
Customarily, I enjoy reading automotive news while lying on the sofa in my sittingÂ room. Alone, all alone because it gives me the opportunity to marshal my thoughts,Â which usually crystallize into what you eventually read. Some say they are causticÂ and abusive, while others say they are daring, thought-provoking and simplyÂ controversial.
Just the other day, at the Scottish Auto Award, â€œan audience of 200 was made up ofÂ people drawn from all sectors of the motor industry plus members of the AssociationÂ of Scottish Motoring Writers who selected the winner.â€ Period!
I then thought of Nigeria, my fatherland, where any firm could just rise up, gatherÂ some money, hire hotels and dish out awards, all in the name of making money; andÂ many auto stakeholders flaunt these awards. Haba!
One has developed a thick skin to the fumbling organisers of such dubious awards,Â and try to intimidate any discerning auto journalist who dares to question theirÂ motives. Twice I had watched them, twice I had cause to fight tension, especiallyÂ when I reflect on the consequences of the auto award failure.
Yes, I feel that these awards should not continue (this is not possible) especiallyÂ with what has befallen the industry, yet auto journalists are striving hard to raiseÂ the tempo of true and sincere awards, devoid of buy-and-sell mentality.
Iâ€™m still pained with the fact that deserving auto companies that ought to win areÂ left out, because influential auto firms had paid for the awards one way or theÂ other. I digress.
The future of automobile awards lie in the hands of the auto journalists and theyÂ havenâ€™t pretended not to exist. If only they could get their acts together, they canÂ make it better, while stakeholders will know the honour is genuine.
For now, flaunting of any auto award outside the Nigerian Auto Merit Award (NAMA)Â being put together by Nigerian auto journalists, is a mistake.