Nigeria’s foremost print and digital media group, PUNCH Nigeria Limited, is set to roll out the drums to mark its 50th anniversary with an array of epoch-making ceremonies in Lagos.
PUNCH, the publisher of the nation’s leading newspaper titles, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, and PUNCH Online, clocked 50 on March 18, 2023. However, its board of directors moved the 50th-anniversary celebration to this year because the anniversary month fell within an election month and year.
The 50th anniversary will be marked with the 40th anniversary of the passing of the founding Chairman, the late Chief James Olubunmi Aboderin, who died on February 28, 1984, at the age of 50.
The weeklong celebration will start on Saturday, February 24 with a novelty match between Team PUNCH and the Nigeria Media XI, a team made up of journalists from other newspaper houses in the country. The novelty match will take place at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena (formerly Onikan Stadium), Onikan, Lagos Island. Both teams will be coached by two former Super Eagles players, Victor Agali and Brown Ideye.
Beginning on Wednesday, February 28, PUNCH will hold a three-day photo exhibition at the Alliance Francaise de Lagos/Mike Adenuga Centre, Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, to afford its readers and other Nigerians opportunities to view the best photographs from its extensive pictorial archive of the biggest news events in the nation’s history.
The high point of the anniversary is a distinguished public lecture to be held on Thursday, February 29 at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, Lagos. The lecture is expected to play host to leaders from the public and private sectors.
The weeklong activities will continue on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos, where PUNCH will host a black-tie dinner to acknowledge the contributions of its stakeholders to the success of our organisation.
The Chairman of the company’s board of directors, Mrs Angela Emuwa, described the anniversary and her father’s 40th remembrance as an opportunity to celebrate twin milestones.
Emuwa said, “For over five decades, PUNCH has made a tremendous impact in Nigeria. At a time when we are equally remembering the passing of our founding chairman, it is fitting to look back at those landmark events that have shaped the course of history in our national polity and appreciate those who have stood by us not only in good times but when it was uncomfortable for them to do so.”
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of PUNCH Nigeria Limited, Mr Adeyeye Joseph, described PUNCH as a national treasure that had stood with Nigeria through thick and thin. According to him, the newspaper’s anniversary will be for all Nigerians who believe in the values that PUNCH has consistently espoused over five decades.
“PUNCH has outgrown its humble beginnings to emerge as a national institution. The celebration of our 50th anniversary is not just an opportunity to wine and dine but a chance to celebrate our excellent heritage and fierce editorial independence,” Joseph said.
The anniversary’s grand finale is a staff party on March 9 at which current and former staff will be feted for their contributions to PUNCH’s successes.
A special commemorative anniversary publication to mark the golden jubilee anniversary of the newspaper will also be distributed at some of the events.