The Hall of Grace Magazine recently honoured some distinguished Nigerians in Lagos. Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, presented the awards on behalf of the organisers at the event held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island.
Among those honoured were Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, the late Bashorun MKO Abiola, and some youths, including Sunday Olatigbe.
At the event, the revered royal father begged Nigerian youths not to give up on the country’s leaders, insisting that there were still those with the love of Nigeria at heart among the present crop
Oba Ogunwusi praised Governor Udom for his tenacity and passion, and described Akwa Ibom as Nigeria’s most beautiful and cleanest state. He urged the Federal Government to take advantage of the state’s huge tourist potential.
While pledging to always support youths, Oba Ogunwusi charged them to believe in the country and emulate a leader like Governor Udom.
“The governor of Akwa Ibom used to be a banker; he never knew he could be this elevated. An event like this is one of the ways to encourage one another, as youths are the pillars of every society
like ours,” he said.
Hundreds of officials and residents of Akwa Ibom State, led by Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Udoh, were at the event to support the governor.
Udoh, who represented the governor, thanked the Ooni for his remarks and assured that Udom was delivering glowing dividends of democracy to the people.
“Governor Udom is not only giving an all-encompassing facelift in terms of infrastructure development to the entire state but also creating a conducive environment in all spheres by adding value to their lives as each day unfolds,” he said.
He regretted that some former officials of the state and the police were unleashing mayhem on the people, noting that democracy would be nurtured only when agencies of government played their roles as neutral parties.
“In Akwa Ibom State, the police played an active role in orchestrating some upheavals by members of the opposition in the state,” he said, adding that the state government had done very well in roads, industrialisation and health, among others.
Also honoured at the event was the late business mogul and winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, MKO Abiola.
Commenting on the posthumous award for his late father, Mr. Abdulmumeen Abiola said: “I feel excited about it. It is a good step. As part of history, when you keep records like this, people can look back and try to do same.”
He said the late Abiola stood for the Nigerian peoples’ right and urged Nigerians to use their votes to decide the way they would like to go: “Let us use the power that we have, which is our votes.”
Publisher of the HoG Magazine, Rupert Ojenuwa, spoke on reasons for the event. His words: “We live in a nation that is part of Africa and Africa has a challenge which basically is leadership. We thought within ourselves few years ago that, instead of criticising our leaders, why don’t we go the
other way by picking one or two persons who are doing well and celebrate them, so those that are not doing well will borrow a leaf from them to start doing well? This is basically the brain behind the HoG Awards.
“Nigeria has had interrupted democracies. We are currently in our Fourth Republic, and this is the first time we will be having democracy lasting up to 19 years. We thought within ourselves, why don’t we celebrate those who started it? Some people had to give their lives and, today, we thank God for them. Then, again, if you follow the event, you will know we are not only concerned about those who fought for democracy but also those who helped in giving dividends of democracy. Let us try and formulate issue-based policies. What I mean is that we should focus on issues that will get Nigeria going,” he said.
Past winners of the HoG Hall of Fame include eminent businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, former Governor of Lagos and current Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, and Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Mr. Femi Adesina, among others.