From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
At least 50 elder statesmen, women, philanthropists, and public intellectuals across all divides have been penned down for Kwara State’s Lifetime Achievement Awards and Posthumous Merit Awards, with the government saying the recognition is a “token of its appreciation” of their contributions to the growth and development of the state.
The awards come under 25 categories with each nominee picked on the merits of their strides or contributions in their fields, Kwara State Commissioner for Communications Abubakar Saddiq Buhari told a news briefing in Ilorin ahead of the ceremony on Friday December 23.
Buhari who was flanked at the briefing by members of the various subcommittees for the Awards Ceremony, including the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Abdullateef Alakawa; Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission Bolakale Magaji; Managing Director of Ilorin Innovation Hub Temi Kolawole; Special Assistant to the Governor on Students Affairs Mubaarak Bello; Mohammed Usman of kW-IRS; and Chairman of Education Secretaries Forum Mr Lere Balogun.
“This award is a symbolic acknowledgment for all the awardees that the state truly appreciates them for what they have done or continue to do for their communities, their feats and exemplary achievements in their career paths, and their contributions to the growth of this state and national development. It is a token of appreciation from the state government,” Buhari said.
“We want to add that this state is immensely blessed with great people — young, old, female, male, professionals, artisans, whether dead or alive. We are by this means showing our profound respect and appreciation to all, wherever they are, living or dead. In other words, the distinguished nominees for the various categories of the 2022 edition are only representatives and ambassadors of these great minds of Kwara State origins. More and more of these great people will be formally recognized in the coming years for their huge impacts and footprints in the sand of time.
“There are 25 categories in this Maiden edition of the Kwara State Merit Award 2022. These include Lifetime Achievements Award; posthumous achievement award; Most Outstanding Kwara State Indigene in the World; Friends of the State: Most Outstanding Media House; Most Outstanding Online Media Personality; Most Impactful MDA of the Year; Overall Best Student in Kwara State Institution; Best Student of Kwara State Origin in Nigeria; Best Political Appointee; Outstanding Business Owner in Kwara State; Outstanding Healthcare Worker of the Year; Outstanding Teacher of the Year; Outstanding Contributions in support of security operations; Most Tax Compliant Individual in Kwara State; Most Tax Compliant Organisation in Kwara State; Most Outstanding Athlete from Kwara State; Most Outstanding Para Athlete from Kwara State; Most Outstanding Contributions to Legislature; Most Outstanding Contributions to Judiciary; and Citizens Display of Excellence in Community Development; Most Outstanding Farmer; Appreciation and Special Recognition; amongst others.
“Nominations for these awards were made by different subcommittees based on criteria relevant to each. There are at least three distinguished nominees for each of the categories except the Lifetime Achievements and Posthumous Awards. For the Lifetime Achievements Award, we have 25 distinguished personalities who have done so much to earn their stripes and are accordingly being honoured by the Government of Kwara State. There are also 20 great personalities who were giants in their own rights during their lifetime and are to be honoured even in death.
“This list transcends all cleavages, and goes to show the unanimous opinions of the panels that these were outstanding individuals with clear footprints in Kwara/Nigeria. Following the nominations in the other 23 categories, online voting has since begun to determine the winners for each category. Voting ends at 12 noon on Thursday December 22.
“Nominees with the highest votes will be announced at the award ceremony, which holds on Friday December 23rd at the Atlantic Event Centre.
“This event is strictly by invitation. Only persons with the access card will be allowed entry. This is necessary for crowd control and convenience of everyone. Careful arrangements have also been made for parking and other security needs of the programmes.”