It was an exciting time recently, as the organisers of the Nigeria Silent Heroes (NSH) Award celebrated some living legends and unsung achievers in the media, police, military and other spheres of life.
The event held at the Ladi Kwali Hall of Sheraton Hotels, Abuja, recently.
There was music, dance, merriment as well as warning and words of encouragement for the citizens, especially youths.
Chairman of the second edition of (NSH), Professor Epiphany Azinge, SAN, who described the event as one of the best of its kind in Nigeria, said people should be conscious of their character.
“This event is slated to celebrate Nigerians who have consistently shown demonstrable patriotism and unwavering commitment in the service of their fatherland. Over the years, Nigeria has remained a nation in search of heroes. Not even the line of our National Anthem that posits that ‘the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain’ seems to have underscored the essence of throwing up heroes in all spheres and spectrum of our national life.
“The main trust of today’s event, therefore, is to give vibe and vitality to deserving Nigerians who, by their work, are eminently qualified to be celebrated as heroes and heroines. In pursuit of higher ideals and values, these deserving Nigerians have opted to silently and consistently continue their work far removed from the klieg lights, from the media and from public space. They are unsung heroes.
“Heroes ideally should be recognised in any country, whether by medals of honour in the armed forces for heroic achievements in war time. Today, the Silent Heroes Award Initiative, in this second edition of its project, has identified men and women qualified to be decorated as silent heroes of our time. These are men and women of integrity and distinction. They are role models and torchbearers in their own right and deserved to be celebrated by all Nigerians.”
In his address, convener of NSHA, Mr. Odita Sunday-Udemaguna, said the event was divinely planned as a way of victoriously ending the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The initiative to identify and recognise some silent achievers in their own right within our plural society, as we are about to witness today, could have died at the level of conception if not that God has a hand in the initiative.
“I must say that the awardees of today, in their individual capacities and activities, particularly in public space, have remained humble and not audacious in self-praise, in spite of their outstanding achievements, hence, we have chosen to honour them as silent heroes.
“The NSHA is my initiative, but I could not have gone far in actualising the vision if some individuals and organisations did not key into the vision or give support in their own way. I will like to thank the management of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank and others, for their encouragement and support.”
The special guest of honour, officer in charge of Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Mr Abba Kyari, described the event as one of the best in Africa.
He said: “I have gone round the world and attended many awards, but I am yet to see this kind of initiative where unsung heroes are being celebrated. I think this is good and people should key into it, as it is a reminder that even the low and the weak are being watched and acknowledged by people.
“Nigerians, especially the youths, should know that there is no shortcut to success. Those who are recognised today are not only the rich, but also the downtrodden. Those who are celebrated today are not being rewarded for the crimes that they committed, but for their achievements and contributions to the society.
“So, I want you to be conscious of what you do, as people are watching you. If everybody is dedicated and put in their best in whatever they do, Nigeria will be advanced. This is why those in Europe and America are more advanced than us because, there, everybody is putting their best.”
Nigerian Navy Public Relations Officer, Commodore Suleman Dahun, who was also a guest, said: “I would advise the youths to be very conscious of what they do and tilt towards hard work, as it is the only way to success. It is not negotiable. We should embrace the virtues of hard work and show patriotism in all that we do.”
An award winner and gospel musician, Austin Adigwe, who performed live during the event, said: “I am proud of the organisers of this event because I just started music not up to a year ago, yet I was nominated for this prestigious award. I am wondering why I was picked instead of the rich, wealthy and popular artistes. This is incredible and it shows that the organisers are impartial. What I owe them is prayers. The award has really shown me that I must be conscious of my daily activities.”