- ‘Kalu is detribalised Nigerian’
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has described The Sun Man of the Year and other awards of the newspaper as most credible and prestigious recognitions in the country.
He also praised the chairman of The Sun Publishing Limited and former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, describing him as a detrabilised Nigerian.
Ambode, The Sun Man of the Year 2017 award winner, will formally receive his award, with 21 other outstanding personalities, on February 24, 2018 at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, when a delegation from The Sun, led by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Eric Osagie, visited to formally notify him of his selection for the award, Ambode said he was accepting the Man of the Year Award because of the credibility attached to The Sun awards.
Praising The Sun for its achievements and conduct over the years, Ambode said he was happy that The Sun awards were conferred without “inducement.”
“I’m pleased to receive The Sun award because there was no inducement or any encumbrance. What you have done, that is, the award, is for Lagosians. This is because it is a reflection that people are enjoying what we are doing,” he said.
On his feeling about the award, Ambode said: “I appreciate and cherish The Sun award because it is credible and prestigious. That is why I am accepting the award.”
He praised The Sun chairman, Dr. Kalu, calling him “conscience of the nation and detribalised.”
Earlier, The Sun MD said Ambode was chosen as Man of the Year 2017 in recognition of the “remarkable transformations” he brought to bear on education, health, agriculture, transportation, security, youth development, public infrastructure and utility, among other sectors, of Lagos State.”
He said the governor had done well, declaring: “In the past 30 months, you have redefined public administration in Nigeria’s commercial capital, leaving ineffaceable footprints all over the state.”
Listing some of the things Ambode has done in office, Osagie said: “You started by rejuvenating and restructuring the state civil service. Then a fresh breath was injected into the state public health service system. The general hospitals were equipped with modern facilities. Dozens of brand new Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) ambulances as well as transport ambulances were procured for the health institutions in the state. New structures also sprung up in many health facilities.”
The Sun MD mentioned Ambode’s feat in the “Light-Up Lagos project,” which ensured the provision of streetlights all over the state, the handing over of over 100 salon cars, 55 Ford Ranger pick-up vans, 15 BMW power bikes, 100 power bikes, Isuzu trucks, three helicopters, two gun boats, 15 armoured personnel carriers and a number of other security gadgets valued at N4.765 billion to the Nigeria Police for the safety of Lagos dwellers, the “LAKE rice project” and the construction as well as reconstruction of several roads in the state, among others.
“It is for these uncommon but silent efforts of your government to improve the quality of living among your people that The Sun has deemed it appropriate to celebrate Your Excellency,” Osagie said.
He said The Sun Man of the Year Award is “bestowed annually on eminent personalities who have demonstrated excellence in their chosen fields,” adding that past recipients of the award include governors, industry chieftains, ministers and technocrats, among others.