Zamfara State Governor, Dr. Bello Mohammed, has said his mission to build a new Zamfara has received a fresh impetus with his recognition by a newspaper of high standing like The Sun.
He confessed that his choice as the 2019 The Sun Man of the Year has not only humbled him but will also spur him to continue to work for a new Zamfara, where peace, human capital and infrastructural development will be the order of the day.
Speaking when the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, led a team to present to him a notification letter as winner of The Sun Man of the Year Award for 2019, in Gusau, Zamfara State capital, Gov Mohammed said The Sun Award was a great honour to him and the people of Zamfara State.
The governor and 27 other award winners will be showcased at The Sun Awards Lockdown Edition celebration coming up before the end of the year.
Mohammed praised The Sun for putting up a well-thought out initiative that encourages performance in both economic and democratic leadership in Nigeria.
The governor said: “I stand before you with a great sense of humility as the recipient of The Sun Man of the Year 2019 Award. This award is a great honour to me personally and indeed the entire people of Zamfara State who have reposed their trust and confidence in me to steer the affairs of our dear state within the past one year.
“The award will serve as a catalyst that will strengthen my resolve to build a new Zamfara State, where people live in peace and harmony and have access to bountiful economic opportunities. I, therefore, commend The Sun Newspaper, which has the slogan, ‘Voice of the Nation’, for this wonderful initiative.”
The governor noted that the award was as an outcome of what he called careful review and assessment of the situation in Zamfara State, before the advent of his administration in May 2019 and the achievements recorded by his government in terms of peace building and economic empowerment of the people.
He said: “Our modest achievements cut across various sectors of the state. I believe that politics is a means of meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state. It is a means of human development. I dedicate the award to the good people of Zamfara State.
“Our people always give their support, prayers and goodwill and all that made our achievements possible. We remain committed to the service of our people, my dear state and Nigeria at large. Once again, I thank The Sun newspapers for this wonderful award.”
He called for cooperation of the media in the fight against banditry, kidnapping and other criminalities, saying, with the cooperation of every Nigerian, the growing insecurity in the country can be tamed.
Earlier, The Sun’s MD explained that the Man of the Year Award was conferred on the governor in recognition of his efforts at restoring peace to the hitherto insecure state.
He stressed that the award bestowed on the governor was based on his achievements in security, agriculture, human capital development, infrastructure, job creation and rural development.
He said: “Hitherto, His Excellency’s assumption of office, chaos and crisis pervaded in Zamfara State. Bandits had for years taken charge of the state, with kidnaping and killing of innocent citizens the order of the day; but under the governor’s administration, peace has been restored to the state with considerable measure of security.”
Ukeh recalled how the governor hit the ground running on assumption of office by meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and asking for Federal Government support in his effort to rid the state of bandits.
“He also met with the security chiefs as well as reached out to the bandits through dialogue, with many having since repented and surrendered their arms. At the moment, peace now reigns in a state hitherto rid with insecurity,” The Sun’s MD said.
He added that the governor also won the hearts of many Nigerians with the nullification of the pension law, which authorised payment of huge pensions to former governors and other political leaders in the state.
Other winners of The Sun Awards are: Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State and Governor Bello Mohammed of Zamfara State (Man of the Year); Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State (Governor of the Year); Governor Samuel Ortom (Courage in Leadership); and Governor Kayode Fayemi (Political Icon of the Year).
Others are wife of Anambra State governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Most Supportive First Lady); Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, MD, Sterling Bank (Banker of the Year); Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology (Outstanding Performance in Government); Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, DG, National Council of Arts and Culture; and Hadiza Bala-Usman, MD, Nigerian Ports Authority (Public Service); Mallison Ukatu, CEO, Nipso Porcelain, and Nkechi Obi, chairman, Techno Oil (Industrialist of the Year); Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, chairman, United Nigeria Airlines and Dome Entertainment, and Asiwaju A.K. Onawofokan, chairman, Coleman Wire & Cables (Entrepreneur of the Year), and Chief Fabian Nwaorah, chairman of EFAB Properties Limited.
Also the following are winners: Iconic actresses, Patience Ozokwor, and Sola Sobowale (Nollywood Personality of the Year); Alhaji Ahmadu Musa Kida, president, Nigerian Basketball Federation, and Chief Anyansi Agwu, chairman, Enyimba Football Club (Sports Personality of the Year); Bro. Felix Obuah, chairman of Krisdera Hotels & Resort/founder, Go Round Football Club, and Barr. Chief Jackson Agbai Abbah, chairman, Dover Hotels (Hospitality Person of the Year); star musician, Burna Boy (Creative Person), and Ekene Iwuoha (Nigerian Hero).
For Lifetime Achievement award, the following are winners: Mallam Mamman Daura, Prince Arthur Eze and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.