Ismail Omipidan, Willy Eya, Vincent Kalu, Chinelo Obogo, Olakunle Olafioye, Sunday Ani, Job Osazuwa and Chukwudi Nweje
The Sun Publishing Limited lived up to its billings as pacesetter yesterday as it celebrated Nigeria’s best to mark the 2017 edition of the annual The Sun awards.
Yesterday’s event, which saw Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who said he was going to win again, next year, retaining the Governor of the Year diadem, is the 15th in the series. It also coincides with The Sun Publishing Limited’s 15th anniversary.
The evening which was livened up by ace comedian Bovi Ugboma and a foremost Nigerian musician, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as Tu-Baba, who thrilled the audience to hilarious jokes and music respectively, also saw the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, being bestowed with the Outstanding Politician of the Year Award, while the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode was bestowed with the Man of the Year award, which is the flagship prize. Obi Ezeude got the Manufacturer of the Year Award.
At the event, held at the Expo Convention Centre of Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, about eight million naira was raised for the family of the late Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko, who fought gallantly to foil a robbery operation at the Zenith Bank branch, Owerri, Imo State. For his rare display of bravery, he was bestowed with the Hero of the Year award.
His seven children were also offered scholarships up to the university level by the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Announcing the scholarship award, the Managing Director of NDDC, Nsima Ekere, who went home with the Public Service Award, said the only way to keep the memory of late Iboko’s heroic exploits alive was to ensure his children get quality education. The event was anchored by A-list compere and former Big Brother Africa (BBA) host, IK Osakioduwa.
Other Nigerians who were honoured for distinguishing themselves in their various fields were: Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Hajia Aisha Buhari, who was represented by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the president, Mr. Femi Adesina. She got the award for the Most Supportive First Lady; Central Bank Governor (CBN), Dr. Godwin Emefiele, Public Service Award; Dr. Emeka Okwuosa, Investor of the Year; Mr. Amaju Pinnick, Sports Personality of the Year; Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Humanitarian Service Award and Mr. Ayo Makun (AY), who got the Nollywoood Personality of the Year Award. Others are: Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua, Prince Samuel Adedoyin and former Vice Chancellor of University of Benin, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, all of whom got the Lifetime Achievement Award. Governor of Ebonyi State, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government (SSG), Prof. Bernard Odoh, and his Kebbi State counterpart were awarded for their Outstanding Performance in Agriculture, while Dr. Chika Okafor won the Business Person of the Year Award. On his part, emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11, who was represented by the Group Managing Director of Freedom Radio, Alhaji Abbas Muhammad Dalhatu, En Dagan Kano, got the Courage in Leadership Award.
I’m committed to Rivers people, I’ll win again –Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has expressed his determination and commitment to work for the people of the oil-rich state.
Speaking at The Sun Awards where he emerged as the Governor of the Year 2017, he assured that he would continue to serve the people of Rivers State and win more accolades.
The governor thanked The Sun Publishing Limited for finding him worthy to win the award back to back in 2017 after winning that of 2016.
Wike said he would not relent in serving his people and assured that by the grace of God, he would still win the same award in 2018.
He said: “I will continue to work for the people of Rivers State.
I dedicate this award to the people of Rivers State and my wife.”
Ambode: Lagos is working because of taxpayers
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has said that the state was working because of taxpayers’ money.
He also pointed out that the state provides level playing fields for all irrespective of ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Ambode stated this yesterday at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos when he received The Sun Man of the Year Award 2017.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, represented him at the ceremony. The Governor noted that the state was working because taxpayers were living up to their obligations by paying their taxes.
“It is with these taxes that the state is carrying out massive infrastructural development and also providing insurance for security men, especially the Police in the state,” he said.
According to him, the state pays N10 million to the relatives of any policeman who dies in active service and N5 million to any policeman that is injured on duty.
While dedicating the award to tax payers in the state, he said it would spur him to do more.
I’ll continue to work for Nigeria –Saraki
Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has said that he would continue to work for the people of Nigeria.
Speaking after receiving The Sun Outstanding Politician of the Year award yesterday, he described The Sun as an institution that speaks for the people and thanked the management for finding him worthy for the award.
He Said: “On behalf of my family, constituency and colleagues who voted for me, I want to thank The Sun for finding me worthy for this award. “When I was the governor of Kwara State for eight years, I expected The Sun Awards but I never got it but I thank God I have been found worthy this time. It is an award of a great institution.”
We must restore merit to our national life –Idika Kalu
Former minister of finance and national planning, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, has underscored the need for restoration of rewards of merit for Nigeria to attain the rank of the top economies of the world.
Kalu, who was the chairman at the 15th edition of The Sun Awards in Lagos yesterday, gave this charge in his keynote address, saying merit is the sure way to national development. His words: “It is merit that propels effort and equity. Merit needs to be restored to our examinations, schools, our public services, our corporate organisations, small/medium and large scale enterprises and in all sectors of our polity as we seek to move our society and economy to the next level. We should, we can and we must.”
“Merit creates maximum growth of opportunities and employment, and the scope of the young and vibrant entrepreneurship and maximum development of individual talents and capacity. Merit is good for every corner, every segment and every activity area of our potentially massive economy that has been long projected to join the ranks of top economies of the world.” “It is the reinstatement of merit and consequent creation of rising employment opportunities that will blunt potential frustrations arising from rapid population growth, the rapid growth of the labour force, and double digit growth of demand of new jobs and the general capacity requirement of the entire Nigerian economy from our societies and organisations, our various states, right through to all levels of government, non-governmental organisations, private and the corporate world,” he said. Kalu described The Sun Publishing Limited’s annual awards as a bold endeavour that asserts the need for “Overriding urgency of reinstating explicitly, the place of merit in the various levels and tiers of the selecting process in this nation.”
He commended the newspaper for sustaining and improving on the quality of the awards, noting that the awardees were carefully selected from across public and corporate sectors and across gender without sacrificing merit. “The list of those to be awarded this prestigious prize today (Saturday) is particularly outstanding in its spread across the entire nation in its distribution between public and corporate sectors of our society and by its professional and gender sensitivity without sacrificing the basic merit underlining the outstanding choices they have made. This is glaring from the appreciative large audience, the effervescent interest from all media and enthusiasm of the general public,” he said.