Posted by News Express | 26 January 2019 | 848 times
It was a night of glitz, glamour and celebration of Nigeria’s visionaries at the Eko Hotels Convention Centre, Lagos, venue of the 2018 The Sun awards where 23 distinguished Nigerians were honoured in different categories of the annual event.
The ceremony began at exactly 7pm with musical performances. Soon after the national anthem was rendered, Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing Ltd, Mr Eric Osagie welcomed guests and the awardees who he described as visionaries in their chosen fields of endeavours, to the 16th edition of the glamorous ceremony. He urged Nigerians to remain optimistic about Nigeria, saying the country has a bright future.
He congratulated the awardees on their honour, saying picking 23 out of over 180 million Nigerians was not an easy task. “16 years after, we seek to prove the point that Nigeria is a great country with great people. Nigeria is not finished. Today, we have 23 awardees in the country of 200 million, to pick 23 awardees is no mean task,” he added. MrOsagie lauded his predecessors Mike Awoyinfa who started The Sun Awards, Tony Onyima and Femi Adesina for nurturing the awards to becoming the biggest media awards in Africa.
Eminent businessman and the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji UzorKalu, who is also the Chairman of The Sun Publishing Ltd, said the destiny of Nigeria lies squarely in the hands of Nigerians.
He said he has no doubt that Nigeria would be greater and achieve her potential if all Nigerians contribute their own quota especially by doing the right things at the right time. He assured that by so doing, Nigeria would take her place among the comity of nations.
Represented by his daughter, Mrs. NeyaIyere, he tasked Nigerians to replicate the kind of passion, zeal and oneness they display while watching sports contests in which Nigeria is taking part.
Kalu, who is the Publisher of The Sun Newspapers, said the Nigerians that were recognised had done something remarkable and extraordinary to have been singled out for recognition. He said they had contributed immensely in their various domains – locally and internationally, to greatly impact lives.
“I am delighted to welcome you all to this event to recognise great Nigerians on their tremendous contributions to socio-economic and political development of the country. I congratulate all the winners because they have done something remarkable, which should not be ignored. The awardees should be proud of their accomplishments just as The Sun Publishing Limited that is recognising them.
“We should make sacrifices and show love and oneness that we exhibit when our national feature is in any contest. It is the good things that we do as individuals that will translate to the Nigeria of our dream. We are the ones to make this happen,” he said.
Those honoured at the event include: Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna State governor, who received his diadem as Man of the Year; Governor IfeanyiUgwuanyi of Enugu State (Governor of the Year); Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson (Most Outstanding Politician of the Year) and Governor KashimShettima of Borno State (Courage in Leadership).
Others who received awards include Sir Daniel Chukwudozie, chairman, Dozzy Group (Manufacturer of the Year); Chief LeemondIkpea, chairman, Lee Engineering & Construction Ltd (Business Person of the Year); Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, MD, Fidelity Bank Plc (Banker of the Year); Emperor BaywoodIbe, chairman, Baywood Foundation (Humanitarian Service) and Mrs. FolorunsoAlakija, richest black woman and Chairperson, Rose of Sharon Foundation (Humanitarian Service).
First Lady of Rivers State, Justice SuzzetteNyesom-Wike, received the Most Supportive First Lady of the Year award, with Mr. NsimaEkere, immediate past Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. IshaqOloyede who got Public Service awards.
The Lifetime Achievement award went to former Ogun State governor, AremoSegunOsoba, iconic musician, King Sunny Ade and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, while Aare AfeBabalola (SAN), legal luminary and founder of AfeBabalola University, got Education Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Two people who received the Nigerians Hero award for their extraordinary heroic feats are Mr. Joe Blackson, who died after saving 13 people in a boat accident and AlhajiAbubakarAbdulkadir, a Muslim cleric, who saved about 300 Christians from being killed by herdsmen.
•Excerpted from a Saturday Sun report
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