Monday, 13 March 2017

Vanguard Awards: How Bagudu, Ayade, Ambode and Obiano were celebrated.

By Charles Kumolu

THE Vanguard Personality of the Year event provided a platform for four governors, who were among the awardees to further tell their success stories.
From the number and quality of guests, who accompanied them to the well-attended occasion, it was easy to decipher that not only Vanguard acknowledged the feats of the governors, but that men are also seeing the good works of the four awardees. For the four award winners Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi State; Ben Ayade, Cross River; Akinwumi Ambode, Lagos; and Willie Obiano, Anambra, the award ceremony was also an occasion to tell their stories of vision and accomplishments.
At the event which also had a sizeable presence of elder statesmen, Bagudu, flanked by numerous supporters and aides, revealed the strength behind the rice revolution in Kebbi State to the acknowledgment of the attendees. Conspicuously among those who accompanied Bagudu to the event and podium was a former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Saminu Saraki. The Kebbi helmsman who was the first to be presented the award by Senator Florence Ita-Giwa explained that without the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and other people, there would not have been any story to celebrate. “So many people worked hard for this, I am humbled that Vanguard Newspapers acknowledged this and has been the medium supporting this initiative,” Governor Bagudu said as he received the award in the company of many political stalwarts. Looking very sartorial and dapper, the next award recipient, Governor Ayade ascended the podium with one of the largest entourages of the day. Members of the entourage had to be persuaded to step down in order not to cause damage to the mounted platform. Amid praises, Ayade received his award for his vision and his work in Cross River State from communication icon, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi. Prof. Ayade saw the award to him as a challenge to do more saying that he saw the award as an indication that something good could come out of Africa, saying that for him it was energiser to do more. “I accept this award as a catalytic energy to push me, to challenge me to do my very best because Vanguard is a credible organisation, I accept this award and dedicate it to the entire people of Cross River State, Nigeria and indeed Africa.” Following him, was the turn of Governor Ambode of Lagos State. The host governor was represented by his deputy, Dr. (Mrs.) Idiat Adegbule. Just as the simple way the governor has conducted his infrastructure, the delegation to receive the award was simple but sincere among whom was the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Habib Haruna. The deputy governor while appreciating the award from governor indicated it was a tonic to do more.
Governor Willie Obiano who is building on the legacy of infrastructure development and security he inherited from his predecessor was also honoured on Saturday evening. The award was received on his behalf by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okonkwo, who thanked Vanguard for recognising what he described as the good things being done in the state. “On behalf of my principal, I greet the publishers of Vanguard. If you do good things, you will realise that awards count. We have a leader in Governor Obiano who understands the private sector, who knows how to provide jobs and institutions. We have a Governor who understands what it is to pay salaries at the right time. I can guarantee you that if in the next four years, we have Governor Obiano at the helm of affairs, we will surely have a Dubai in Nigeria”.

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