From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Two-time governor of the defunct Mid-West and Bendel states, Dr. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, has expressed happiness over the conferment of The Sun Lifetime Achievement Award on him. He said the recognitionwas a testimony that hard work and honest contribution to the socio-economic and political development of the country would stand people out.
The 2015 edition of The Sun Awards holds Saturday, February 20, 2016 at Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event starts at 3pm.
Speaking yesterday, in Benin City, the Edo State capital, while receiving a delegation from The Sun Publishing Limited that visited to present a letter formally notifying him of his award, Ogbemudia said the recognition by The Sun had proved those who thought that hard work and selfless service do not pay wrong.
He said: “I am very very excited and most grateful to The Sun Newspapers, the staff and management for this great honour. I believe the award is in recognition of my activities and services in government. I will put it this way: I have been vindicated. The award is a testimony that hard work and selfless service pay.”
The retired General, however, said the award was not for him alone, but for all those who worked with him while he was military administrator of the defunct Mid-West State, governor of defunct Bendel State, Minister of Labour and Productivity, among other positions he held.
“It is not only me you have given it, because those who worked with me at that time made a perfect team. The reason I am the focus is because I was the leader,” he said.
On The Sun brand, Ogbemudia said: “The Sun has made great impact in Nigeria, especially in good governance. After the presentation ceremony, I am quite certain that The Sun newspaper will grow bigger and bigger.”
Ogbemudia used the occasion of the presentation of the letter of notification to call on Nigerians to unite against terrorism.
“This country is faced with many challenges. The greatest one is security. But we are not alone in it. All over the world, there are threats to life. What we are asking is that the people should come together to crush terrorism. It is not a one man’s job. Everybody must be involved in the fight.”
Earlier, while presenting the letter to Ogbemudia, the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing Limited. Mr. Eric Osagie, who was represented by Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, Editor, Daily Sun, said the Lifetime Achievement Award was in recognition of the former governor’s “distinguished service to national development.”
According to him, what Ogbemudia did in office are still being remembered and appreciated. “It is elating that 40 years after you served as Military Governor of then Mid-West State, later renamed Bendel State and afterwards divided into Edo and Delta states; people are still reminiscing about the remarkable transformations you brought to bear on sports, urban development, education, public transportation, housing and commerce.”
Listing some of the things Ogbemudia did towards national development, Osagie said: “You built the 20, 000 capacity Ogbe Stadium, which was renamed the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium by one of your successors. As far back as 1973, you commissioned the three-storey National Museum in Benin City. Other projects included the Agbede Mechanised Farm, Rural Electricity Board, Bendel Steel Structures, Bendel Pharmaceuticals, Bendel Boatyard, the University of Benin and Bendel Line.”
The Sun delegation, led by Mr. Ukeh also had Mr. Bruce Malogo, Editor, Saturday Sun and Beifoh Nat Osewele, Deputy Editor.
Former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sir Arthur Mbanefo, will chair The Sun Awards.
To entertain gests at the event, reggae blues rave of the moment, Harrysong, multi-talented creative personality, who combines as master of ceremonies, comedian, event host and actor, Basorge Tariah and the Veentage Band will be on parade.
The 2015 The Sun Awards will celebrate outstanding Nigerians, who made marks in various spheres of human endeavours last year. Those to be honoured are Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (The Sun Man of the Year); Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra (Governor of the Year); Hajia Nana Shettima (Most Supportive First Lady); Dr. Uche Ogah, President, Master Energy Oil & Gas Limited (Investor of the Year); Mr. Yemi Adeola, Group Managing Director of Sterling Bank Plc (Banker of the Year); Dr. Obiora Chukwuka (Businessman of the Year); Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, Director General of the Nigerian Pension Commission (Public Service Award); Mr. Amaju Pinnick (Sport Person of the Year); and Mr. Harrison Okiri (Harrysong) (Creative Person of the Year).
Others are Mrs. Josephine Ugwu (Nigerian Hero Award); Mrs. Omoni Oboli (Nollywood Person of the Year); Chief Vincent Obianodo, Chairman of Chisco Transport (Hospitality Man of the Year); and Chief Eric Umeofia, Chairman, Erisco Foods Limited (Manufacturer of the Year.
Others who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Awards are, former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar; General Ike Nwachukwu; Chief Mbazulike Amaechi; Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia; Chief Kessington Adebutu; and Justice Marian Aloma Muktar, former Chief Justice of Nigeria.