Vanguard Newspaper 15 April 2018
PAGE 6—SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 15, 2018 VANGUARD PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2017 FIRST LADY SHINES AT VANGUARD AWARDS Why I speak out for justice — Aisha Buhari •’I support my husband’ •How restructuring can save Nigeria – Ike Nwachukwu The daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs Halima Buhari Sheriff, was the cynosure of all eyes as she represented her mother, the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, at the Vanguard Awards 2017, held in Lagos, last night, where she received the Personality of the Year award. At the occasion, held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Hajiya Aisha’s prepared speech focused on what “some people saw as criticism of a government I am part of. “I need to state that my position was as a result of my sense of justice and not confrontation or disrespect. I was brought up to stand by the truth and this is how I have always been”, the First Lady said. Governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Darius Dickson Ishaku (Taraba) and Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi) also glittered as they received Vanguard Governor of the Year 2017 Award. Mr Emeka Emuwa, GMD/CEO of Union Bank of Nig Plc, and Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Indimi were honoured as Vanguard Banker of the Year 2017, and Vanguard Businessman of the Year 2017, respectively. Vanguard Lifetime Sights and sounds of Awards By Mike Ebonugwo and Charles Kumolu It was an awards night that lived up to its envisaged billings, in fact exceeding all expectations. For all who graced the occasion from far and near, it was certainly a night to remember for the amazing spectacle that was on display: The glamour and glitz, the inspired and moving speeches that did not fail to excite and captivate the audience. Welcome to theVanguard Personality of the Year Award 2017. Indeed, while the even lasted, the Eko Hotels and Suites venue resonated with sounds and music, and also sizzled with ribcracking jokes by some of the best humour merchants in the land. Though the event was •Aisha Buhari Achievers Award 2017 recipients were General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Prof. Grace Alele- Williams, Alabo Tonye Graham Douglas, Commodore Elitu Ukiwe, Chief Sunday Adegeye (aka King Sunny Ade), Chief Ade Ojo and Dr. Oba Otudeko. I support my husband – Aisha In her prepared speech, the First Lady expressed her appreciation to the management of Vanguard Media Ltd for “their unexpected award”. “I wish to express my appreciation to the management of Vanguard Media Limited for this unexpected award, in recognition of my humanitarian efforts towards improving the health and well-being of Nigerians particularly women, children and billed to start by 6pm, but as early 4pm, gaily and fashionably dressed guests were already streaming in their numbers into the venue hall, bringing with them sparks of colour and grandeur. Indeed, fashion was in full expression, with the men strutting around in sartorial elegance while the younger of the women cat-walked and swayed seductively in their skimpy and flamboyant wears as they made a bold statement that world of fashion is theirs to conquer. For the older women, maturity demanded that fashion is expressed with elegant poise. The arrival of the awardees was not without its own fanfare. Some of them came accompanied by cultural troupes whose drumming, singing and less privileged”, she stated. The First Lady went on: “One of the reasons adduced for honouring me was the interview I granted which some people saw as criticism of a government I am part of. I need to state that my position was a result of my sense of justice and not confrontation or disrespect. I was brought up to stand by the truth and this is how I have always been. “As we are all aware, Nigerians elected this administration based on the trust and confidence they have in my husband. I therefore feel that we are here to serve Nigerians to the best of our ability. Let me use this opportunity to state that I support my husband in this call to service and will continue to do so. “On this note, I hereby dedicate this award to the people of Nigeria, especially women. Thank you sincerely for dancing lent a festive air to the entire programme. The carnival-like atmosphere thus created had set the stage for more excitement to come. The guests who more or less represented a roll-call of who is who in the media, in politics and governance, business and industry, entertainment, including Nollywood, music industry and the rapidly expanding world of comedy had more than enough to cheer and reflect. As the arriving guests took their seats, they were entertained with a succession of popular musical tracks by a musical group that goes by the name of Laelu Gbenjo Band, putting them in an enthusiastic mood for the formal take off of the programme which was not long in coming. this award”. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the occasion, General Ike Nwachukwu (retd), said only restructuring can unite Nigeria, adding that devolution of powers at the centre will improve security and Nigeria’s economy. “I join the call for the restructuring of our country, to remain united as a nation under God. We need to devolve the overconcentration of power at the centre, whilst allowing the federating units more autonomy. And just as we are seeking devolution of powers to the state governments, as federating units, from the centre, so should the state governments guarantee the autonomy of the local governments under them”, Nwachukwu said. “With the lead the Nigerian military had taken regarding restructuring, it behoves Nigerians and our politicians to deliver on the It came with what the Master of Ceremonies, Frank Edoho, described as a fantastic rendition of the National Anthem. The standup comedians were in their elements as they rendered jokes considered necessary and appropriate for an event that had on parade as award recipients some of the most celebrated and influential personalities in politics, governance and the corporate world. Their comical interludes also served to dilute moments of boredom occasioned by some long speeches which fortunately was not the case during the event. Indeed, the audience had a lot more opportunities to savour captivating performances by different groups and basked in the entertainment they offered. restructuring of this country in order to have a true federation, in which no one is oppressed. I believe that it is only when we achieve this that our country will be stable, its security guaranteed and its economy thriving for the betterment of all.” He also called for the respect of press freedom and the rule of law. He said, “It becomes absolutely imperative to protect the freedom of the press and the rule of law. The people of our country should, henceforth, be prepared to defend that freedom; as indeed, we must obey the rule of law, with all our might; if it is actually, the desire of our people that democracy should thrive and the laws of the land TIMELINE 5 pm—Arrival of guests 7 pm— Recitation of National Anthem 7:15 on—Opening remarks by GM/Editor-in-Chief, Mr Gbenga Adefaye 7:33 pm— Chairman of the event, General Ike Nwachukwu (retd), gives his opening remarks 7:40 pm—Streaming of past Vanguard Personality of the Year Awards 7:50pm — Musical interlude 8:04 pm— Commencement of the conferment of Awards 8pm— Banker of the Year Award presented to Managing Director of Union Bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa 8:08 pm—Businessman of the Year Award presented to Alhaji Muhammadu Indimi 8:15 pm— Lifetime Achievement Award presented to former Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams 8:31 pm— Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Chairman of Honeywell, Oba Otudeko 8:35 pm— Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe 8:42pm— Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Chief Sunday Adegeye, aka King Sunny Ade 8:45 pm— Personality of the Year Award presented to the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, represented by her daughter, Zara Buhari 8:51pm— Governor of the Year Award presented to Governor Okiezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. 9:02pm— Governor of the Year Award presented to Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State 9:05 pm— Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Chairman, Elizade Motors, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo 9:13pm — Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Alabo Graham-Douglas. ROLL CALL respected. The retired General acknowledged Vanguard’s dogged fight for good governance, social justice while being the voice of the people, regardless of creed, colour, religion, gender or ideology. “The Nigerian media, particularly Vanguard Newspapers, at whose invitation we are here gathered today, should remain, fastidious in guaranteeing that the people are heard so that social justice be further engrained in our society. Nigerian media should continue to be the voice of the voiceless, the shield, the guard of the tormented and the canon fire of the oppressed, the deprived and the defenceless.” Zara Buhari – Daughter of the First Lady of Nigeria Ayodele Fayose – Ekiti State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo – Gomber state governor Okezie Ikpeazu – Abia state governor Ishaku Darius – Taraba governor Mr Seriake Dickson – Bayelsa state governor Ebitu Ukiwe – former governor of Lagos State Prince Uche Secondus – PDP National Chairman Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan – Former Governor of Delta State Senator Theodore Orji – Former Governor of Abia State Victor Ochei – Delta State Speaker Aare Gani Adams – Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland Senator Magnus Abe Professor Grace Alele – former Vice Chancellor, University of Benin Chief Segun Osoba – former governor of Ogun State Professor George Obiozor – former Director General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs Mike Ozekomhe, SAN.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 15, 2018, PAGE 7 VANGUARD PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2017 AWARDS From left: Chief Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas; Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande and Chief Mrs Bisola Clark at the Vanguard Personality of the Year 2017 Awards held at Eko Hotel ad Suites, Lagos, last night. PHOTOS by Joe Akintola, Lamidi Bamidele, Bunmi Azeez, Akeem Salau and Oscar Ochiogu. Dr Oba Otudeko, an award recipient, and Senator Ike Nwachukwu, Chairman of the occassion From left: Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, an award recipient; his wife; Chief Michael Ade-Ojo,Chairman, Elizade Motors, and his wife. Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Hasan Dankwambo, and Governor Dickson Ishiaku of Taraba State From left; Mr Remi Oni, Executive Director, First Bank Plc; Abdulahi Ibrahim, Executive Director, Public Sector; Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director and Mr Sola Adeduntan, MD,. Professor Dan Adebiyi (left) and Mr Obafemi Otudeko. Mr Emeka Okonkwo,Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Union Bank receiving the award of Mr Emeka Emuwa, MD, Union Bank, from Chief Mrs Nike Akande. From left: Mr. Reagan Ufomba, Prof. Uche Ikonne and Chief Okey Ahiwe.