Okowa Bags Independent ‘Man of The Year’ Award, Lists Ways Contain Insecurity
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has bagged the Independent Newspapers’ ‘Man of The Year, 2017’ award.
The Governor was accompanied by his wife, Dame Edith, his predecessors, Chief James Ibori and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and other top political office holders to receive the award at a colourful ceremony held in Lagos at the weekend.
In his acceptance speech, Governor Okowa linked the high rate of insecurity in the country to large number of unemployed youths. According to Governor Okowa, “government at all levels should begin to pay more attention to our youths, we must make consistent efforts to empower them, we need to strengthen technical education and the polytechnics in the country, so that the youths will be equipped with relevant skills to become self-reliant rather than be going about with certificates seeking for jobs that are not available.”
“Until we do that, we may not have a great country that we seek today,” the Governor said, adding, “we must also look at family planning because, the level of insecurity that we have in the country is borne out of the joblessness of our youths, we must find a way to control our population growth.”
The Governor who commended publishers of Independent Newspapers for the award and thanked his predecessors for working with him to ensure that dividends of democracy gets to all Deltans, used the occasion to emphasise that most of the challenges facing the country will be a thing of the past if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducts credible elections.
“Once we conduct elections that are credible, it will be good for this country,” he reiterated amidst thunderous applause from the excited audience.
The Governor dedicated the award to Deltans for their support to his administration and their commitment to a peaceful state that is the investment destination of all.
Apart from Governor Okowa, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, bagged Governor of the Year 2017; Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue, Governor of the Year, Security; and River State Governor Nyesom Wike, Political Icon of the Year: Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, Governor of the Year, Agriculture and HRM Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife was honoured as the Bridge Builder of the Year 2017. Mrs Titi Laoye- Tomori, Deputy Governor of Osun State, the immediate past PDP Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, Mr Tony Elumelu, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Dr Wale Babalakin, among others, were also, honoured at the event which attracted players in the Nigerian socio-economic cum political space.
Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Ismaila Isa Funtua in his opening remark, said, “when you look at the list of people this paper is honouring, you will discover that they are Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of life. I will like to appeal to the media to do her utmost to promote the unity of this country. The media should try and unite Nigerians and stop fanning the embers of disunity.”
The Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of Independent Newspapers Limited, Mr Ade Ogidan, said the management of the newspaper will continue to honour Nigerians who have contributed to the growth of Nigeria.