…The Sun Awards better, bigger- Boss Mustapha
…Awards helps to address Nigeria’s injustice – Allen Onyema
By Dan Kanu
Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, diplomat, politician, former minister, and statesman has faulted those with the opinion that Nigeria cannot be negotiated, submitting that “we can negotiate Nigeria peacefully”.
Also, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha said that The Sun Publishing limited plays a major role in mirroring and reporting developments in Nigeria. He also said that he is honoured by the opportunity to chair the occasion.
Kingibe expressed his view while receiving a Lifetime Achievement award at the 18th edition of the annual The Sun Awards celebration held yesterday at Eko Hotel, Lagos.
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) noted that Nigerians have the option to discuss critical issues affecting their unity peacefully without resorting to abuse.
“This is not an evening of wise statements, but an evening of appreciation and one that we must say things the way they are. I believe in Nigeria,” he said.
Corroborating the view of Kingibe on Nigeria’s unity, Chief Allen Onyeama, chairman, Air Peace, who won the Exceptional Philanthropy award said that the issue of injustice in the land abounds in all regions, and must be properly addressed for unity to be secured.
“Those who are saying that we have no option, there is nothing like that, there is an option.
“The unity of Nigeria is negotiable, even the unity of the family, the unity between the husband and the wife are all negotiable and should be done peacefully.
“But let us respect one another; respect the views of others so that in future you can also interact in love. Let us mind our language as we address national issues.
“We have the right to sit down considering the condition after rational examination of the pros and cons, it does not require abuses.
“You have the right to say you are not fine with the union, do you feel the grass is greener on the other side, but you must consider every option properly but do not demonise your partner, discuss in dignity and respectfully,” he said.
Kingibe also extolled The Sun platform for providing the balanced podium for a rich debate.
Kingibe was former Chairman of a defunct major political party, Social Democratic Party (SDP), and was running mate to Chief M.K.O Abiola at the 1993 presidential election which they won but was annulled by the then military President Ibrahim Babangida.
Mustapha, who was chairman of The Sun Awards 2020, also said it is an honour for him to join the list of eminent Nigerians who have been found worthy to chair the awards.
Represented by the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Dare, Mustapha commended the management of The Sun for their consistency in organizing the awards.
He said: “I thank the management of The Sun for organising these awards. The Sun award is a very important event ceremony, The Sun plays a major role in mirroring and reporting developments in Nigeria. I am very honoured to join the league of eminent Nigerians who have been found worthy to chair this awards.”
Mr Moses Ekpo, deputy governor, Akwa Ibom State, who received the Life Achievement 2020 said he is glad to be part of the success story of Akwa Ibom State.
A former Commissioner for Information in Akwa Ibom, he dedicated the award to Governor Udom Emmanuel, who he said gave him the opportunity to be part of the state’s success story.
He also thanked God for preserving his life to date.
He was detained during the civil war for two months and 30 months. After the war, he went back to the newly created Cross Rivers State and helped set up the state-owned Nigerian Chronicle, and served as the pioneer editor.
The Sun Publisher and Senate Chief Whip, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu in his welcome address presented by his daughter, Neya Iyere, commended the awardees for being singled out among millions of Nigerians, saying it is a great feat.
She said that they deserved following their accomplishments, urging them to remain consistent in their individual endeavours.
She reminded them that to whom much is given, much is expected, and urged them to work together and live in peace for the progress of the country.
She paid tributes to all frontline workers, even as she called on all to remember those that lost their lives to the senseless killings in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Boss Mustapha said that The Sun Publishing plays a major role in mirroring and reporting developments in Nigeria.
Mustapha, who was represented by the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, commended the management of The Sun for their consistency in organising the awards.
He said: “I thank the management of The Sun for organizing these awards.”
Chief Bode George, who received Life Time Achievements Award, commended The Sun Newspapers for finding him worthy of the award.
He paid glowing tributes to Senator Orji Uxor Kalu for his efforts in ensuring the victory of former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his second term election.
He dedicated the award to his family members and political associates.
The Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji said The Sun award is highly credible, submitting that “the process is very tenacious and, in their judgment, they say their mind no matter whose ox is gored.”
He said the award is a great motivation
The political strategist is the winner of The Sun Award for Public Service.
He told The Sun that he did not set out to be a politician but that politics found him and he could not resist the urge as he innocently found himself in the midst of politicians, politics, and governance.
Speaker Orji noted that he has led the state Assembly to make good laws for the development of the state. (The Sun)
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