The Sun Awards: Night of excellence, glamour

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By Olafioye Olakunle, Chinelo Obogo, Daniel Kanu, Chukwudi Nweje, Sunday Ani

It was a night of excellence and glamour yesterday at The Sun Awards as many eminent Nigerians were celebrated. The 19th edition of the prestigious The Sun Awards was held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Speaking at the event, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State said that it’s possible to build a greater Nigeria with visionary leadership and unity among the people.

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His position was corroborated by Hon Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, who noted also that Nigerians can create a new vision with good leadership.

Imo State governor, Hope Uzobimma also flayed opponents and critics of his government, saying that the state of insecurity in the state is the handwork of opposition.

He said that he would not be distracted from delivering democracy dividends to Imolites.  

He thanked The Sun for the award which he described as unique even as he acknowledged that The Sun is one of the most widely read newspapers that reports authoritatively.

“I also thank the All Progressives Congress (APC) for giving me the opportunity to serve my people. I am very glad,” he said.

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Uzodimma who described himself as a man of faith noted that  the  award was an endorsement from God.

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu who received Governor of the Year award said he has received many awards in the past, but that The Sun award is ‘The award’ and that it is a call to do more.

Other recipients of The Sun Awards took turns to eulogise the prestigious recognition, describing it as a tonic of encouragement to do more. 

Chief Bisi Akande, pioneer National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Osun State, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and Col. Sani Bello who were recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards said  its a great honour.   

Akande said he is honoured and humbled that The Sun recognised and honoured him for his contributions to national development.

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who was represented by his daughter, thanked The Sun newspaper for the award, saying that it’s an honour worth appreciating.

Col. Sani Bello, who was unavoidably absent was represented by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, representing Niger State.

He appreciated the award while Chief Dokpesi who was represented by his wife praised the award as he thanked The Sun Publishing company for the honour.

 Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige who received the Public Service  award said it would spur him to serve the country better. 

Ngige who announced his ambition to contest the 2023 presidential election urged Nigerians to pray earnestly for the realisation of their dreams next year, dedicated the award to his late parents and his immediate family members.

“This award will spur me on so that I can serve my country better, I am contesting the presidential election. Let us pray so that our heart desires will be realized in 2023. I dedicate this award to my late parents who did their best to get me educated and also to my wife and children.

Pioneer National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, Col. Sani Bello (retd), and Chief Raymond Dokpesi, received the Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented by the Prelate of the Methodist Church, Rev Kalu Uche.

Akande said he is honoured and humbled that The Sun recognised and honoured him for his contributions to national development.

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who was represented by his daughter, thanked The Sun newspaper for the award, saying that it’s an honour worth appreciating.

The Sun award is ‘The Award’ –Babajide Sanwo-Olu

 Sanwo-Olu who received Governor of the Year award said he has received many awards in the past, but that The Sun award is ‘The award’ and that it is a call to do more.

“We have been receiving many awards, but The Sun awards is the award. I thank the management of the company for deeming me fit to receive this award and it is a call to do more. I dedicate it to the entire people of Lagos State,” he said.  

Wife of former Senate President Bukola Saraki, Toyin Saraki, who received the Humanitarian Service Icon, expressed her appreciation to The Sun for the award and said she is proud to be a product of the Nigerian dream.

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“I would like to thank the management of The Sun Newspaper for doing me this honour. I stand before you as a daughter of Nigeria, a sister and a mother in this country. I am happy to be able to stand as a product of the Nigerian dream of education, rights, equity and the prospects of a better future for every Nigerian citizen.

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“I have dedicated my life since 1999 to be the voice of the mothers and all women and we have seen progress from one in six deaths when I started my foundation, to one in 20 deaths today and that progress is still not enough but I hope that you would all join me in making a better Nigeria for every single citizen, no matter where they find themselves,” she said.

While also receiving the Humanitarian Service Icon, Senator Uche Ekwunife who represents Anambra Central Senatorial District, said: “I want to express my gratitude to The Sun management for finding me worthy of this very prestigious award. For me, the essence of living is to impart on the lives of the downtrodden and that has actually made me to invest most of my time and money on the less privileged. I would like to appreciate my Senate President for his support which has made what I do possible. I dedicate the award to the people of Anambra Central ]Senatorial district and to ask everyone to put me in prayers as I hae declared to re-contest election to the Senate.”

…This will motivate me to do more -Adesola Adeduntan

Adesola Adeduntan who won the Banking Icon of the Decade, said: “I want to thank The Sun management for this honour and I dedicate it to my family and the management of First Bank. It is very encouraging and motivation for me to do more.”

Also speaking, Senate President- President, Ahmad Lawan,  said the 9th National Assembly has been able to pass several critical legislations for development.

He noted that the lawmakers have been able to pass legislations that proved difficult for previous legislatures to pass.

Lawan received the Political Icon of the Year 2021. 

Presenting the award, former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori, praised Lawan for “all he has done for Nigeria.”

In his acceptance, the Senate president congrstulated the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the multiple infrastructure development in Lagos.

He, on behalf of the National Assembly: “I am sure the award was given to me because I have been in the National Assembly for more than two decades. This award means that The Sun has been able to see what the legislature is doing. 

“The 9th National Assembly has done a lot towards national development. I learnt a lot from former president of the Senate, David Mark. 

“The 9th National Assembly stands out for passing critical legislations that were difficult to pass or those that when passed were not signed by Mr President. 

‘I want to thank the Chief Whip of the senate, he is a very important person, he does not spare anybody, including the Senate president. He has helped the assembly attain stability.

…Gov Bala Mohammed

Governor Bala Mohammed in his own reaction expressed delight in the award and promised not to disappoint the confidence reposed in him.

 His words: «I am highly delighted to receive this award. As a journalist, I know what it means. I will not take the award for granted, I will not disappoint I will always cherish the award.» he said.

..Abia First lady, Nkechi Ikpeazu

Abia First lady, Nkechi Ikpeazu, who won the Most Supportive First Lady saud that it is worth appreciating.

“I want to appreciate The Sun Newspaper, It is an encouragement for me to do more. It is also to be considered as a community award because many people are involved. I want to thank Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, who is the most supportive husband. I want to also acknowledge the sickle cell warriors and all the workers and donors that helped in delivering the projects that I’m doing possible,” Mrs Ikpeazu said. 

Daniel Igali Sports personality of the Year

Bayelsa State Commissioner for Sports, Daniel Igali, thanked The Sun Newspapers for the award.

He also thanked Governor Douye Diri for all the support so far which has earned him the award.

He said: “I used to tell my athletes to do their best because they wouldn’t know when anybody is watching. And it is obvious that The Sun Newspaper has been watching us. I thank The Sun management and staff for this recognition.”

 Chief Benson Madubuiko, has said his award as the Entrepreneur of the Year would challenge him to do more. Expressing his delight at the recognition, Chief Madubuiko noted that to whom much is given much is expected. «I am highly delighted to receive this award. I thank the management of The Sun for this honour. I see it as a challenge because to whom much is given, much is expected. this will definitely challenge me to do more,» he stated.

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