By Emmanuel Aziken
LAGOS—SPEAKER Aminu Tambuwal and a policeman who braved the odds to take bullets from dare-devil armed robbers, stole the show at the Sun Newspaper awards, weekend.
While Speaker, Tambuwal won the Sun Man of the Year award for his powerful defence of the common man using the platform of his office, Inspector Adekoya Jamiu who survived a confrontation with armed robbers that left him with more than ten bullets in his stomach, roused the sympathy with donations of more than N8 million at the occasion.
Various dignitaries including members of the House of Representatives who thronged the award ceremony, in Lagos, fell over one another in a money shower on Inspector Adekoya who won the Hero of the Year Award.
Minister, and Aare Afe Babalola, eminent lawyer, won Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Mr. Osita Chidoka, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture, won the Public Service Awards.
Sports Person of the Year Award went to Mr. Yakubu Adesokan, who won two gold medals at the 2012 year’s Paralympics Games in London.
Chief Oba Otudeko, chairman, Honeywell Group and Mr. Emma Bishop Okonkwo, chairman of Ekulo Group, won the Business persons of the year award, while Ms Evelyn Oputu, managing director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), emerged as the Banker of the Year.
Chairman and publisher of Sun Newspapers, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu who claimed he was making his first public appearance as the newspaper’s publisher, said the ten year old newspaper would next year commence a continental media award ceremony for the best in Africa.
Speaking at the occasion, Atiku who handed over life time award lamented the country’s failure to take its due position in the comity of nations despite what he has claimed as the abundance of talents in the country. He cited the awardees as among the best in the country.
Tambuwal who was honoured by the presence of several members of the House of Representatives dedicated the honour given him to the members of the House of Representatives who he said made it possible for the House to achieve the recognition it had so far received.
He said the House would continue to push for equitable development of the country and even distribution of government patronage.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the constitution enjoins that for the purpose of providing national integration, the State shall direct its policy towards the promotion of a planned and balanced economic development and that the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.”
”These are the laudable objectives our constitution has prescribed for nation -building and they are the laudable objectives we have sworn to uphold, if we abdicate, our mandate is not only compromised but at an end.”
“If we are to succeed in the task of nation- building, all citizens must exhibit unqualified zeal, will and passion. Regrettably these three commodities are scarce in our polity but scarcity is not nonavailability.
“We must therefore nurture and promote them. Hitherto we have concentrated our lamentations on political will but I charge that beyond political will there must also be political zeal and passion, that is the real path to nation-building and nation development. ”
“I therefore call on all Nigerians, like the Sun Nigeria Newspaper to rise to the occasion and while yesterday is the time, today is the earliest best opportunity.”