*Tributes for Lamido, Akpabio, Fashola, Imoke, Elumelu
By Emmanuel Aziken, Dapo Akinrefon, Charles Kumolu and Gbenga Oke
Nigerian leaders were, yesterday, charged to show consistency in their actions towards the building of a greater nation.
The charge overflowed at the 2014 Vanguard Personality of the Year Awards ceremony, held amidst glitz, glamour and grandeur at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, last night.
The political class and the media were also charged by the Chairman of the occasion, Prof Anya Anya, to project the positive strides made by the country especially in the last few years.
The award was attended by the cream of the political, business, diplomatic and entertainment classes. Nollywood was especially represented by some of the country’s leading actresses.
The Personality of the Year Award 2014 was won by three governors, Sule Lamido, Jigawa; Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom and Babatunde Fashola, Lagos. The award was for exceptional service in governance for the period 2007 to 2014. Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River was honoured with the Best Tourism Development Award, Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano, Openness in Governance Award and Mr. Tony Elumelu, the Africa Personality of the Year Award.
The General Manager/Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, in his welcome address, said the award was instituted in 2013 to “recognize the stellar actions of hardworking individuals; people who have left indelible marks of excellence” in the society in the preceding year.
Lagos socialite, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, presented the award to Elumelu, who was represented by Mr. Albert Okumatba. The Guardian publisher, Mrs. Maiden Alex-Ibru, presented the award to Imoke, who was represented by Cross River State Commissioner for Finance, Rev. Costakis Etim, while veteran photo journalist, Mr. Sunmi Smart-Cole, presented the award to Fashola, who was represented by the Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr. Ade Ipaye.
Fashola, while thanking Vanguard for the recognition, dedicated the award to “the entire team including the Executive Council and Lagos State Civil Service” who, he said, made the honour possible.
The award to Lamido was presented to him by the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Anya.
Commending the Jigawa governor for his exceptional consistency, Anya said the recognition had added credibility to the award.
“He is consistent in Nigerian politics, at times unpredictable, but when he finally lands, you will realize that whatever he is doing is for the love of his people and the nation,” he stated.
Responding, Lamido restated his determination to the realization of a great country, saying:
“My main concern everyday is my country, I want to see the greatness of my country. Though age has caught up with me, I stand for Nigeria any day.”
The award to Akpabio was received by his wife, Mrs. Unoma Ekaette Akpabio, who was lauded by Anya for being the strong pillar behind the governor’s successful transformation of the state.