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.
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.
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.