By Perez Brisibe
Managing Director of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Chief Askia Ogieh has bagged an award of excellence as Garkuwa Matasan Arewa (Shield of the North) from the Northern Youth Council, NYC for his humanitarian service.
The award was presented to him by the NYC leadership who described Chief Askia as a man who falls in the same historical line with Sir Ahmadu BelloBelloof blessed memory.
In his address during the presentation, National President of the Council, Dr. Isah Abubakar said that the award was conferred on the DESOPADEC boss because of his humanitarian services over the years, adding that Askia had been a major donor to the council and has helped greatly in touching the lives of the women and youths, across the country, thereby lifting them from abject poverty.
Dr. Abubakar stressed further that Nigeria must harness its diversity for development and that the unity and peaceful coexistence among tribes in the country is non-negotiable.
In his acceptance speech, an elated Chief Askia expressed his concern about the crises in parts of the North and urged the youths to formulate programmes that would enhance cohesion among all ethnic groups and to foster democratic ideals.
He stressed on the need for peaceful coexistence among northerners and southerners in the country and the need to focus on factors that bind them together while playing down those that fan the embers of disunity.
While calling for true federalism, Chief Askia said too much power is being concentrated at the centre and that there is an urgent need for restructuring of the polity.
Expressing his gratitude for the award, Chief Askia also used the opportunity to salute the Emir of Zaria, stating that he started his Rotary Club experience in Zaria, with encouragement from the Emir noting that the objective of the club at the time was basically to render humanitarian services.