Mr Mutaru Muqthar, a 34-year old Ghanaian, on Wednesday, bagged Daily Trust African of the Year Award for his contributions to counter terrorism in West Africa.
Muqthar was honoured at the 10th award dinner organised by management and publishers of Daily Trust Newspapers in collaboration with United Bank of Africa (UBA) in Abuja.
Also honored was also Prof. Magdi Yacoub, an Egyptian surgeon, who performed the first open heart sugary in Nigeria and have performed series of heart and lung transplants across the globe.
Yacoub, though retired continues to perform charity heart surgery for vulnerable children through his NGO, Chain of Hope Foundation.
Speaking to journalists on the side line of the event, the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha said Muqthar had not only made impact in his country but all over the world including Nigeria.
“He worked with the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to address militancy in the region in 2009.
“At 34, see what he has been able to achieve, enormous amount of work and I commend him for that, I want the youths of this country to look at what he has achieved in 34 years.
“I will want the youths of this country and other African countries to look at his life; he was not born with a silver spoon, he started as shoe maker but today, he has earn for himself a place in the history of Africa.”
Mustapha commended Daily Trust for creating a platform to change Africa’s narrative as the continent was seen especially in the western media for farming, disease, poverty and conflict.
He said Daily Trust was putting a new narrative where Africans would be celebrated for the excellent work they are doing.
Earlier, the Chairman of the event, Dr Kole Shettima, said that the event was an occasion to celebrate Africa’s very best and what Africans were doing to improve the quality of life.
He said poverty, wars, diseases, corruption and other vices had often been used to described the continent.
Shettima, who is all the Managing Director of MacArthur Foundation, commended the Management and Publishers of Daily Trust for showcasing what Africa has to offer to the world in the last 10 years.
He said in the spirit of Pan Africanism, such event should be encouraged as it showed that Africans could help themselves and help the world.
Responding, Muqthar appreciated the organisers of the event for the honour saying that the award gave meaning to his ambition.
The awardee said he worked hard, trained and persisted adding that he was glad as fortune finally showed on him.
He said the agony of bad leadership was the undertone for terrorism in the world adding that Africa cold only make progress through good leadership that would address unemployment, end corruption and other social vices on the continent.
According to him, Africa is the greatest continent in the world and it is time to unleash all its potentials so that we can have the peace, transformation and renaissance we look for. (NAN)