Speaking at Silverbird ‘Man of the Year 2012’ award held Thursday night in Lagos where two Deltans bagged awards, Governor Uduaghan said it was unfortunate that decades after a Niger Delta activist, Isaac Adaka Boro brought to the consciousness of the world the injustice being suffered by the people of the Niger Delta region, the situation was yet to be resolved.
Minister of Finance, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Deltan bagged the ‘Man of the Year’ award while Chief Newton Jibunor, also a Deltan reputed for his campaign against desert encroachment, was rewarded for his crusade against desertification in Africa.
Others who were also given award at the well attended ceremony include Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Sergeant Georgeta Y., a Traffic Officer with the Nigerian Police; while post-humus awards went to late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti; late political icon, Mallam Aminu Kano; and Niger Delta activist, Major Isaac Adaka Boro.
Presenting an award to one of the siblings of Boro, Governor Uduaghan stated that the late Isaac Boro “died fighting for fairness and justice in the Niger-Delta,” stressing that “today, we have not achieved fairness and justice in the Niger Delta.”
While praying that the award should lead to the entrenchment of justice and fairness in the oil-rich region, Governor Uduaghan commended Silverbird for organizing the award which recognized the inputs of Nigerians to the nation’s development.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said she felt humbled with the award and called on all Nigerians to be committed in working for the country to achieve greatness, while Chief Jibunor said: “this award is a great honour, it is an honour for me to serve Nigeria more.”
Other recipients of the award expressed joy that their contributions to the nation’s development are being recognized, assuring that they will continue to work in the interest of the country.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion and former federal Minister, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) described the award as “coveted public tribute to Nigeria,” adding: “this is an award to a person who has affected the Nigerian public in a most profound way in the year given.
In attendance at the award ceremony where the Governors of Delta, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan; that of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi; Kano State, Kwakwanso; Bauchi State, Alhaji Isa Yaguda; representatives of some state governors; Ide Ahaba, Chief Sunny Odogwu, Prof. Pat Utomi, Ministers, industrialists, among others.
…… CONDOLES THE GUARDIAN, SAYS OGBODO’S DEATH, A CRUEL SHOCK
“It is a cruel shock and annoying twist of fate. He died. His colleagues survived. The nation is left to mourn. We can only take solace in the belief that God knows best”.These were the words of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State who could not hold back his grief in a reaction to the death of John Abba Ogbodo, assistant political editor of The Guardian who lost his life on Thursday while traveling along with three other journalists on official assignment from Abuja to Awka in Anambra State.
Although the three other journalists survived, the governor said it was an irony that Ogbodo’s death has robbed the nation and particularly the media of the opportunity to celebrate, adding it was a twist of fate that confronts everyone at this moment of grief.
“It is a cruel shock and annoying twist of fate. He died. His colleagues survived. The nation is left to mourn”, he stated.
Uduaghan, in a statement issued by Felix Ofou, his Press Secretary in Lagos also described the news of Ogbodo’s death as a “cruel shock” that will take a long time for journalists and politicians to overcome, while noting that the late journalist will be greatly missed for the candor, resilience and uncommon sense of duty that he attached to his job while alive.
The governor recalled that Ogbodo, while covering activities of the ruling Peoples Democratiic Party (PDP) as well as other political events, was always fair, incisive and balanced, a fact which endeared him to all and sundry, culminating in the outpouring of grief by all manner of persons with the news of the death.
While calling on all to take solace in the wisdom that God knows why the late journalist had to bow out at a time when his bosses had acknowledged his proficiency, the Delta State Chief executive expressed condolence with the management and staff of The Guardian, the NUJ, particularly Abuja chapter and the late Ogbodo’s family for the sad loss.
He prayed God to grant the nation and those affected by the tragedy the fortitude to bear the loss as well as repose for the soul of the deceased.