Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta has said he is leaving behind a legacy of peace as he bows out from office on May 29.
Mr. Uduaghan, who was conferred with the Silverbird 2014 Man of the Year Award on Sunday in Lagos, dedicated the award to his wife and the
people of Delta.
The 10th edition of the award, which held at the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, was well attended by many notable personalities.
“I am leaving a more peaceful Delta State than the one I met when I assumed office in 2007, and I dedicate this award to my wife and the good people of Delta State,” he said.
The governor also urged the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, not to neglect any part of the nation because of political affiliations.
“The South-South and South-East are very important to Nigeria and the incoming government should not neglect them even if they didn’t get maximum votes from those areas,” he said.
Other awardees were, Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Group of Companies, manufacturers of the first made in Nigeria vehicles; and the Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, who also won the Silverbird Extraordinary Achievement Award.
Gani Fawehinmi, Ibrahim Waziri and Sam Mbakwe received the Silverbird Post-humous Awards.
Maitama Sule, Philip Asiodu and Gamaliel Onosode were recipients of the Silverbird Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Benjamin Ohiaeri of First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, Lagos, where the first Ebola patient was admitted, received the Silverbird Special Recognition Award on behalf of the facility.
The governments of Lagos and Rivers States, who played huge roles in containing the Ebola virus in Nigeria, were also awarded the Silverbird Special Recognition Awards.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Adeshina, said the Goodluck Jonathan-led government had worked hard to provide food security for Nigerians.
“Poverty must never be something we are comfortable with and food security should be a democratic right of all Nigerians,” he said.
The minister said if Jonathan had not appointed him that he would not have had the opportunity to serve Nigeria.
He used the opportunity to solicit support for his candidacy as the next President of the African Development Bank.
Meanwhile, Mr, Asiodu, a former chief economic adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, in his speech, lamented the purge of the nation’s civil service in 1975.
He called for more emphasis on education and suggested that students should be made to learn languages of other tribes at secondary school level.
“If we carry out this programme, I can assure you that in 15 years any two Nigerians meeting will be able to communicate with each other very well,” he said. “And in due course, ethnicity would be conquered and Nigeria restored to its proper place in the comity of nations.”
Mohammed Fawehinmi, while receiving his father’s post-humous award complained about the decay in the country’s health system.
Mr. Fawehinmi said he and his father were victims of the negligence in the health sector in Nigeria.
In his speech, Ben Murray-Bruce, a senator-elect and the chairman of the Silverbird Group, called for the attention of the authorities to the poor masses.
“We must all grow and develop as a people; anyone you leave behind you create a problem for us,” he said. “We must shrink the cost of running government. Poverty breeds hunger and anger and anger breeds violence. The problem in Nigeria is the rich versus the poor.
“If we do not control our consumption behaviour, when the young ones become hungry and angry, they will become violent. Nigeria is too poor for our leaders to act like multi-billionaires, and Nigeria is too rich for our people to be poor.”
He promised to use his position as a senator to speak for the masses of Nigeria and to sponsor bills on the development and provision of solar power to all Nigerians.
The 2014 edition was the 10th of the Silverbird Man of the Year Awards which commenced in 2005.