Ceremony brings Sheriff, PDP traducers under same roof

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By Dapo Akinrefon, Charles Kumolu and Gbenga Oke

Yesterday’s Vanguard 2016 Personality of the Year Awards ceremony held amid glitz and glamour with some of the country’s leading personalities in attendance.

Even before the occasion  commenced at  7.00 p.m., the Eko Convention Hall  venue was practically overflowing with all seats taken.

Politicians of all tendencies were there including leading lights of the two major factions of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, and his traducers from the mainstream led by Chief Olabode George gathered under the same roof.

Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, who welcomed dignitaries on behalf of his publisher, Mr. Sam Amuka, said the ceremony was in continuation of the Vanguard spirit of recognising excellence in the professions saying,

“In our usual tradition, we have meticulously handpicked these highly motivated individuals who have shone through challenging times and have gone beyond their call of duties for the sake of service.”


The award ceremony which had former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke as Chairman, kicked off with the recognition of the services to mankind rendered by some of the country’s leading lights.

Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Mr. Pascal Dozie, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, Chief Edwin Clark and Alhaji Isa Funtua were honoured with Lifetime Awards.

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In memorable recollection of his services to the country, practically all men and women present at the Eko Convention Hall rose in applause for  Gowon as he was called upon to receive his award from the duo of Vanguard Chairman, Mr. Sam Amuka, and a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba.

The event was also an opportunity for cultural bonding as Igbo traditional dancers came to show solidarity not just to  Anyaoku and Dozie, but remarkably with South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark.

Following the Lifetime Service Awards, honours were bestowed on Captain Hosa Okunbo as Businessman of the Year, 2016, Mr. Herbert Wigwe as Banker of the Year, 2016 and Mr. Godwin Emefiele as Personality of the Year, 2016. Okunbo received his award as Bini dancers entertained on the sidelines.

Governor Willie Obiano’s award was received on his behalf by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okonkwo, who thanked Vanguard for recognising what he described as the good things being done in Anambra State.

“On behalf of my principal, I greet the publishers of Vanguard. If you do good things, you will realise that awards count. We have a leader in Governor Obiano who understands the private sector, who knows how to provide jobs and institutions. We have a Governor who understands what it is to pay salaries at the right time. I can guarantee you that if in the next four years, we have Governor Obiano at the helm of affairs, we will surely have a Dubai in Nigeria”.

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Receiving his award as Governor of the Year, Governor Ayade of Cross River State said it was a challenge for him to do more. “I accept this award as a catalytic energy to push me, to challenge me to do my very best because Vanguard is a credible organisation, I accept this award and dedicate it to the entire people of Cross River State, Nigeria and indeed Africa.”

Kebbi State governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said the award to him was made possible by many people.

“So many people worked hard for this, I am humbled that Vanguard Newspapers acknowledged this and has been the medium supporting this initiative,” Bagudu said.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos was represented by his deputy, Dr. Mrs. Ranti Adebule, who thanked Vanguard for the award given to her principal even as she promised that he would do more.

Vanguard Editor, Mr. Eze Anaba, who gave the vote of thanks, appreciated the dignitaries who graced the occasion.

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