The Akwa Ibom Government has honoured some personalities for their contributions to the development and growth of the state, as part of activities to climax the 30th Anniversary of the creation of the State.
Top on the list at the state banquet held at the Le Meridien Ibom hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo was the Icon Award given to retired General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida for creating the state in September 23,1987.
The second category was the Icons of state development award to the past Governors of the state.
In this category were retired Brigadier General(Senator) Tunde Ogbeha, retired Major General Godwin Abbe, retired Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga and Late Obong Akpan Isemin who got a post-humous award.
In that same group were retired Colonel Yakubu Bako, late retired Navy Captain Joseph Adeusi, post humous, Group Captain John Ebiye retired, Obong Victor Attah and Senator Godswill Akpabio.
In another category, the Prelate Emeritus of Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr Sunday Mbang CON, former Chief of Air staff, Air Marshall Nsikak Eduok retired, first indigenous prelate of the African Church, Most Rev. Emmanuel Josiah Udofia got pacesetters awards, while post humous honours in that category went to Dominic Cardinal Ekanem the first African Cardinal of the catholic church, the former Inspector General of Police, Sir Etim Inyang and former Chief Justice of Uganda, Justice Egbert Udo Udoma.
At the event, Iconic achievers in Sports Award went to Nigeria’s most capped footballer Vincent Enyeama, former Olympic gold medalist Enefiok Udobong and 2015 Nigerian FA cup champions Akwa United Football club of Uyo while Emem Isong, Dr. Uko Akpan Umana, Prince Patrick Idiong and Chief John Idung cornered the iconic achievers in entertainment awards.
The event also provided special recognition award which went to the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, Media, Mr Ufot Ekong, Academic achievement, Mr Akanimo Udofia, Entrepreneurship and Rt. Hon Barr. Onofiok Luke for youth development.
Obong Ufot Ekaette was also honoured for public service under the special recognition award, Inoyo Toro Foundation, Social and humanitarian services and Mr Aniekpeno Mkpanang for innovation and creativity.
Speaking at the event, The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo described the award as being very important because merit and hard work were being recognized while men and women who laid the foundation for the greatness of the state were celebrated.
He told Governor Udom Emmanuel that by expressing gratitude of Akwa Ibom people to those who served them in the years gone by, he had satisfied an important spiritual principle which says that those who say thank you reap the reward of greater gifts in the future.
In the words of the Vice President, “by so doing, you have demonstrated deep humility in realization that no man can build alone and that no man’s wisdom is sufficient for all generations”.
He congratulated the honourees for what he referred to as well deserved honours conferred on them by Akwa Ibom State and thanked God for those in attendance and for the blessed memories of those who departed.
Earlier, The State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel had recalled with Joy the landmark achievements of past leaders in the state and submitted that Akwa Ibom was always blessed with good leadership beginning from Senator Tunde Ogbeha.
“Let me say here that Akwa Ibom is blessed and we have always been blessed in the past 30 years with good leadership”.
The Governor described Akwa Ibom as God’s own state with people of vitality, zeal, patriotism and undiluted vision and paid tribute to General Ibrahim Babangida for the creation of the state after 6 decades of struggle.
Mr Emmanuel commended his predecessors in office for their efforts in developing the state and promised not to erect a bungalow where they laid foundation for sky scrappers.
He expressed deep appreciation to the vice president for taking time out to participate in the state’s anniversary, extended same to other dignitaries and planning committee.
Obong Victor Attah, a former Governor of the state who spoke on behalf of other honourees described the initiative by Governor Emmanuel as phenomenal.
The former Governor stated that by honouring the past and recognizing sacrifice and contributions, Governor Emmanuel had shown that there is a future for Akwa Ibom State.
Obong Attah also had this to say about EARCOM and DAKAADA, “For those of you who don’t know what EARCOM is, it is Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission. That is a commission that I had set when I was Governor of this state and I thank God that it is still going and your Dakaada has come and lifted it to the next level”.
The well attended event featured cutting of anniversary cake, Toast to Akwa Ibom at 30, choral renditions, good will messages, dinner, performance by the young professionals and cultural display courtesy of Ekemini theatre troupe among others.
Source: The Unknown Nigeria