Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, was on Tuesday honoured as “Nigeria’s Torchbearer in Infrastructure and Environmental Development” for his outstanding accomplishments in the development of the state.
The award was given to the governor by African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, publishers of Tribune titles, to mark the 70th anniversary of the newspaper.
Receiving the “Tribune Platinum Award” at an impressive event at Muson Centre, Lagos, Okowa attributed his success so far to his determination in building a stronger Delta.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, he dedicated the award to Deltans, especially traditional and religious leaders for their peaceful dispositions and cooperation with his administration.
“Let me first give thanks to God who gave me life and I want to thank all Deltans, who supported me and made my administration to succeed.
“For us in Delta, we are determined to make a difference in the lives of our people by providing critical infrastructure and environmental development through urban renewal.
“I dedicate this award to God, our traditional and religious leaders for their strong support and partnership which has contributed immensely to the peace and stability we now have in Delta,” he said.
The governor, who thanked the organisers of the ceremony, remarked that since he assumed duty in 2015, his administration had received awards from different organisations in recognition of “our modest efforts in developing our state”.
He assured that “as a government, we will continue to ensure good governance and better days ahead for all our people in our avowed determination to build a stronger Delta.”
Other awardees at the ceremony included Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto state); Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).
Former governors – Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) were also honoured with different awards.
Also honoured were Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele; Sir Kessington Adebutu, Imam Abubakar Abdullah, Dr Mike Adenuga and wife of Ondo State Governor, Betty Anyawu-Akeredolu.
Chairman of African Newspapers of Nigeria, Dr (Mrs) Olatokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu, in her speech, said that the occasion was to honour “men and women who have distinguished themselves in their service to the nation, adding that Nigerian Tribune was out to celebrate excellence and to stand by the truth.
According to her, truth and commitment are our watchwords. The media are not only to commend or condemn what is good or bad, but it is also its responsibility to recognise excellent services and dedication of the individual to nationhood, which brought about the people we recognising today.”
Earlier in a welcome address, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Mr Edward Dickson, had said, “the newspaper is a national institution not only by the fact that it was established by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo but that “Tribune preceded the independence of Nigeria.”