Delta Stable despite diversity, says Okowa
• Okonjo-Iweala, Ovia, Elumelu, Clark, Others Receive Awards
The Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, said the state, in its three decades of existence, has been a potpourri of diversity and inclusion, trials and triumphs and growth and stability.
Okowa said this on Friday night, at the Gala and Award Night in Asaba, to mark the grand finale of a weeklong celebration of the 30th anniversary of the creation of the state, held at Event Centre in the state capital.
No fewer than 18 distinguished Deltans, including the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia; Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and eminent scholar, Prof. Obaro Ikime, were honoured for their contributions to the development of the state and country.
Other awardees were Professors Joy Ogwu; Grace Alele-Williams and Emmanuel Nwanze, as well as renowned architect, Chief Charles Majoroh, Chief Edwin K. Clark, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Publisher of Vanguard newspaper, Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu and frontline comedian, Atunyota Akpobome (a.k.a Alibaba).
The awardees also include Michael Ajereh (Don Jazzy); Ese Brume; Timipamere Akiayefa and three posthumous recipients- Chief Mukoro Mowoe, Chief James Otobo and former Premier of defunct Midwest Region, Chief Dennis Osadebay.
Okowa thanked Deltans for their support and cooperation in building a smart, strong and safe state, adding: “After 30 years, I can boldly say it has been three decades of diversity and inclusion, of trials and triumphs, and of growth and stability.”
The governor expressed gratitude to serving, retired or late civil servants, who made huge sacrifices to ensure the successful take-off of the state, even as he said his administration was breaking new grounds in job and wealth creation through entrepreneurship development, while building road and physical infrastructure of the most vital interest and impact.
“As we reflected on the last 30 years, it was clear to us that celebration of this milestone would not be complete without recognising Deltans, who have made the state proud in their various fields of endeavour,” he stated.
Okowa stressed that the list of prominent sons and daughters is by no means exhaustive and there are many Deltans making waves in various aspects of life and across the nations of the world, adding: “As a government, we thought this is a good starting point, and we are deeply grateful that the awardees considered it worthwhile to be here today, and we thank you for giving us that honour.”
He solicited the continued support of all Deltans, including the Diaspora, to his administration in its determination to deliver a stronger Delta to them, assuring that ongoing projects and programmes would be concluded, while premium would continue to be attached to the people’s well-being.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, Oritsejafor said they have had cause to be honoured in different places, but it was heartwarming to be remembered and honoured by one’s state. He commended the governor for the recognition and assured of their continued support and prayers for the state.
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