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Fashola, Obi win Silverbird Man of the Year Award

03 March 2014, 22:08

Lagos - Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and his Anambra counterpart, Peter Obi, were on Sunday night in Lagos named joint winners of the 2013 Silverbird Man of the Year Award.

The governors received the awards at the ‘Silverbird Man of the Year Awards and Honours 2013’, held at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

The governors, six other persons, including Presidents of two African countries, also bagged different awards at the event.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone were given "Awards of Distinction”.

The Rwandan Ambassador to Nigeria, Joseph Habienza, received the award on behalf of Kagame, while Sierra-Leonean High Commissioner to Nigeria, Henry Macaulay, received on behalf of Koroma.

Also, Dr Tunji Braithwaite, a popular lawyer and human rights activist; Dr Chinweizu, a mathematician and author, and Chief Joop Berkhout (OON), a publisher, received the Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi (MON) also received the Special Achievement Award.

Speaking on his award, Fashola noted that of all the recipients, it was only Chinweizu that could not come on stage to receive his award because of his disability.

He called on all builders, developers and civil engineers in the state to make sure that they took disabled persons into consideration while building, so that they (disabled) could move around without hindrance.

"Every house built in Lagos since 2008 has complied with this directive because we must always take the disabled among us into consideration in all things," he said.

Fashola appealed to people to obey the directive voluntarily.

The governor dedicated his award to public servants and tax payers in Lagos State.

Obi in his own speech, thanked Silverbird for giving him a genuine award, which he did not have to pay for.

He advised other state governments to return the public schools to churches which would run them better, like he did in Anambra.

"The government has no business running the schools; they should only make the policies and support the schools with money,’’ he said.

He said it had been difficult and challenging running Anambra and called on the people to pray for the success of the incoming governor, Willie Obiano.

Welcoming guests earlier, the Chairman of Silverbird Group, Ben Murray-Bruce, called on political office holders to be humble and accountable to the people they govern.

Murray-Bruce also advised them to keep records of their service to the people.

"The people deserve to know how you served them during your tenure; the people must read what you documented while in office, we cannot grow if we distort history," he said.

He extolled the qualities of Fashola and Obi, and urged Nigerians to emulate them.

The event was chaired by a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumogobia.

-  NAN

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