From WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
Foremost Yoruba traditional leader, Ooni of lfe, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Adeyeye, will lead other distinguished Nigerian leaders, such as Governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, as well as a renowned philanthropist and cleric, Rev. Esther Ajayi, among others to review Nigeria’s democracy at 20, with a view to forge the way forward on improvement and also take stock of the nation’s democratic achievement.
The event is being organised by Hall of Grace (HoG) Awards, under the chairmanship of Oba Adeyeye and with Mr. Rupert Ojenuwa, a journalist and publisher, as Managing Custodian of the awards.
According to a press release from Ojenuwa to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday, Governor Udom is delivering a lead paper whose theme will centre on democracy. The event, which is the 9th edition of the HoG Awards, holds on July 28 at the Civic Center, in Lagos.
On the choice of Governor Udom as lead Speaker, Mr. Ojenuwa, said: ” We resorted to have the governor deliver this all-important address because of his unparalleled contribution to democracy.
Ojenuwa said that the decision of the organization not to have an elder statesman or a former president deliver the keynote is deliberate. ‘It would have been good to have an elder statesman or a former president deliver the keynote but I think it is even better to have Governor Udom deliver it and this is because he is relatively young and also a great provider of dividends of democracy for our people in Akwa Ibom as a performing Chief Executive. The advocacy we hope to achieve with this edition of the awards is to let Nigerians, particularly the ruling elites, know that democracy is vain without democratic dividends. It is okay to honor heroes of democracy because they fought for it but it is equally good to honor those who deliver its dividends because without democratic dividends, democracy would have existed for nothing and that is why we chose the governor, to make that statement,” he said.
Noting that some leaders who have distinguished themselves during the nation’s 20-year of democracy will be garlanded, Ojenuwa revealed the awardees as Governor Akeredolu for his industrialization efforts, former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Barr Allen Onyema, for their contributions to peace while Rev Esther Ajayi will also be honored for admirable philanthropy, and finally, a post humus award, goes to the late MKO and Kudirat Abiola, as an icon of democracy.
Ojenuwa added that entertainment icons like TUFACE Idibia, Uti Nwachukwu and Funke Akindele will also be honored for their contributions to the nation’s entertainment industry.
The HoG Awards continues to establish its cardinal objective of sticking to credibility which is why it has since inception honored very distinguished Nigerians who have been above board, impacting lives and contributing to society