By Felix Durumbah
State Governors, political heavyweights, industry captains, the crème de la crème of journalism, advertisers and others last week converged on Abuja for the 2nd annual Awards and Lecture of wave-making, but young, national daily newspaper, Daily Asset.
The event, which held at the conference hall of NICON Luxury Hotel, was to honour different Nigerians, high and the lowly, for their contributions in various fields to national development.
The editorial board of the burgeoning daily, founded by erudite journalist and former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Benue State, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, had, after meticulous appraisals, adjudged certain individuals and corporate players as fit and proper to emerge award winners.
Among them were Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State (Politician of the Year 2018), Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State (Governor of the Year 2018—Infrastructure and Economic Development), Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State( Governor of the Year 2018—Industrialization and Economic Development), Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State (Governor of the Year 2018—Infrastructure and Social Development), and Samuel Ortom of Benue State ( Governor of the Year 2018—Agriculture, Rural Development, Peace and Security).
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State emerged Governor of the Year 2018.
The newspaper’s Man of the Year 2018 award went to Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara. National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, bagged the award of Politician of the Year 2018.
The Businessman of the Year 2018 award was given to Alhaji Hassan Ishaq, Managing Director, H-Medix Pharmacy and Stores Group, just as many other personalities received different honours.
There were also touching awards such as the Young Person of the Year 2018 which went to the late Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje, the young student of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Gboko, who suffered, and consequently died of, vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) after, according to the newspaper, she was serially sexually abused by her guardian and his son from when she was nine till she gave up the ghost at 13.
The matter, which aroused widespread national outrage when it came to light, is being handled by the police who have since arrested the suspects.
Speaking on the occasion, chairman of the event, Professor Iorwuese Hagher, renowned diplomat and former Minister of State, Mines and Power, in his opening address, called for greater national cohesion and understanding for progress.
Tracing the rise of Dr. Akwaya to prominence, he recalled that the newspaper’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief has trodden virtually all beats in journalism in the biggest newspapers in the country, striking out first as a reporter, state correspondent, editor and so on. These experiences, he added, had made Akwaya the nationalist that he is today.
He praised the editorial balance of Daily Asset, saying the paper was not apron-stringed to any proprietorial interest, hence its objectivity, independence and professionalism which have recommended it to a wide section of readers across the country.
The Lecture titled ‘Nigerian universities and National Development’ was delivered by highly respected journalist Tom Chiahemen.