Glitz, glamour as Kwara honours founding fathers, heroes, achievers

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…best teacher, health worker, policeman, three others get new cars

By Mosunmola Ayobami,Ilorin

Kwara State on Friday honoured a galaxy of its great men and women, deceased or alive, with Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq saying the awards underline his administration’s efforts to promote excellence, hard work, patriotism, inclusion, and sustainable development. 

The awards came under various categories, including the Lifetime Achievements’ Awards and Posthumous Awards that featured some of Kwara’s finest breeds and legends of all time from different walks of life: law, politics, economy, academics, arts and culture, security agencies, trade and commerce, media, and sports, among others. 

Winners in some other categories got mouth-watering prizes, including brand-new exotic cars presented to six winners like the overall best teacher, overall best worker in the health sector, best supporting officer in security sector, best para-athlete, and best athlete. Overall Best Student got N500,000, while a few others in some other categories got varying monetary prizes. 

The stars of the Lifetime Achievements and Posthumous awards’ categories included Nigeria’s former Chief Justice, Alfa Salihu Modibbo Belgore; former head of Nigeria’s secret police, General Abdullahi Adangba; Dr. Amuda Aluko; late Chief Josiah Olawoyin; founder of Okin Biscuit and foremost educationist, Emmanuel Adesoye; former Senate Leader, Olusola Saraki; first lawyer in Northern Nigeria, AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq, SAN; living music legend Jayegbade Alao; former Central Bank Governor and Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Sarah Alade.

Also on the list were the late Ahman Patigi; the late Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Mahmud Babatunde Belgore; the late Governor Mohammed Alabi Lawal; the late Gen. Tunde Idiagbon; late General Abdulkareem Adisa; late Gen. Lasisi Bamigboye; first Professor of Geology in Africa Prof. Mosobalaje Oyawoye; the late former Minister of Health, Alhaji Yahya Madawaki Orioko; former Governor Shaaba Lafiagi; former Governor Cornelius Adebayo.

Winner of an international academic award Prof. Abdulrazaq Abdulmajeed Alaro; founder of Kam Holdings, Alhaji Kamoru Ibitoye Yusuf; founder of Al-Hikmah University, Alhaji Abdulraheem Oladimeji; former Vice Chancellor of FUT Minna, Prof. Suleiman Adeyemi; Prof. David Babalola; former Minister, Amina Ndalolo; Ambassador Zara Omar; and the late football legend, Rashidi Yekini. 

The two categories had at least 50 great recipients honoured for their impacts in Kwara, Nigeria, and the world. 

Several of the awardees were present at the maiden stately event, while many others were represented by their children, wives, families, and friends.

The governor personally presented the two major categories, while other dignitaries presented the others amid interludes of short videos featuring the strides of the administration across various sectors, especially health, education, and safety nets for the poor. 

The night saw state honouring many of its development partners (UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, ActionAid Nigeria, etc), firms and individuals, who have done well for themselves and for the state for many years — a category which the First Lady Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq presented. 

The Radio Kwara, long known for its quality broadcast and its being a longstanding legacy of the state, won the medal in the media category that had the NTA and TVC as contestants. 

The award ceremony had quality attendance. The hall was filled to the brim, with guests ranging from Senators, members of the House of Representatives, judges, cabinet members, royal fathers, captains of industry, members of the diplomatic corps, senior civil servants, security commanders, politicians across the aisles, and many more.

Speaking at the event, Governor AbdulRazaq said the calibre of the awardees speaks to the quality of manpower with which the state is blessed. 

“Kwara is a land of great people with impressive footprints, dead or alive; so the list of recipients of this award will widen in the next editions, God willing,” he said. 

In his response to the award, former CJN Alfa Belgore said it was a great moment for him and the state.

Belgore said: “There are so many things happening, but what is happening that has pleased me too much for this state (Kwara) is Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. His family has served this state so much, and I kept on wondering what all of them would become. When they said the next gubernatorial candidate would come from the family (AbdulRazaq’s), that I knew very well since 1955, I was very happy. 

“I voted for him (the Governor). And when it was announced that he won the election and became the Governor I was equally happy. And I do pray for him and will continue to pray to almighty God to lead him right for the whole country to benefit from him.

“When he finishes the second term in office, I pray he will come to Abuja to be the head of state, because he comes from a family that has always served Nigeria well and he is doing very well. May you continue to succeed, and may Kwara and Nigeria grow very strongly.”

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