The vanguard personality of the year award ceremony celebrated Amaechi, governor of Rivers State, and crowned him the winner of this years’ prestigious award.
Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, described Amaechi as a fighter of true Federalism. “Governor Amaechi is not just a Governor in whom I am pleased, but one that has been able to make a bold impression about promise and performance in Nigerian political space that is grappling with challenges of development and good governance,” said IBB. However, he saved some controversial speeches for both Ameachi and Tambuwal who was also in attendance. This was reflected in his speech to Amaechi describing him as an advocate of independence in the Federating units and a true leader among others who are brutally frank about issues and the politics of transition.
“Let me salute my brother and friend, Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, for giving us hope and assurances,” said IBB. He went ahead in the presence of a mammoth crowd and stirred what many will describe as controversial when he urged Tambuwal to seek higer office. “When leaders like Tambuwal have delivered on their electoral promise, we advise them to try something higher. For Tambuwal, your guess is as good as mine. Well done.” That was the last paragraph of his well-delivered speech. The end of IBB’s speech was followed by a thunderous ovation that echoed through Eko Expo Hall, Lagos, where the glamourous event took place yesterday.
Publisher of Vanguard, Sam Amuka, poplarly known as Uncle Sam, dressed in a black suit, with a black bow-tie, kicked off the event. The first award presented by Hon. Tambuwal, was for the runner-up Mr Aigboja Aig-Imoukhuede, Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank.
The awardee of the night, Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, urged all Nigerians to contribute in Nation building, adding that the effort of nation building cannot be consigned to the realm of politics alone. Mideno Bayagbon, Editor of Vanguard gave the vote of thanks at the end of the event.