Art and Life

Obiano honours Anyaoku, Achebe, Obi, Ngige, Etiaba, others, inaugurates International Convention Center

Outgoing Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, on Wednesday gave awards to some deserving personalities in the state.
The recipients include Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe; former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amechi; former governors, Mr Peter Obi and Dr Chris Ngige, former deputy governors, Mr Emeka Sibeudu and Virgy Etiaba, as well as businessman, Chief Emeka Offor.

Those who received posthumous awards were: Former Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili; former Senate President, Dr Chuba Okadigbo; former President of Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe; and former Head of State of defunct Biafra Republic, Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, among many others.

The award presentation was part of the programme for a valedictory event for Obiano.

The event also featured the unveiling of a biography on the governor and the official inauguration of the 13,000-seater International Convention Centre, Awka

It was gathered that the inauguration of the Convention was borne out of the incoming governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo’s insistence on a low-key swearing-in ceremony that will not involve more than 50 guests, with no dance entertainments.

Soludo had said that the event will be a short one as he intends to get to work immediately with a visit to Okpoko slum near the commercial city of Onitsha.

The event featured prominent individuals like former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe who took turns to praise Obiano over his glowing achievements in the last eight years in the state.

During the valedictory event, a book written by investment banker, Ike Chioke, with the title, “Akpokuedike, Duty Call in Anambra”, was also unveiled.

Speaking at the event, Chioke said: “I set out to write this book to immortalise Chief Willie Obiano and his performance in the eight years that he served as governor.

“I met him in 2004 during the banking sector consolidation, when the governor-elect was the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, and Chief Obiano was the Executive Director of Fidelity Bank, and as an investment banker, I was to work with the bank in the acquisition of another bank.

“Since then, we had been close, and later I was to work with him when he became governor, and later he appointed me as the Managing Director of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) where I serve today.

“This book is my attempt to document the achievements of the governor for posterity. He is a man who has a strong conviction about what he wanted to achieve in Anambra, and he came to power fully prepared for the task, and is today leaving the state with a lot of legacy projects.”

On his part, Obiano said: “By the powers conferred on me as the Governor of Anambra State, in the Anambra State Honours Laws of 1995, I want to award some deserving personalities in the state.

“This is an authentic award, and we will be awarding recipients in categories, including Commanders, grand commanders and merit award. You must feel free to affix it to your name anywhere in the world as it is very recognized.”

News Express
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