Vanguard Personality of the Year Awards 2019/2020
By Yemisi Suleiman
It was a night of honour, glitz and glamour as some of Nigeria’s leading personalities gathered for the much anticipated Vanguard Personality of the Year, 2019/2020 Awards ceremony.
Held last night at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, this year’s Awards ceremony recognised achievers from 2020 and 2019 who could not be celebrated due to the lock down occasioned by the COVID 19 Pandemic.
Thirty-two personalities in the political and public spheres were celebrated and awarded for their achievements, impacts and contributions to the society.
With compare for the night, ace comedian Tee A taking their place on stage, the event kicked off on a vibrant note.
In a welcome address by Mrs Nike Akande, former Minister of Industry, she described the Vanguard Personality of the Year Award as one that stands out in its profile reputation and one of the leading Award Ceremony in the country.
This Award ceremony stands out in its profile and reputation as one of the leading Award Ceremony in the country. She congratulated all awardees for making the list of this prestigious Award.
Among those honoured last night for Life Time Achievements were Pharmacists’ and lecturer Prof. Adenike Grange, for her immense contributions as a strong voice in the struggle to improve the healthcare of children, adolescents, women and their families in the Nigeria medical delivery system. Alhaji Mamman Daura for his remarkable achievements and contributions as a major pioneer of the industrialization of Northern Nigeria, as well as his philanthropic contributions to humanity. Chief Biodun Shobanjo, Marketing Communication Guru, for his remarkable achievements and impact on Nigeria’s media industry in general and the marketing and advertising segment in particular.
Chief Folake Solanke, first female senior Councel and Chief Winifred Awosika, Educationist and Philanthropist, for her immense contributions and impact as an educationist under whose branches many have found succour and livelihood in Nigeria.
Also honoured but in the for Life time Achievement category were; Alhaji Sehu Malami, Chief Judge of Nigeria; Aloma Mukhtar, former governor of Ogun State; Chief Olusegun Osoba, first Republic Minister of Aviation; Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, Chris Kolade; former Nigerian Diplomat, Victor Attah; Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, and Nigerian Music Icon; Evangelist Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi.
Others were Chief Arthur Mbanefo; former Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr Wilfred Olabode Olajumoke; Professor of Biology, Lawyer and Elder Statesman; Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Alhaji Tanko Yakassai; Politician and Human Rights Activist.
Vanguard Public Sector Icon of the Year 2019/2020, went to former Governor of Rivers State and minister of Transportation, RT Chibuike Amaechi for his great strides in government, coupled with his efforts towards improving the transportation system across Nigeria, and Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, for introducing critical interventions and new strategies to navigate the Nigeria economy through arduous hurdles.
Dr. Leeman Ikpea, Chairman/CEO, Lee Engineering and Construction Company Ltd, was honoured as Vanguard Businessman of the Year 2019/2020 for his immense contributions to the development of the oil and gas industry through technology optimization and local content facilitation. Also honoured as Businessman of the Year was Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman BUA Group, for his remarkable business achievements in the year 2020, as well as his philanthropic contributions to social development activities in various sectors of the economy.
Awarded Vanguard Entrepreneur of the year were; Entrepreneur and philanthropist; Rosemary Osula-Atu, Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist; Sijibomi Ogundele, and Mr Jack-Rich Tein Philanthropist and Founder, Belema Oil.
Governors Kayode Fayemi( Ekiti) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) went home with the Governor of the Year, 2019/2020 award. Governors Nasir El Rufai (Kaduna), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), were also duly awarded in the same category.
The high point of the event, was The Vanguard Personality of the Year, 2019/2020 which was received by Dr. Babagana Umara Zulum, Governor, Borno State, who is loved by his people for embarking on people-oriented projects, from education, housing, security, agriculture, infrastructure, down to improving the lives of the people across the length and breadth of Borno State.
Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor, Lagos State and Businessman and Philanthropist Femi Otedola were also awarded in the same category for their outstanding contributions to the growth of the public and private sectors respectively..
The night was not only one of awards and great speeches, it was also one of great fun and memorable moments with some of Nigeria’s music stars scintillating the awardees and audience with electrifying performances.