Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan would be conferred with ‘Blueprint Newspapers’ Icon of Democracy in Africa Award’ at the 2020 Impact Series/Awards ceremony scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 3, 2021 in Abuja.
A statement issued by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Blueprint Newspapers Limited Malam Salisu Umar said the ex-president is considered worthy of the recognition because of his meritorious service and tireless efforts to strengthen democratic institutions in Africa.
The statement said Jonathan would be honoured alongside 14 governors, two ministers and other heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government who have proved their worth in specific areas of governance such as education, urban renewal and rural infrastructure and the ease of doing business, among others.
The awardees are Governors Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno state, Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun state, Ben Ayade of Cross River state, Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state, Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state, and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state.
Others include Governors Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers state, David Umahi of Ebonyi state, Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba state, Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir of Bauchi state, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state, Duoye Diri of Bayelsa state, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state, and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
Also listed for the awards are the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani.
Some of the heads of government agencies billed to receive Blueprint newspapers’ Public Service Awards are the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammad Bello Abubakar; Managing Director of NEDC, Mohammed Goni Alkali; Director of PTAD, Dr. Chima N. Ejikeme; and the Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
Others billed for the Public Service Award are the Director General of NYSC, Brig Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim; Managing Director ofNDPHC, Joseph Chiedu Ugbo; Corps Marshal of FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi; Director General ofRMRDC, Ibrahim Hussaini Doko; Executive Secretary of BCDA, Capt. Junaid Abdullahi; and the Director General of MIMC, Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, among others.
According to the statement, the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, would serve as the chairman of the occasion.
The statement said a major highlight of the day is the lecture to be delivered by the Guest Speaker and Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who will speak on “Technological Innovation as Antidote to Election Rigging.”
“The choice of the topic is informed by the need to transform and deepen our election process and become the toast of not only the continent of Africa, but also the entire world.
“That our democracy is on course 22 years after, on its own calls for celebration, notwithstanding a few shortcomings. A qdemocratic space is a sine qua non for freedom of the press. So, we can’t afford to be passive, hence the choice of the topic and the lecturer.
“Further to this, the INEC has embarked on certain innovations which to some extent, have curbed the menace of election manipulation. It is our belief that if the nation does not have a well grounded and transparent electoral system, the tendency is that we may not get it right and hence our nation’s path to the desired development may be a mirage,” the statement said.
The lecture and 2020 Impact Series/Awards, according to the statement, is organised to celebrate the newspaper’s 10 years of robust contribution to the socio-economic development of the country and its people, and the enthronement of responsible journalism.
Blueprint newspaper debuted May 2, 2011 after which it later progressed to a daily publication some four months after.
The company was to later add BlueprintWeekend and Manhaja, the Hausa tabloid, at different times.
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