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Story of Lagos not complete without mentioning Marwa, says Sanwo-Olu

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-You carry the torch of governance in admiration, Marwa hails Sanwo-Olu

IBRAHIM QUADRI

The former military administrator of Lagos State, Brigadier-General (retd) Buba Marwa has expressed confidence in the continued ability of the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in achieving his greater Lagos agenda, noting “the success of Governor Sanwo-Olu was better epitomized with the resounding victory at the poll.”

Sanwo-Olu also eulogized Marwa, saying the story of Lagos is not complete without mentioning how the latter was able to change the face of Lagos. He was the one who pioneered operation sweep, the foremost security outfit at that time.

The display of encomiums on both sides took place during the Champion Newspapers’ Awards of the Year 2022 held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Despite the loss of Presidential election to Labour Party in Lagos during the February 25 poll, the incumbent, Governor Sanwo-Olu defeated the LP gubernatorial candidates, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and his counterpart from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Olajide Adediran popularly referred to as Jandor on a landslide.

Marwa therefore pointed out that Sanwo-Olu’s victory was as a result of his performance, saying the second most challenging seat in the country after the president’s, as regard piloting the affairs of Lagos.

He noted, “those of us who have served admire how you are carrying the torch.”

Top on the list of the 34 distinguished recipients are Retired Brigadier-General  Muhammed Buba Marwa, Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Bank of the Year, Mrs Nneka Oyeali-Ikpe, the MD,CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, (Banker of the Year), Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader of Afenifere, (Life Achievement Award and Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke- (Governor of the Year on Good Governance).

Abdullahi Audu Sule of Nasarawa State (Good Corporate Governance & Integrity in Leadership Award), Prince Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State (Investment Friendly Governor of the Year), Samuel Ortom of Benue State (Courage in Leadership Award), Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State (Governor of the Year on Security) and minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume (Pillar of Democracy Award) among others.

Sanwo-Olu said, “Let me say Lagos and Borno often share things in common because during the Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the then Governor of Borno too, they were all best of friends. I’m not surprised that Brigadier General Buba Marwa (red) was the 11th Governor of Lagos State.

“Tonight is about Champion award. I was coming from another event and I said to myself, l need to reserve the best for my last. I’m happy because I still meet the full hall. I’m truly honoured to have been called on to receive this award.

“But we cannot complete the story of Lagos without mentioning how this man by my right changed the face of Lagos. He was the one who pioneered operation sweep, the foremost security outfit at that time.

“And of course, there is an household name that we all know today. When we entre that Keke that is called, Marwa. This is the  Marwa that everybody talks about in Lagos. This is a testament that when you do well, posterity will judge you. And even in his national assignment today, he has changed the face of NDLEA. We thank Almighty Allah for you and He will continue to guide you.

“For the Champion award, I receive it with every sense of honesty, knowing fully well, it is not about me: it’s about the people of Lagos; it’s about the people that we chose to serve; it’s about the people that has given us the opportunity to be the one to represent them at this point in time.

“So I want to thank Almighty God for sparing our lives and more importantly, I want to thank all Lagosians for making this possible for all the support they have given us. And to say to you that as long as God spares our lives, we will do everything to ensure that greater Lagos is achieved. I want to thank everyone of us and don’t give up because the Lagos rising is our agenda.”

On his part, Marwa stated, “The seat of Lagos State, I believe is the second most challenging seat in the country after the president’s. The challenges are many- infrastructure, environment, housing, education, security, transportation, you can go on and on.

“And the testimony of the success of Governor Sanwo-Olu was better epitomized with the resounding victory at the poll. Lagosians love you dearly. We, who have served admire how you are carrying the torch. Keep the flag flying. This champion award is well deserved. God will continue to guide and protect you,” Marwa prayed.

In his opeing remark, the Chairman of the occasion, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe who is the Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture said when hardwork and integrity are not rewarded, mediocrity would be promoted.

He added, “The awardees have no doubt gone through a rigorous process of screening, careful and meticulous scrutiny to have been adjudged fit, proper in all ramifications. They are therefore worthy and deserving of these prestigious awards.”

While commending Champion Award Committee, Runsewe added, “This award is particularly apt and timely at this time in our socio-political evolution that our nation is in dire need of people of integrity and candour, honest and hardworking men that can return our dear nation to the path of rectitude and inspire the birth of of a new Nigeria where morality shall be the guiding principle of the decision making process at sectors and levels.

“I have always been an advocate of the fact that when hardwork and integrity are not rewarded, mediocrity and fraud are promoted . When we honour men who have made significant marks in the developmental strides of our nation, we project them as role models and encourage others to emulate them. It is on the strength of this conviction that I find it very heartwarming for finding in the Champion Newspapers a formidable ally in the effort to make Nigeria great again.”

In her welcome address, the Group Managing Director of the Champion Newspapers, Dr Nwadiuto Iheakanwa said, “There is no gainsaying that the reward for hardwork is more work hence our humble appeal that more efforts be made to ensure that the nation realizes its full potentials in all spheres of endeavour knowing fully well that the country is among the most endowed nations of human capital.”

She added, “One of the areas I want to challenge the post President Muhammadu Buhari administration is in the ease of doing business. It is my considered opinion that if the incoming administration can get  it right in institutionalizing administrative structures which will eliminate the bottlenecks, the country will be able to expand her productive capacity.in a manner that will encourage greater foreign earnings beyond oil.”

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