Blueprint set to honour Jonathan as ICON of Democracy, governors, 3 ministers, DGs also listed for awards

It’s going to be roll call of who is who at Blueprint Newspapers’ tenth year anniversary and 2020 Impact Series/Awards holding Thursday at Transcorp Hilton Abuja where notable Nigerians, including former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and some serving governors would be conferred with awards in various categories for some accomplishments in different endeavours.

Also listed for  honours by the newspapers are Governors Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state; Prof Babagana Umara Zulum (Borno); Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (Rivers); Mai Mala Buni (Yobe);  David Umahi (Ebonyi); Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun);  Darius Dickson Ishaku (Taraba); Abdulkadir Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Yahaya Bello of Kogi state.

Others include Governors Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state; Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa);  Duoye Diri (Bayelsa);  Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Prof Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state.

 Similarly, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Minister of Humanitarian  Affairs, Disaster Management  and Social Development Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk,  and Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani are slated for awards in recognition of their service to their fatherland.

Some of the heads of government agencies also billed to receive Blueprint Newspapers’ Public Service Awards are Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Prof. Muhammad Bello Abubakar; Managing Director North East Development Commission (NEDC) Mohammed Goni Alkali; Director General Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) Dr. Chima N. Ejikeme; and the Director General  National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.

Others billed for the Public Service Award are NYSC Director General Brig Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim; Managing Director Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Joseph Chiedu Ugbo; FRSC Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi; Director General Raw Materials Research  and Development Council (RMRDC) Prof Ibrahim Hussaini Doko; Executive Secretary  Border Community Development Agency (BCDA), Capt. Junaid Abdullahi; and Director General  National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Aliyu Abubakar Aziz among others.

A statement by the company’s Chief Operating Officer Salisu Umar said  Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Mahmood Yakubu would speak on “Technological Innovation as Antidote to Election Rigging.”

He said the choice of the topic was informed by the need to transform and deepen the country’s 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 democratic 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,” he said.

Umar said the event was organised to celebrate the newspapers’ 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 as a weekly publication and progressed to a daily production within a record time of four months.

 The company later added Blueprint Weekend and Manhaja, the Hausa tabloid, at different times.

 He said the event is also organised to honour key political actors, individuals and heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) 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.