Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has emerged the Best Governor in 2018 in the areas of health and education despite an unresolved bribery allegation against him.
The award came at a time Ganduje is facing allegation of collecting $5 million kickback from contractors.
Meanwhile, at the Telegraph organised award occasion, after eulogising Ganduje, the Managing Director of the newspaper, Funke Egbemode, said “it is good to celebrate those that are making a difference in our lives”, in obvious reference to the governor.
A statement released by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor quoted Egbemode as saying: “We believe that if we appreciate those that did good things we are at the same time encouraging them to do more in life.”
She reportedly added that, “Globally, education and health are two significant areas where successful governance and credible development index are often measured and rated.
“As a consummate politician and administrator par excellence, Ganduje realised from the outset, he had to make indelible impact on the lives of his people. And he truly did with affordable healthcare and functional education.”
The managing director also acknowledged that, “Ganduje believes strongly in the words of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Presenting the award to the governor on Saturday night at Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, a former minister of petroleum, Don Etiebet, on behalf of the company, acknowledged how Ganduje transformed both the health and education sectors in Kano State, “within a twinkle of an eye.”.
“The outstanding performance of governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje made him stand out among his peers. While understanding the relevance of education in the state development, Ganduje believes in healthy population. That is why he did it diligently to see that he leaves indelible marks in these all-important sectors.”
In a three-minute acceptance speech, the governor appreciated the award. He spoke about the multi-cultural nature of the state, saying that “being the most populous state in the country, we don’t want to have a population that will be a liability to us. We want see that our population becomes an asset. Not a liability. That is why we are doing our best in these and all other areas in this administration.
“We assure you that Kano will continue to excel in all sectors of the state. This honour, as being presented here, is meant to encourage us to continue building a stronger state with viable economy and productive population,” he reportedly said.
Ganduje added that “We are grateful for such recognition, as you are receiving this intimidating entourage on the podium.”
Meanwhile, the newspaper listed over 200 achievements recorded in the state’s health sector and others in education under the leadership of Ganduje
Other governors who received awards as tweeted by the newspaper’s handle “@newtelegraphng” are: governors of Delta Ifeanyi Okonwa (good governance), Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa (human capital development and infrastructure), Dave Umahi of Ebonyi (agriculture), Yahaya Bello of Kogi (security), Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara (youths empowerment) and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto (man of the year).
Other recipients are: PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar (political icon of the decade), Senate President Bukola Saraki (politician of the year), chairman of BUA group, Abdussamad Rabiu (man of the year), minister of power, Raji Fashola (most outstanding public servant), and John Basco (humanitarian award).
On the media, entertainment and sports category, the proprietor of DAAR Communication, Raymond Dokpesi (media icon-broadcast), Ajibola Ogunsola (media icon of the year-print), Esther Onyema (sports person of the year – female), Bolanle Ninalawo (actor of the year) and Shaffy Bello (actress of the year).
The public and corporate organisations awarded at the event were Bureau of Public Enterprise (most productive government agency), UBA (Bank of the year), Access Bank (sustainability award of the year) and Transcorp Hilton hotel (hospitality brand of the year).