It was truly the gathering of eminent Nigerians, stars, celebrities and achievers from all walks of life at the historic maiden edition of Daylight Annual Leadership Awards (DALA2016).
The talk-of-the-town awards ceremony held elaborately at the posh Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, amid glitz, glamour and grandeur.
Painstakingly and proudly organised by leading and reliable online newspaper Daylight (www.daylight.ng), the grand ceremony that serenaded Lagos and its environs while it lasted, was equally well attended with victuals in surplus.
The very colourful event, which was beautifully and professionally anchored by the famous duo of Okey Bakassi and Jennifer Eliogu, began on a very high note with the rendition of the National Anthem, by kid prodigy, Nonso Sax.
The nine year-old precociously talented child, got a standing ovation for his brilliant performance.
Amazingly, one unique thing about the ceremony was that virtually all the awardees were in attendance to personally receive their prestigious DALA Plaques.
Interestingly, the event commenced with the citation of leading Nollywood star and TV Host, Monalisa Chinda-Coker, who mounted the well-decorated stage to receive her DALA Plaque, for the Best TV Talk Show Host of the Year, amid cheers and encomiums.
Beautiful and effervescent Monalisa, who was gorgeously swathed in a flowing yellow flowery gown, in her acceptance speech thanked the organisers and promised to continue doing her best for humanity through her creative works.
She was immediately followed by another top entertainer and presenter/producer of Bold Faces and The Psychologist on TV, Tricia Eseigbe-Kerry. She won in the Best Use of Advocacy on TV category.
However, one of the biggest honours of the night went to Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Amiable Adesina, who was accompanied to the event by his darling wife and two lovely children was recognised and rewarded with the diadem of Most Outstanding Media Personality.
Also the famous and multi-talented trio of Stephanie Okereke-Linus, Osita Iheme and Zik Zulu-Okafor smiled home with DALA Plaques in the categories of Nollywood Person of the Year (Female), Nollywood Person of the Year (Male) and Nollywood Icon of the Year, in that order.
Stephanie who donned a lovely green gown was oozing elegance and radiating in the curvy attire that was perfectly made for her.
The high point of the awards ceremony was the presentation of the highest award of the night, Daylight Person of the Year, to the immediate past Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Emeka Mba.
Cerebral Mba thanked the management of Daylight.ng, organisers of the awards, for deeming it fit to recognise and honour him for the outstanding contributions rendered to father land during his fruitful tenure at the NBC.
As the classy and colourful event which was spiced with titillating and hilarious comedy and musical performances progressed, the very popular and celebrated trio of Okey Bakassi, Steve Yaw Onu and Mr. Raw Nwanne, were also decorated with DALA Plaques in the Comedian, Radio Personality and Musician of the Year categories, respectively, amid applause and plaudits.
And for his immense contributions to the growth of entertainment and tourism in Nigeria, showbiz impresario and founder of Niteshift Coliseum, Mr. Ken Calebs Olumese was garlanded with DALA Life Time Achievement award.
Olumese who was accompanied to the event by his son, Kevin was full of praises to the organisers for deeming it fit to recognise and reward him.
Fast growing and time conscious airline, Air Peace, ably led by Barrister Allen Onyema won the DALA Plaque for Airline of the Year.
The last award of the memorable and fun filled night of high-net-worth gathering went to Nollywood newest discovery, Angel Ufuoma.
The sexy lawyer turned actress walked away with the trophy of Nollywood Most Promising Actress of the Year.
Meanwhile, earlier in his speech, the youthful and cerebral Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Daylight.ng and founder of DALA, Mr. Azuh Amatus, reiterated that the award primarily seeks to reward outstanding and hard working Nigerians in leadership positions that have excelled immensely in their chosen careers, in both private and public sectors.
Azuh, a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), added that DALA was part of the activities marking Daylight newspaper’s first anniversary of robust, responsible and reliable online journalism.
A special anniversary edition of Daylight newspaper was also unveiled at the ceremony by Mr. Femi Adesina, who was supported by his wife, Mrs. Nike alongside Azuh.
This was preceded by the cutting of the splendid anniversary cake by Azuh, his wife, Mary, son, Nonso Sax, who were joined on stage by a galaxy of Nollywood stars and entertainers.
”I want to thank all of you for coming to rejoice and celebrate with us. My special thanks to all our awardees for accepting to be the first ever recipients of this laudable and prestigious DALA Plaques,” stated elated Azuh.”
The historic night of celebrations and networking ended with riveting performances from the quartet of De Don, D’Lectura, TJ Sax and Kesh Ofuobi, respectively.
In their separate speeches, all the honourees were full of appreciations to the organisers for rewarding and celebrating them at DALA 2016.
In the words of Adesina: “I feel honoured, thank you Daylight media for celebrating me. This is coming one year after I left active journalism.”
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In order to find a lasting solution to the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta region, the federal government has agreed to re-engage persons from communities in the region to protect the oil pipelines.
The federal government has also promised to restructure the amnesty programme so as to address the critical issue of neglect by the government and international oil companies, as claimed by the inhabitants of the region.
Nigeria’s crude production has dropped in recent times from about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to around 1.4 million bpd due the vandalisation of critical oil pipelines by agitators in the region, a development that has resulted in the country losing its place as Africa’s top oil producer to Angola.
The Muhammadu Buhari administration had, before now, threatened military action against the perpetrators who it had described as economic saboteurs.
But in a statement yesterday by the spokesman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Garba Deen Muhammad, the federal government announced that it had resolved to work with stakeholders from the Niger Delta region to stop the recent upsurge in attacks on critical oil and gas installations, and to ensure security, stability and economic development of the area.
Speaking at the end of the meeting held in Abuja and attended by prominent Niger Delta leaders and other stakeholders, minister of state for petroleum resources and group managing director of the NNPC, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, expressed the government’s readiness to check the resurgence of pipeline sabotage in the region.
Present at the meeting were Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole; national security adviser (NSA), Maj. General Mohammed Babagana Monguno (rtd); minister for Niger Delta, Usani Uguru; minister of state for agriculture, Sen. Heneiken Lokpobiri; coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd), and stakeholders from the seven Niger Delta states of Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta and Ondo states.
Kachikwu said all the stakeholders resolved that solutions to the incessant attacks on oil and gas pipelines are within the communities, stressing that communities were now saddled with the responsibility of ensuring protection of pipelines within their domain.
Accordingly, government resolved that “all the states in the region would nominate four or five representatives that would work hand-in-hand with security agencies to secure oil facilities in their respective states.”
The minister further stated that violence was not an option in resolving the problems of the Niger Delta and that all threats from the region should end henceforth.
He also noted that the Amnesty Programme needed to be restructured in order to address the critical issue of neglect by the government and international oil companies.
“The Niger Delta governors must be involved in providing lasting solutions to the resurgence of pipeline vandalism and there is urgent need to create business opportunities for the locals in the region,” Kachikwu stated.
Oshiomhole and other leaders of the Niger Delta region, who spoke at the meeting, urged the agitators to drop their arms and embrace dialogue as the federal government was committed to the development of the area.
President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that Nigerians should pass a verdict on the performance of his appointed officials during the administration’s first year in office so that he will know if he should change them.
Asked if Nigerians should expect changes in his team during this anniversary period Buhari said, “I am waiting for the newspapers to tell me the performance of my ministers and whether I should make changes.”
President Buhari explained why his government took off rather slowly. He said former President Obasanjo, who had experience with hand over and take over, recalled that in 1999 outgoing Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar made each ministry to prepare handing over notes and then brief the president-elect, for him to choose what he wanted out of it.
He said President Goodluck Jonathan agreed to do the same and asked all his ministers to prepare handing over notes and brief Buhari but they protested at the last minute that Buhari should not be allowed to take over the government before he was sworn-in.
As a result, he said no proper transition took place and after his inauguration he had to take briefings from two ministries a day in order to make up for lost time.
The president also spoke about budget padding. He said though he had been in public life since 1975, he never heard of budget padding until when he saw Minister of Health Prof Isaac Adeoye on television defending his budget before a National Assembly committee.
Buhari said he was shocked when the minister told the committee that he could not defend what he did not propose because the budget had been padded.
He said, “I went [to the National Assembly] and bowed and delivered [the budget] but I did not know that what I delivered was a shell. They removed what they wanted and added other things.”
He said when the budget as passed by the National Assembly was brought to him, he refused to sign it because throughout his life he never signed anything that he did not understand.
At one point, he said, Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma persuaded him to sign it and he said “I will sign it because I trust you.”
However, he said before he could sign, Udoma read the budget thoroughly and rushed back to him and advised him not to sign it unless amendments were made.