Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu has won the 2015 Silverbird Man of the Year. He was nominated alongside the first chartered accountant in Nigeria, Chief Akintola Williams as extraordinary men of the year.
He eventually emerged as the star winner on Sunday at the Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel Lagos. Earlier before he was awarded, the President of Silverbird Group Senator Ben Murray Bruce spoke about the need for Nigeria to have sense of history.
He said, “Iam humble for many reasons. We are in a nation that does not teach history. We cannot develop and grow if we do not have concept for history. I deal with today’s problem with the history of the past. Nobody pays attention to statistics. Do we lead the government or government lead people? How many people have light? How many people can survive on their own? I urge you as Nigerians to be proud of our culture and history. How much budget do we have for National Theatre? You are nothing without history. How many people care about history? We have a cultural problem because we don’t preserve our history.
In his response, Tinubu urged Bruce to sponsor a bill to bring back the teaching of history into Nigeria schools.
He said that Nigeria should begin to think of digitalisation of its history. He dedicated the award to his wife Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Nigerians.
He commended silverbird group and most especially Ben-Murray Bruce for giving awards to past leaders who had contributed immensely to the deveopment of the country.
He called on Nigerians to work together through perseverance in order to have a greater tommorow.
Beside the star winner, the award has been put under six categories, which include the Silverbird Post Humous Award; Silverbird Lifetime Achievement Award; Silverbird Extraordinary Award; Silverbird Special Achievement Award, Silverbird Lifetime Entertainment Award. For the Post Humous Award, the list include former Premier of the old Western Region, Chief Ladoke Akintola Williams, former Governor of the od Easter Region, Akanu Ibiam, the only Prime Minister of Independent Nigeria, Tafawa Balewa, second republic Governor of Rivers State, Melford Okilo and former Deputy Head of State, Major Gen. Tunde Idiagbon (Retd).
For the Lifetime Achievment Award, such personalities like former Governor of Lagos State, Alhai Lateef Jakande, Veteran Fashion Designer Opral Benson, foremost entrepreneur Oba Otudeko, revered statesman Lulu Briggs, former Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa. For the Silverbird Extraordinary Award, the former Governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the first Chartered Accountant in Africa, Chief Akintola Williams made the list.
The Silvebird Special Achievement Awards go to prolific writer and novelist, Chimamanda Adichie, Environmentalist, Desmond Majekodunmi, Founder BenTV, Alistair Soyode. Veteran Musician For the Silverbird Lifetime Entertament Award, the Afro Juju singer, King Sunny Ade, veteran musicians, Dr. Victor Uwaifo and Eddie Ugboma.
The sixth category, Silverbird Sports Achievement Awards go to Nigerian born British and Commonwealth Boxing Champion, Coach of the Dream Team VI, Nigeria Under- 23 Team and his counterpart for Under-17, Emmanuel Amuneke. It would be recalled that the former Governor of Delta state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan won the 2014 Silverbird Man of the year award.
He won based on his achievement in restoring peace and security to Delta state, massive infrastructural development, free medical care for children and the elderly and his acclaimed micro credit scheme. Past winners of the prestigious Silverbird Man of the Year Award which is now in its 10th year, include late Professor Dora Akunyili, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, Doctor Mike Adenuga and Doctor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Others are Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, former Anambra state Governor, Peter Obi and former CBN Govermor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano. In 2012, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala won the award for her efforts to reduce government’s recurrent expenditure and ensure transparency in the management of fuel subsidy.
At the event, Post-Humous Award was bestowed on afro-beat king Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Malam Aminu Kano while Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Newton Jibunoh received Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony. The Silverbird Man of the Year was instituted to honour Nigerians who have excelled in their chosen careers.