Widely Read Magazine in Nigeria

Unveiling the Stars of North East’ in 2021

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They are men and women of iconoclastic timbre and extraordinary calibre. In their fields of human endeavour, and professional careers, they have already left indelible footprints: the types that will be difficult to match.

Little wonder, their efforts have been recognized severally by organisations, and institutions, in the past. But yet again, it will be duly acknowledged, and befittingly recognized, on November 21, 2021.

This is at the ‘Northeast Stars Awards’. The 2021 award event, with the support of North East Star Magazine, is billed to take place at the Conference Hall of American University of Nigeria, AUN, in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa State. It is themed: “Celebrating Excellence, Promoting Peace and Harmony.” The award will be chaired by Prof. Ibrahim Njodi, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri and current SSG, Gombe State. HRH, Barikindo Musdafa will grace the occasion as the Royal Father of the Day and the Special Guest of Honor is His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

Dr. Hassan Gimba Ahmed, Publisher of Neptune Prime and a veteran journalists will is the awards ceremony’s guest speaker.

Instituted in 2014, by Prof. K.A Dikwa, the Borno Elders Forum Dean, the Northeast Stars Awards is an annual event where men and women who excelled in their careers and fields are honoured.

In other words, it was instituted to showcase and celebrate excellence in sons and daughters of the North East, revive the region’s haemorrhaging economy, and also promote harmonious co-existence among the people of the region.

This year’s event is the sixth edition of the award gala. Since its inception, the award ceremony held yearly, again, is hosted in a select State of the North East region.

Some past awardees include Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Y. Danjuma, H.E Maryam Abacha, Hon. Dogara Yakubu, the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives; and a former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed D. Abubakar.

They were all honoured with ‘Men and Women of the Year’ award at past awards’ ceremonies.

Again, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai (rtd), a former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), is among the award recipients of this year. He will receive the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award in Military Leadership. The Man of the Year’, was the initial award he bagged at one of the preceding events. He was also the recipient of the Colin Powell Meritorious Award for Soldiering ( CPMAS) of the decade (2008-2018).

Gen. Buratai, who hails from Biu Emirate, Borno state, had served the Nigerian Army, meritoriously. He is the longest-serving COAS, according to available records. He held sway as the Army’s generalissimo for about 66 months. Under Buratai, the Army greatly assumed a pivotal role in internal security operations. Buratai, then as leader of the counter-insurgency operations, was an embodiment of innumerable war strategies and tactics.

Dr. Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, a career public servant and a renowned philanthropist and Founder of Al-Ansar University, the first private Ivory Tower in Borno State; will receive the ‘Man of Year’ gong. He was a one-time recipient of the Nelson Mandela Excellence Award in Public Service. Dr Dikwa has a PhD in Accounting and Finance, Master’s Degree in Finance and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy. He had attended the Senior Executive Course 34, 2012 at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS) Kuru.

Read Also: Making it Count for Nigerians: Why Dr. Dikwa is our Man of the Year, 2021.

He was awarded Certificates in Public Financial Management Reforms, Leadership & Governance Programme, High-Performance Leadership Programme and Treasury Management at the Harvard University, USA, University of Cambridge, Oxford University UK and Thames Valley University UK respectively.

Dr. Dikwa is a professional accountant and member of many professional bodies. Dr. Dikwa is a Fellow Certified National Accountant, Fellow Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, among others. Dr. Dikwa has facilitated and attended many courses, and authored series of publications to his credit. Dr. Dikwa has served as the Borno State Accountant-General between 1999 – 2004.

Dr. Dikwa was the former Chairman Technical Board Bank of Industries (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and has served on Board of Transcorp Hilton, Defence Industry Corporation, Nitel Transmission Company of Nigeria, Distribution Company of Nigeria (DISCO), Royal Swaziland Sugar Company etc.

Dr. Dikwa was the Director in charge of Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) later Revenue and Investment, and Director of Funds both under the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

Dr. Dikwa acted on various occasions as the Accountant-General of the Federation including the last Acting – appointment by the President, Commander –in–Chief, Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 12th June 2015.

The Executive Governor of Adamawa State, Alh. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, is another illustrious son of the North East that will be recognized at the award ceremony in Yola, come next month. He will be bestowed with the ‘Governor of the Year’ award.

Earlier in 2020, Gov. Fintiri, was voted LEADERSHIP Newspaper’s Best Governor in 2019 for his sterling leadership qualities and his efforts in turning around the fortunes of a fledgling state after a tumultuous sojourn in near obscurity.

Passionate about the things which matter to the state and her people from the get-go, Fintiri initiated an unprecedented developmental projects’ drive across the state, upon becoming Adamawa Governor in May 2019. This has covered roads’ construction and rehabilitation, renovation and rehabilitation of schools, hospitals and other public infrastructure in the state.

Suffice it to say that in the last two years, Fintiri’s administration has improved the security situation in the state and eliminated all forms of criminalities, revamped the educational sector, which saw to the implementation of free education from primary to secondary schools, introduced school feeding programmes and the payment of UBEC counterpart funds that led to massive renovations of schools.

Other initiatives include the payment of scholarships to Adamawa students in various tertiary institutions across the country, completion of abandoned road projects awarded by the immediate-past administration, renovations of hospitals and granting financial autonomy to local governments in the state among others.

Incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Faruq Yahaya, will be conferred with the ‘Colin Powell Meritorious Award for Soldiering’ (CPMAS).

Under Yahaya, troops of the Nigerian Army, with renewed vigour, fighting spirit and uncommon gallantry, have been deeply engaged in various operations, not only in the North East, but across the nation. Recently, the COAS, flagged off three Nigerian Army Field Exercises in Enugu State, to support civil authorities in tackling diverse security challenges bedevilling the country.

In recent times, the tempo of the counter-insurgency war, which have increased under the pragmatic leadership of Lt. Gen. Yahaya, has manifested in massive surrendering of thousands of ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists, and their family members, across the North East.

The Chairman, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Babangida Saidu Nguroje, will receive the ‘General Excellence Award in Leadership’.

Nguroje, is an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) and holds the Chieftaincy title of Makama Gashaka. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in the same field from the University of Maiduguri.

He began his political career at the age of 30 when he was first elected into Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives to represent Sardauna/Gashaka/Kurmi Federal Constituency of Taraba State in the 4th Assembly.

Having satisfactorily represented his constituency, he was re-elected in the 6th Assembly in 2007 and became the youngest Deputy Speaker at the age of 34.

The recipient of the ‘Legislator of the Year’ award is Sen. Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf. He currently serves as the Senator representing Taraba Central Senatorial District in the 9th National Assembly.

The ‘Nelson Mandela Award in Leadership’ has bee reserved for Hon. Mustapha Gubio. Gubio is the Commissioner for Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Resettlement in Borno State. He is in charge of all the rehabilitation of communities and resettlement of displaced persons.

Another honoree is Prof Ahmed Ahidjo. Ahidjo has already carted away the ‘Hospital Administrator of the Year award. He is the Chief Medical Director, CMD, of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

There is also Rev. Yakubu Pam. He will receive the ‘Desmond Tutu Humanitarian, Religious Tolerance and Christian Stewardship Award’. Rev. Pam is one of the most revered and iconic Bishops in Nigeria.

Other distinguished personalities in the exclusive list of the awardees include Mr. Ahmad Jumba as the ‘Community Peace Builder of the Year’; Biyasina Hauwa as the ‘Female Entrepreneur of the Year’ and Prince Abba Kawu, who will go home with the ‘Kyari Dikwa Excellence Award in Public Financial Management.’ The Prince is a former staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria and District Head of Mafa.

He is also the Special Advisor to the Borno State Governor on Local Government and Emirate Affairs. Mustapha Shettima will receive the Humanitarian of the Year award because of his exceptional track record in the INGO/ NGO sector. Mr. Shettima has made notable contributions to peacebuilding, conflict management and development in the Northeast. The Last but not the least is Dr. Mohammed Goje of State Emergency Management Agency, Yobe  State. He will be conferred with the General Excellence Award in Community Development and Peacebuilding for his effort in community development in Yobe state, and excellent performance as the czar of SEMA.

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