It was a night of glamour as the crème de la crème of the Nigerian legislative community gathered at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Abuja, on Wednesday, for the Independent Parliamentary Excellence Award ceremony.
The ceremony was to recognise, reward and celebrate lawmakers who have excelled in the task of transforming the lives of their constituents, while changing society positively.
The awardees cutting across the state legislature, and both chambers of the National Assembly, who emerged in various categories, including State, and Federal Lawmakers of the Year, as well as across the various geopolitical zones, applauded the organisers, Independent Newspapers Limited, publishers of Daily Independent, Saturday Independent and Sunday Independent; and African Consolidated Analytical Limited (ACAL), for the recognition which would encourage them to do more.
Cross River Speaker, Rt. Hon. Eteng Williams bagged the Most Outstanding Speaker award, while Rt. Hon. (Elder) Sheriff F. O. Oborevwori emerged Delta State Assembly lawmaker and Independent Nigeria Parliamentarian of the Year, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, former governor of Ogun State, won the Independent Nigerian Senator of the Year; with Senator Oluremi Tinubu, clinching the award of South-West Senator of the Year.
Sen. Bassey Albert Akpan was named South-South Senator of the Year; Sen. Obinna Joseph Ogba, South-East Senator of the Year; Hon. Awaji-Inombek Dangomie Abiante went home with the awards of River State Federal Lawmaker of the Year.
Commenting on the award ceremony, former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, commended the organisers for honouring Nigerian parliamentarians who have distinguished themselves in the business of lawmaking across the country.
Earlier, while receiving the award, Speaker Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eteng Williams, said, “The award is a task to do more things” and dedicated it to the Almighty God and his colleagues in the 9th Assembly.
The awards, according to Steve Omanufeme, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Independent Newspapers, was to celebrate lawmakers who had excelled in their chosen intervention projects and had sponsored various bills aimed at touching and changing lives.
He said “our past and current national and states assemblies have put much into the development of our great nation in terms of bills sponsored and passed into law and the impact of those laws on the development of our nation both at the national and state levels.
“Over the years, many of us have struggled to understand the value of the legislature in a constitutional democracy. We are often quick to point out the many drawbacks of representatives democracy, including the fact that elected officials are always not bound by law to fulfill promises made before their election and that they are often seen to promoting their own self-interests above the common good once elected,” he said.