Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Local Content, has been awarded the 2016 Nelson Mandela Pan-African Exemplary Leadership Recognition Award, conferred on him by the African Youth Global Network (AYGN), a Ghana-based Non-Governmental Organisation.
Briefing newsmen on the development in Abuja, the lawmaker who represents Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State said he joined other prominent Nigerians such as Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum; King Alfred Dieti Spiff, the Amayanabo of Twon-Brass; Dr. Kema Chikwe, former Minister of Aviation; Prof. Oshita Oshita, Director General, Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution, among others, in the Pan-African Leadership Hall of Fame.
Speaking at the presentation, Dr. Laurent Agbemadji, the President of AYGN, represented by the Nigerian Coordinator, Mr. ThankGod Ofobuike, said the award was a way of appreciating Hon. Ekon for his immense contribution and commendable commitment to nation building in his capacity as Chairman of Local Content Committee.
He said that this include as well as the qualitative and effective representation of the people of his constituency which according to him includes ‘youth empowerment, poverty alleviation through massive job creation and youth employment, assistance to the less privileged, community development, excellent mentorship towards youths, public service delivery with integrity,’ among others.
Ofobuike disclosed that a Nigerian delegate submitted Hon. Ekon’s name for consideration during an International Conference in Accra, Ghana.
“Your hard work and dedication to excellence in everything you do and at any position you find yourself, effective public services delivery with integrity, to mention but a few are some of the reasons behind this international distinguished recognition that we are conferring on you today. We are here to tell you that you have done your job very well and knowing you as a person who is committed to excellence, we believe that the best of you is yet to come,” he said.
He explained that AYGN was an African organisation with a noble goal of enhancing peaceful coexistence and continental integration and as a vanguard of sensitising the youths on the dangers of drug abuse, crime and cultism among youths especially students of higher institutions in the sub region.
“We believe that the time has come for conscious youths to come to the rescue of their fellows who have been indulging in such vices through effective counseling programmes, because we believe that the problems can be tackled through the campaign against drug abuse.
“The essence of this campaign is to create sufficient awareness among students of higher institutions on drug abuse related consequences and the long time effects on their health and education through intensive counseling. This campaign is to make the drug abuser see the light of hope that it is not too late for them to do away with this habit,” he explained.
Receiving the award, Hon. Ekon thanked the group for recognising his little contribution to the development of mankind especially the youths.
The lawmaker who dedicated the award to the Committee said the group had challenged him and the members to do more especially in the area of sanitizing the oil and gas industry.
He explained that though the task was enormous because of the antics deployed by some International Oil Companies to cut corners and shortchange the country, they would ensure that everything was done according to the dictates of the laws of the land.
The lawmaker further charged the youths in Africa to take advantage of any opportunity they have to better their lives, pointing out that by so doing, they would be laying a concrete foundation for the development of the continent.
He disclosed that his short stay in the National Assembly, has had immense impact on the lives of his constituents through life-touching projects to his credit as well as facilitating the employment of over 40 youths from his constituency at the Federal and State level as well as the private sector.