Let's Think And Talk: The Ubiquitous Awards Of Uduaghan

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The Bible talks about the value of hard work in many of its books. 'Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.' Eccl 9:10. That is because faith without works is dead. You can pray all you want for blessings and recognition, but if you do not follow it with works, you are just dreaming and wasting time.

This doctrine is so important that James, the half-brother of Jesus Christ said it three times in one chapter and ends by declaring that 'For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.' (James 2:26). I may be getting religious because I am writing this on a Sunday or maybe my spirit is being moved in this particular direction after preaching at the Ibusa branch of our church. Hard work pays

At the recent Sun Man of the Year Awards, there was a standing ovation for Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and his cabinet. Yes, the First Lady of Bayelsa, Mrs. Ekaette Unnoma Akpabio almost stole the day with her women entourage, but after setting aside emotions, the plethora of developments in Delta State spoke volumes as to why Dr. Uduaghan was chosen as Man of the Year. Both the Chairman of Sun Newspaper and The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim commented on the developments in Delta State and extrapolated that the award was as a result of hard work, not title.

Some years back when Uduaghan won an award for the State's Micro-Credit Scheme during his first tenure, some pundits dismissed it. Now both protagonists and antagonists cannot help but honestly admit the infrastructure development on ground, because they are tangible and visible, unlike the enormous investment in human capital that is not as conspicuous.

In a press briefing some months back, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, had stated that the governor is not the type to go for awards. Reading between the line means that, if he solicited for awards, the rooms in government house Asaba will not be enough to contain them.

There is a scripture that says 'Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.' (Prov. 22:29). An award recognizes a person for his hard work and diligence.

There are 36 governors and over 160 million Nigerians. It takes courage, determination and hard work to stand out. A scribe once gave the following advice: 'Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.' (1 Cor. 9:24).

Governor Uduaghan, notwithstanding his many court battles, is now finishing the race as a governor. He is essentially in the last lap, and will be remembered not for the re-run or stiff oppositions, but rather for the legacy he will leave behind. All Deltans (both his friends and foes) will remember at least the Asaba International Airport that most of us use.

This week, Vanguard newspaper will recognize a three-some involving, Dr. Uduaghan as the only governor in the 2013 Personality of the Year award in Lagos. This is another feather on his cap, as he takes the last lap and prepares to hand the baton of Delta State leadership to another person after eight (8) years.

I am also reminded of Proverbs 16:3 which states 'Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.' So, as we look for a replacement for Dr. Uduaghan in 2015, we should pray to almighty God and our thoughts will be established. It should be someone that moves the state forward and will not abandon any on-going projects based on partisan politics or self-aggrandizing objectives.

No matter where the next governor comes from, the person should be one recognized globally and given well-deserved accolades. The governorship election is scheduled for February 28, 2015, according to INEC timetable released some months back, amidst controversy. The point is that the date has been given and the search is now on.

May God help us.

*Akpodiete is an author, Computer Scientist, Educator, Consultant, lawyer, Political Analyst & Social commentator. He has a Doctorate degree in Jurisprudence from the US. He has lectured Law, Ethics and Security & Intelligence Studies at the University level here in Nigeria and US.

He also writes for a state daily newspaper & national monthly journal. He currently divides his time between Nigeria and USA where he runs an international capacity building firm. Contact him on 08138391661 or [email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Prof. Alex O. Atawa Akpodiete, Esq.