By Ifeanyi Olannye
Asaba, Aug. 7, 2019
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Wednesday felicitated with his Anambra State counterpart, Chief Willie Obiano, who turns 64 years on Aug. 8.
The Governor also same Wednesday congratulated the Doyen of Comedy in Nigeria, Atunyota Akporobomerere, alias Alibaba, on his Presidential Award of Excellence at the second National Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Awards.
The governor’s congratulatory message to Obiano was conveyed in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba.
Okowa extolled Obiano’s virtues and his “enigmatic political prowess”, saying he had contributed immensely to the development of Anambra and the banking industry in Nigeria.
He described Obiano as a political tactician, astute administrator and a leader with a impeccable passion for the development of his people.
The governor commended his Anambra counterpart for his administration’s developmental strides, especially the monumental impact of his four-pillar programme of security, agriculture, youth empowerment and education.
“Your Excellency, it is to your credit and the good people of Anambra that your state is one of the most peaceful and well secured in the country today.
“This had earned you the award of ‘Best Governor on Security Architecture’ in the West and Central Africa from Africa Security Watch in 2018.
“Your focus and commitment to the growth and development of Anambra is commendable and worthy of emulation.
“The people of Anambra are indeed proud of your antecedents and achievements since they overwhelmingly re-elected you to lead the state to a brighter future ahead of them.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I heartily rejoice with a world class banker and administrator per excellence, a perfect gentleman, reputable politician, outstanding professional and my brother governor as you celebrate your 64th birthday.
”I am pleased to join your family, political associates and other well-wishers in thanking God for blessing you with the strength and wisdom to live a fulfilled life of honesty and commitment to the well-being of all Anambra people,” Okowa said.
He prayed God to continue to protect Obiano and grant him good health to render more services to mankind.
Okowa’s message to Alibaba was also conveyed in a statement by Ifeajika in Asaba.
NAN recalls that the award ceremony where the comedy king was honored was hosted by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the Banquet Hall, Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The governor described Alibaba as a quintessential comedian whose contributions to the development of the entertainment industry in Nigeria would remain indelible.
He lauded the humour merchant for his outstanding patriotism, humility, mentorship, support for budding talents and for being a good ambassador of Delta.
“As a state, we are particularly proud of your numerous ‘firsts’ – first Nigerian comedian to perform on commercial flights, first to entertain over 40 heads of governments, first comedian to ring the closing bell of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“You are also the first comedian on CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera, first to be inaugurated into the Johnnie Walker Hall of fame and first to stage a 6-hour stand-up comedy performance, among many other laudable accomplishments,” Okowa said.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for finding an eminent son of Delta, AliBaba, worthy of the honour.