At the 7th Environment Outreach Magazine Public Lecture held recently in Abuja, awards were conferred on eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in the protection of the environment through positive action and years of dedicated service.
Some of the recipients include the Minister of Environment, Amina J. Mohammed; Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State; Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Admin) of the University of Abuja; Kingsley Chinda, former Commissioner for Environment, Rivers State and presently Chairman of Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives, Abuja; and, Professor I. K. E Ekweozor, Secretary, Board of Trustees, Nigerian Environmental Society.
Others include Dr. Daru Owei, former Deputy Managing Director of AGIP; Dr. Victor Fodeke, environmentalist and former Technical Adviser to the African Union; Mr. Akin Awobamise, retired Zonal Director of NESREA; Elder Uche Agbanusi, former National President of the Nigerian Environmental Society; Mr. Salisu Dahiru, National Project Coordinator of NEWMAP; and, Mr. Pyagbara Saro Legborsi, President of MOSOP.
I often say that our leaders in all strada of the society including media are part of the reasons why we have a growing numbers of young people with a penchant instant gratification and total disregard for volunteerism and public services. How can one honestly explain the rationale for given awards to public servants (without visible track records and community-based initiatives) that are paid and remunerated for doing their jobs. Yet scattered over the nation are both young and old people who are involved in activities that improves the condition of our environment without pay but sheer sacrifice for common good. But, are neither recognized or rewarded. The objective(s) of organisers of such awards is really questionable
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