As a result of his exemplary landmark achievements in civil service and politics, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun was on 28th December, 2017 bestowed with a Distinguished Political Leadership Award tagged ‘Ogbe Eni’, at the 9th Benin National Merit Awards in Benin City.
Organized by Benin National Congress (BNC), the award is the highest cultural plaque of honour in the Benin National Merit Awards.
According to the President of Benin National Congress BNC, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, in his welcome address, said Chief John Odigie-Oyegun’s truthfulness and his ‘gigantic’ achievements in civil service and steady rise in politics are what qualified him for this highest honour in Benin Kingdom.
He said thus: “The resolve to stage this grand reception for Chief John Evboyeomwan Kenneth Odigie-Oyegun was painstakingly conceived by our trustees in response to the prolonged yearning of a vast populace of Edo community cut across Nigeria and the whole world on the need to thank him for re-asserting the irreplaceable norm of the average Benin man and woman – courage in the expression of truth and exemplary standards.
“The intrinsic credentials of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, which propelled his steady rise from civil service to super Permanent Secretary, to the first Executive Governor of Edo State, through NADECO inspired struggles, through the 2011 Presidential and Vice Presidential aspiration alongside Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau of the ANPP; and currently the National Chairman of the ruling APC. One defining attribute that influenced his gigantic profile is ‘truth’.”
Speaking further on the presentation of cultural antique award to Chief Oyegun, the BNC President said it is in recognition of his excellent political milestone, saying that in Benin parlance, it is being said that ‘The valley that swallow an elephant is forbidden from hosting another animal in its entire existence’. The elephant hunter is the most celebrated icon of our ancestral communities”, he said.
Other awardees on the day were, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye as the Distinguished Public Service; Pastor Alex Aluf Omokudu as the Distinguished Religious Service; while Dr. Dory Okojie was bestowed with Distinguished Private Sector Award. Top APC chieftains, senators, and Ministers graced the occasion.