The 2016 leg of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry Excellence awards got off to a peppy start as the special guest speaker arrived the event venue in the full aura of edgy controversy – that she has come to be known for. The special guest speaker, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili arrived the event venue in a manner that spewed what many attendees at the event expected – a night of possible political pit jabs at the ruling political party and the presidency. Without a doubt, her arrival changed the ambiance in the room – into one of uncertain political volatility.
Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili became a controversial figure in the Nigeria political arena during the later part of the Dr. Jonathan presidency when she took to the garnet to mount a world scale protest against the kidnap of the Chibok girls. Her voice lent the kidnapped school girls the necessary voice it needed to get the required international attention. The former Education Minister has remained vocal even against the new Buhari administration. Her defiant stance in her belief has resulted to the President’s angry outburst – walking out of her group at one of the meetings held between the parents of the Chibok girls and the Presidency. According informed sources, the President had walked out of the meeting because he could to provide answers to the many questions presented by Ezekwesili.
Already, the organizers of the Excellence Wards being aware of the political volatility of Ezekwesili’s address – had issued disclaimers over what may be the contents of her address. In particular, the President of the Abuja Chamber Commence and Industry [ACCI], Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye spoke to the audience cautioning that ACCI will be in not part responsible for the remarks of the former Education Minister. He explained ACCI to be an apolitical body without any political lining. And for this reason, “the remarks of Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili are hers and hers alone“. He added that “we do not know firsthand what she wants to say, and we have not asked her for the content of her address“. He remark that it should be interesting listening to her address. “Seat tight”.
Adding the extra peppy to ensure the event was certain to be filled with uncertain political volatility, was the arrival of the equally controversial musical entertainer in the person of Eedris Andulkareem to the event. Eedris has been known to speak up for the downtrodden against the ruling political system in the past – and his action had got him the label of a controversial entertainer. In same manner that the outspokenness of the former Education minister had been labelled a controversial social commentator often against the ruling party and the federal government.
The event is slated to begin at 6pm at the Sheraton Hotels in Abuja. In attendants are the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory [FCT], Alhaji Muhammadu M. Bello, Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Muhammadu Badaru Abubarka – and others.
Excellence awards were given to three companies – Dangote Cement, Nigeria LNG Limited, and Airtel.
[Stay tuned for the complete report on the Speech]