By Punchng.com (Olalekan Adetayo)
The National Youth Council of Nigeria on Thursday honoured former President Olusegun Obasanjo; President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; and Benedict Peters.
They were honoured at the closing of the council’s unity congress in Abuja where Mr Oladele Nihi was sworn in as the new president to succeed the national spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Parties, Imo Ugochinyere, who resigned recently.
Nihi and 13 others were said to have emerged winners in the election held during the congress.
In his valedictory speech, Ugochinyere described his tenure as memorable and described the challenges he faced as necessary ingredients needed for his administration’s success.
He said Obasanjo, Saraki, Dogara, Wike and Peters were honoured in appreciation of their sterling performance in guiding the Nigerian youths and giving hope to the young generation.
He said, “As father of the nation, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has never failed to speak truth to power even at the risk of his life.
“As the defender of constitutional governance and parliamentary independence, Dr Bukola Saraki preached and lived the independence of the parliament.
“Yakubu Dogara as the champion of democracy showed yet again to the world that with the independence of the parliament, democracy is strengthened.
“These two gentlemen as presiding officers recorded for the Eighth Assembly the best performances by any particular session of the National Assembly.
“For Governor Nyesom Wike, as protector of the Rivers commonwealth and champion of democracy, everybody will agree that Governor Wike, more than any other thing, has protected his people against the invading anti-democratic forces and even also at the risk of his life.
“Finally for Mr Benedict Peters, the first ever Life Patron of the youth council, he stood with the council. His love for Nigerian youths is legendary.
“He singlehandedly sponsors the Nigerian Football Federation, he sponsors the Confederation of African Football awards, he is an employer of labour, and he is a guarantor of better life for Nigerian youths. Nigerian youths are loyal to him.”
Ugochinyere insisted that the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development contributed to the perennial crisis rocking the council.
He urged his successor to continue from where his administration stopped and perform better than he did.
Nihi, in his acceptance speech, promised to deliver quality leadership to Nigerian youths.
Ugochinyere announced a donation of a Toyota Camry to his successor at the brief ceremony.