The Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police Force and Nigerian Air Force, NAF, emerged top winners at the Maiden Security and Emergency Management Award, SAEMA, instituted to recognise and appreciate the contributions of the defence, security, intelligence and emergency agencies to national development.
The award event which was well attended by stakeholders in Nigeria’s defence and security sector in Abuja had Nigerian Army and Police winning in three out of 18 categories with Air Force winning on two occasions.
Army won in the following categories: Civil-Military Relations, Military Officer (Brig-Gen. Abdulmalik Bulama Biu), and Gallantry (Lance Corporal Illyasu Bala); while the Police in Crime Prevention, Security Officer (Police CSP Olabisi Davies) and Law Enforcement Officers (Twin brothers Hsasan and Hussaini Gimba).
On its part, NAF won in two categories including the best Training Institute (NAF War College) and Community Service (Medical Outreach).
On individual categories, the Police Twin Brothers DSP Husseini/Hasan Gimba who also works under the leadership of another finalist DCP Abba Kyari won the best law enforcement officers for the great work they are doing to burst kidnapping syndicates across the three geopolitical zones in the North. Another individual winners who shone bright on the day are; former Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Sani Usman Kukasheka (rtd) for as an outstanding Crisis Manager, while Mr. Hamza Suleiman of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) emerged the best in Emergency Journalism.
All the 54 finalists were given Certificate of Excellence with the 18 winners going home with the Golden Trophies. Some of the Categories include awards for Humanitarian Services, Crime-Fighting, Emergency Journalism, Cybercrime Prevention, Gallantry, Law Enforcement, Intelligence Service, Emergency Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Information, Training Institute, Community Service, Volunteer Group, Civil Military Relations, Crisis Manager, Private Security, Military and security officers of the year.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajia Sadiya Umar Faruk and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta were confered with Goodwill Ambassadors on Humanitarian Services and Crisis Communication at the event.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Panel of Jury, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Mohammed Audu-Bida described the nominees, finalists and winners as great patriots who despite the challenges, hazards and dangers that are abound in their job schedules, remain determined and committed towards ensuring that Nigeria is safe, secured and peaceful.
Mr Audu-Bida who was represented by the former Special Adviser to Adamawa State Governor on Security, Mr. Mohammed Usman Shuwa, noted that the awards were given to winners as adjudged by a team of independent jury which he chaired.
According to him, nominations for the various categories were based on candidate’s verifiable outstanding performance and track record excellence in the category for which the nomination was made. He said that “a total of 254 entries were received for all the categories out of which, 136 nominees qualified for the competition. Thereafter, 54 finalists were selected by the jury from which 18 winners of the 18 categories emerged.”
He stated: “I have no doubt in my mind that all of us here are united in our conviction that nothing is more topical and critical in our country today than security and emergency matters. The recurrence of both man-made and natural disasters has over time precipitated insecurity and humanitarian consequences in Nigeria. These tragic occurrences have placed the activities and operations of agencies and departments saddled with the responsibility of managing security and emergencies in the front burner.
“In view of the indispensability of their statutory roles, these agencies of government and the people behind them are constantly on their toes to prevent, tackle or mitigate the impacts of both man-made and natural adversities. Without any iota of doubt, the management and personnel of these agencies are great patriots who despite the challenges, hazards and dangers that are abound in their job schedules, remain determined and committed towards ensuring that our dear country is safe, secured and peaceful. A lot of them have paid the supreme sacrifice, many have lost their limbs, some families torn apart, and dreams cut short while carrying out their duties in service to fatherland. At the management level, a number of Chief Executives of these agencies have shown uncommon courage, ingenuity and exemplary leadership that deserve encomium and appreciation.”
The Panel of Jury Chair stressed that it is in recognition of the patriotic contributions of the security and emergency institutions as well the individuals behind them that the Award series was instituted. He added that the idea was to publicly acknowledge and celebrate the best of the bests among them with a view to creating resilient and professional approach in the management of security and emergency situations in the country. He also expressed belief that by instituting the Awards, these agencies and individuals behind them will be further motivated in their patriotic duties.
He commended the Image Merchants Limited, publishers of Emergency Digest, the principal organizer; Centre for Crisis Communication, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy, CISLAC, and Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, for commitment to the advancement of peace, security and stability of the Nigerian society, as well as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Special Programme, Hajiya Sadiya Faruk.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Image Merchants Ltd, Dr Sule Yau Sule, noted that service to humanity must at all times be recognized, appreciated and celebrated.
Mr Sule said as an active player in Nigeria’s Public Relations and Media industry, the staples have always stood for excellence and honour with an abiding faith in a Nigeria that will ultimately stand strong in spite of all the challenges that assail her.
“We have through our stables – PRNigeria, Emergency Digest, Spokespersons Digest, Economic Confidential Magazine and PRNigeria Centre Kano, carved a niche for ourselves in using the instrumentality of the media to assist Nigeria’s security and response agencies in their crisis communication efforts.
“We pride ourselves as the only Public Relations and Media organization in Nigeria that has won back to back, the African Public Relations Awards and International Public Relations Awards hosted by regional and global professional bodies APRA and IPRA, especially on Crisis Management category between 2016 to 2019,” he said.
He said the successful hosting of SAEMA marked their grand entry into the Events Management industry in Nigeria anchored on “integrity, corporate experience and determination to add value”.
In the same vein, the Executive Secretary of Centre for Crisis Communications, CCC, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (rtd), said that SAEMA is all about recognizing and celebrating excellence in the critical areas of security and emergency management.
Mr Anas remarked that “this has become most expedient given the perilous times we are in this country. Without any iota of doubt, by celebrating excellence, we are encouraging the security and response agencies in the country to keep working for the good of our beloved country”.