By Matthew Okagha

BENIN CITY – Six distinguished personalities have been endorsed as recipients of the 9th Benin National Merit Award scheduled for December 29, 2014.
They are, a former Governor of Edo State, Prof. Oseriemen Osunbor; former Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice, Edo State, Dr. Osagie Obayuwana; Professor Eddy Eraigbe of the University of Benin, Mr. Funso Adebanjo, Commissioner of Police, Edo State, Professor Victor Edosa Omozuwa, Dean of students, University of Benin and Professor Michael Ibadin, Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
A statement by Aiyamenkhue Edokpolor, chairman, Local Organizing Committee, said the recipients were painstakingly selected for investiture in recognition of their sterling leadership qualities to critical sectors of the economy, Edo State and Nigeria’s development.
The statement explained that the essence of the convocation of the Benin National Merit Award as an intellectual property of the Benin National Congress, “is essentially to propagate and strengthen the reward system of Edo people in such a way that will accord recognition to dignity of labour, entrench values of patriotism and community service and as well as enhance the values of our cherished customs and heritage.”
The theme of this year’s award ceremony is, “Honouring Ingenuity As a critical factor in militating and resolving Nigeria’s security and economic impasse.”
The statement noted that the theme is predicated on the fragile political scenario occasioned by many shapes and dimensions of insurgency as well as depressing state of Nigeria’s economy.
This year’s lecture will be delivered by Brig. General Patrick Eghosa Onaghise (rtd) and Prof. Michael Ibadin.