In August 2016, the Hall of Grace Awards had its 6th edition where distinguished Nigerians where honoured for excellence in various walks of life. Rupert Ojenuwa, the Managing Custodians who is also the MD of Alphagrace Media Resources speaks with Mary Ekah on the reasons Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola received double honour among others
The Hall of Grace recently honoured several distinguished Nigerians. How were you able to pull this through especially as it was your 6th edition?
Well, we give all the glory to God for sustaining us till the 6th year of having this annual event. I think that one major reason will be because of what we set out to achieve from the very beginning. The several aspects of our national life that was decaying motivated us and we thought within ourselves that we should put together a platform for which the very few people who are doing well are celebrated.
Your outfit honoured Governor Aregbesola with Governor of the Year as well as Man of the Year and you have been criticised for that. Why was that decision reached and how do you feel?
Any good initiative will be criticised. The criticisms help us know we are hitting the point. Governor Aregbesola was honoured simply because he deserved it. Frankly, we didn’t think that he deserved any honour because we relied massively on what the media had reported about him. But because before we award any governor, we got to his state to ascertain facts and I was opportune to have led a team to Oshogbo and we were amazed at how much this man had done. From infrastructure to education and health, youth empowerment is a priority for him. All you need to do is to go to Osun State and you won’t agree less. When we saw that, we immediately knew he was only a victim of campaign of calumny and we decided as a board to honour him. You can argue all you like but you can’t argue against proof and the man has got it.
Distinguished Nigerians have always graced your occasion. How do you manage to get the high and mighty to come personally?
This is one place where anybody will be tempted to take the glory especially if he is a CEO or MD of such an organisation but truth be told. I can ascribe every thing to the favour of God. God just granted us favour. We worked hard also and you know when highly placed Nigerians see credibility and the fact that you are trying to achieve a better Nigeria by celebrating worthy and deserving people, they want to be part of it.
Speaking of Nigeria, how do you feel knowing that we are in recession?
I think that this recession thing is under-reported. Government officials only need to mingle with the masses to understand that this recession is even a greater threat than the Boko Haram insurgency. I think that going forward; the President and the government of the day should put their houses in order and stop looking backwards for someone to put the blame on. No one makes significant progress looking back. They need to declare a state of emergency on the economy and bring in people who can help save the day. When it comes to national threat, consultations should be made across the board and everyone should be involved. Party leanings should become secondary because if there is no Nigeria, there won’t be political party. I believe every problem has its own solution. The managers of the economy should retreat to think out a strategy because it appears as though we are ‘guessing’ what the solution may be. I believe that our economic team can do better than they are doing presently.
What do we expect in 2017?
Fingers crossed but frankly we are already looking up at a few governors and other people who are blazing trail. It will be our 7th edition and I can promise that it will be ground breaking.