The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) has singled out some Nigerians it found worthy of honour.
The civil society group honoured these individuals at the maiden edition of Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Awards in Lagos on Monday.
According to the organisers, the award is in recognition of individuals who promote honour, integrity and who also stand tall in the crusade against corruption in Nigeria
Among those honoured were Adesegun Awosanya, pioneer of #ENDSARS campaign; Ishaq Oloyede, registrar of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters.
Awosanya won the outstanding impact award (OIA), Oloyede won the outstanding integrity award (OIA) while Sowore won the valuable whistle-blower award (VWA).
In his acceptance speech, Awosanya said Nigerians should be ready to do more so that the society can get better because governance is not just about politicians but all.
“Like every other award, I am happy and this award is dedicated to all those who have lost one thing or the other to police oppression,” Awosanya said.
“SARS have not ended as recommended but their actions have been curbed greatly and we are beginning to find means through which we can chart a proper course and create a proper system through which they can have accountability within the system.
“Today, the only reason you will see a SARS officer out there is probably they are responding to a distress call, armed robbery or kidnapping case. So they are no longer on the street, roaming about looking for whom to devour. And that is commendable.
“Because This is Nigeria where authorities don’t respond to things that don’t give them anything in return. They don’t really deliver to people in any sense rather, take from the people.This is the first time where citizen’s advocacy is put out there genuinely for the good of the masses. And we pray this continues.
“Every citizen should find a cause out there that they can champion, push forward to make society better.”
Lanre Suraj, chairman of HEDA, said the award was borne out of the desire to celebrate outstanding Nigerians who have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities.
“Nigerians in their own consideration nominated and elected the awardees. These are Nigerians that have impacted the lives of people. Putting this together and having the awardees appreciated by Nigerians satisfies part of the initiative for putting this together which is to celebrate the beautiful ones amongst us and there are quite a lot of them,” Suraj said.