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The Sun award has rekindled my spirit to do more –Joe Okei-Odumakin


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Human rights activist and President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin yesterday said The Sun awards has rekindled her spirit to do more for the society.
Okei-Odumakin made the remark in Lagos when the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Eric Osagie led a delegation to present the letter notifying her of her emergence as winner of the Humanitarian Service Award 2017.
According to Okei-Odumakin, a lot of people believed that hope was lost and Nigeria corruption-ridden, but The Sun Management had demonstrated that some Nigerians and institutions could make the difference.
Describing the award as ‘the greatest gift that I’ve received,” the rights advocate said she would cherish the honour all her life.
“This award is unique. It gives me hope and is reassuring. This is the greatest gift that I’ve received. It will go a long way in making me ever young.”
Okei-Odumakin said she committed herself to human rights activism neither minding if anyone was watching nor expecting any reward.
She added, “People always say that our reward is in heaven, but what I’ve seen here today, demonstrated by The Sun Management, is overwhelming. This has rekindled hope. It will encourage a lot of people to do more for the society and humanity.”
While thanking The Sun for the award, she acknowledged the media company’s unique quality as a pacesetter. She recalled the pioneering effort of The Sun in organizing a walk against domestic violence against women and children.
Earlier, The Sun Managing Director, Mr. Osagie had said that The Sun Board of Editors voted Okei-Odumakin for the honour for having impacted positively on humanity and the society.
“This is a country where generally people don’t care. But this is one woman who said I’d be there for the downtrodden, the oppressed, the despised. It takes a whole lot of courage and commitment to do that.
Mr. Osagie pointed out that The Sun awards were not given based on friendship, religious, ethnic or any other primordial considerations, stressing that it was purely on merit.
He stressed that The Board of Editors cast the lots for the Woman Arise president in recognition of her antecedents as foremost Nigerian democracy and women’s rights activist.
He said Joe-Odumakin exemplified the spirit of Mary Slessor with her activities, declaring her, “Mary Slessor of Nigeria.”
“For several years you’ve remained consistent in your pursuit of human rights, not minding the hazards to your person.”
The Sun Managing Director also described Okei-Odumakin as an extremely brave woman who had been at the forefront of over 3,000 cases of violations of women’s rights, including extrajudicial practices against women, killings of women by their spouses, assault as well as rape.
“You’ve exemplified exceptional courage and great leadership in advocating for women’s rights at personal risks.
He said her brave and fearless crusade for justice made her a worthy recipient of the maiden The Sun Humanitarian Service Award.
The Humanitarian Service Award recognises Nigerians with proven records of exceptional human endeavours to improve the human condition through saving lives, improving the quality of life and alleviating human suffering, while promoting human dignity as well as life.
The Sun team led by the Managing Director on the visit, also included the Executive Director, Special Duties, Mr. Bolaji Tunji and Editor, Sunday Sun, Alhaji Abdulfatah Oladeinde.
The Sun awards 2017 presentation will be made at a grand ceremony on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at The Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.


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