For the Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, Bro. Felix Obuah, excellence in service delivery drives his passion. Little wonder that awards, laurels and accolade fill his richly decorated shelf. Such ululations, of course, cut across frontiers and defy ethnic boundaries.
Penultimate week, Obuah had another feather added to his colourful plumage, but this time, it was in recognition of his dedicated service delivery to the tourism and hospitality industry.
A football mogul and enthusiast, Obuah, to further push his commitment to the growth of the Nigerian economy via the tourism and hospitality genre, has vowed to work until Rivers State and Nigeria, respectively, gained global recognition.
Bro. Obuah, who made the declaration shortly after receiving the prestigious award by the management of one of Nigeria’s top tabloids, Sun Newspaper, in Port Harcourt, said he would seize every opportunity given to him by God to engage in ventures that would improve the welfare of humanity.
At a brief ceremony which was witnessed by senior members of management of the Sun Group of Newspapers, principal officers of RIWAMA, leadership of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (ONELGA) Legislative Assembly, some members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Special Advisers to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, former Commissioners, friends and well-wishers, Bro. Obuah said his foray into the hospitality and tourism industry was driven by his passion to create employment opportunities to teeming youths in the state as well as making Omoku, the headquarters of ONELGA, the tourism destination of the state.
The Sun Newspaper team was led by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh.
Bro. Obuah who is the immediate past Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State, said the Sun newspaper was a credible news medium that runs its reportage on investigative journalism, even as he prayed God to make the newspaper become a global brand.
He explained that his understanding that every act of benevolence shown to mankind gets rewarded by God, drives his conviction and motivation to do more work of charity.
Bro. Obuah, who is also the Founder/Sole Sponsor of Go-Round Football Club of Omoku, said he regarded his choice for the award as a privilege and an act of grace as, according to him, there were tens of thousands of others eminently qualified to be so recognised.
Even as he expressed gratitude to God and to Nigerians for the award, Obuah pledged his devotion to the promotion of hospitality and tourism not only in Rivers State but Nigeria as a whole.
He commended Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, for his inspiration, saying the governor’s approach to governance is infectious and second-to-none.
He said: “I draw my inspiration from the exemplary style of His Excellency, Chief (Barr) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, governor of Rivers State, who is leaving no stone unturned to make Rivers State the tourism hub of the nation.
“I dedicate this award and many more to come, first to God Almighty whose abundant grace on me made this possible, to Governor Wike, ‘Mr. Projects’ and the Governor of our time, and to the generality of the good people of Rivers State and the less privileged in society for their continued support to what we are doing in the state”, Obuah added.
Obuah, who carries the traditional title of Mba-Anabaragu 1(the fearless leopard) of Orashi Kingdom, alleged that former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had made attempts to demolish Krisdera Hotels and Resorts, a 150-bedroom hotel, which he noted today offers employment to hundreds of qualified Nigerians, and had showcased him to the world. Amaechi knew that the hotel would bring development, employment and tourism to our people, but because of political differences, he felt it should be demolished”, he alleged.
“My gratitude goes to Governor Nyesom Wike who, in spite of all odds, stood by me and revoked what the former governor wanted to do to the hotel”, the RIWAMA CEO said.
Before handing over the award plaque and Certificate of Award to Bro. Obuah, Sun’s MD/E-in-C, Mr. Ukeh, explained that choice of Obuah was based on his “tireless quest for hospitality and humanitarian services to mankind.”
“Many people know Bro. Felix Obuah as that powerful politician who fought many battles and won them. But there are many other people who do not know the other side of you, which has been underlined by this award”, he said.
Mr. Ukeh said it was on that premise that the newspaper found Bro. Obuah deserving of The Sun Hospitality Personality of the Year Award (2019), adding that the 150-room 5-star Krisdera Hotels and Resorts is, in his words, “incontrovertibly one of the best in the country”.
He explained that the award was earlier billed for presentation sometime in May, 2020 but was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sun’s Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief also revealed that the award presentation to the RIWAMA boss would alongside other recipients, be aired on three national and cable television channels on November 28, 2020.