By Sarafina Christopher
Abuja, – The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria has honoured 51 Nigerians for their outstanding contributions to strengthening diplomatic ties between both countries.
The News Agency of Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 51 Nigerians were conferred with the 2022 Oct.1st China-Nigeria Friendship award as the bilateral friendship between both countries also hit 51 years.
Among the recipients were Sen. Iyiola Omisore, National Secretary of the All-Progressives Congress, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-general, National Council for Arts and Culture, and Mrs Lizzy Okoji a member of staff of the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN).
The annual prestigious award ceremony commemorates the Oct. 1 National Day celebration of China, the Independence Anniversary of Nigeria and bilateral relations of both countries.
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun commended and congratulated the awardees who were selected across diverse sectors for sustaining the cordial relations between both countries which dates back to 1971.
Cui, who was represented by Mr Zhang Yi, Minister Councilor of the Chinese Embassy, said that over past 51 years, the friendship between both countries had been very beneficial across all fields and growing every year.
He said that on assumption of duty as Ambassador to Nigeria, he pledged his commitments to building a stronger and mutually beneficial ties between both countries under his 5 GIST Nigeria- China GDP strategy.
“Over the past years, political mutual trust between China and Nigeria have been greatly enhanced, traditional friendship between China and Nigeria have been significantly improved.
“On political consonance, our mutual trust is deepened. The Mechanism of the Nigeria-China Intergovernmental Committee is running smoothly. On economic cooperation, our efforts are bringing more benefits to the two peoples.
“On Military and security collaboration, our joint efforts answer the call of the people. China supports Nigeria in her efforts to fight terrorism and insecurity, and will provide more capacity to enhance Nigeria’s security capability,” he said.
He said that on International coordination, the common voice in international arena was getting louder, adding that the two countries had worked closely together under the UN system.
“On people’s communication, our hearts are getting closer. The number of Nigerian students schooling in China is growing.
“The Concept of share Chinese Harmony, Perform Nigeria-China Symphony has been widely recognized by our Nigerian friends.
“While tasting the sweet fruits of our mutually beneficial cooperation, we should never forget those who worked tirelessly and made valuable contributions to our brotherly relationship, ” he said.
According to him, for this reason, the Chinese Embassy specially set up the Oct. 1st Award of China-Nigeria friendship to recognize those outstanding Nigerians for their excellent performance and contributions to strengthening diplomatic ties between both countries.
He said that since 2022 witnessed the 51st Anniversary of bilateral ties, the Chinese Embassy honoured 51 Oct. 1st Award winners.
Sen. Nora Dadu’ut, Member, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism lauded the Chinese Embassy for the initiative to recognize the efforts of Nigerians in contributing to the beautiful friendship between both countries.
“I have learnt a lot from the Nigeria-China relations since I came into the Senate. As an individual, I really appreciate the effort put in by the Chinese embassy here in Nigeria to actually harness this very bond which I appreciate.
“We have gone through the short video clip here and we can interpret it to mean that this relationship, Nigeria-China relationship is actually harmonized.
“And not just that, we have very much in common, all the elements and value of our identity. In population, we are the largest in the black race and China the largest in the world.
“In cultural diversity, they have 56 languages and we have 250, name it. I want to say that in the diversities mentioned, the coexistence, integration, development and cultural values, we have linked up very well with China.
“And in trade, which adds to our developmental pursuit, we really enjoy looking at this coexistence from the perspective of our culture, of our nation and our identity,” Dadu’ut said.
One of the recipients of the award, Okoji, thanked the Embassy for recognising the efforts of Nigerians who were working auspiciously to strengthen the relations.
Okoji also thanked the Chinese Embassy for being very intentional in nurturing the diplomatic ties and bilateral friendship through different programmes.
She said that the award would spur her and others to continue working hard to strengthen the bond of bilateral friendship.
NAN reports that among the recipients were Director-General of Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Prof. Abba Tijanni, the Editor in Chief, Leadership, Mr Azu Ishiekewne
Among the awardees were Dr. Mohammed Adaya Salisu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Development Policy) And Secretary Economic Advisory Council (EAC) and Amb. Chijioke Wilcox Wigwe, Former Nigerian Ambassador to Kenya.
Also included were Fatima Abbas-Hassan, a General Manager at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Political Analyst, Ini Akpan Morgan among others.(NAN)