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Nine outstanding youths of Akwa Ibom origin yesterday distinguished themselves as winners at the 2019 President's NYSC Honours Awards for the combined years of 2015, 2016 and 2017. 

The President Honours Awards for outstanding Corps members began in. 1974 with the conferment of National Honours on ten (10) ex-Corps members of the pioneer batch at a colourful ceremony presided by the then Head of State and founding fathers of the NYSC, General Yakubu  Gowon. Thus the culture of promoting excellence among young people through appropriate recognition was instituted.

The nine  Akwa Ibomites who on the night were conferred with Honours by the President include Dr John Emmanuel Ekem, who is the current Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Medical Association, Mr Udoh Mboutidem Nkereuwem, Miss Owo Blessing Michael, Mr Michael Aniekan Akpan, Asuquo Queen-Ann Francis, Dr Ubokobong Imeh Essiet, Mr George Aniekeme S and Mr Effiong Edifon Celestine.

These Akwa Ibomites who had earlier won the State Honours Awards at their different places of Primary assignment underwent a rigorous screening by the National Selection Committee drawn from relevant institutions and stakeholders including the Presidency, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, The Nigerian Army, The Nigerian Police, Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Committee of Rectors of Polytechnics, The Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) and Ex-NYSC directors.

In a related development, the Honourable Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly expressed his immense joy at these outstanding achievement by a group he described as Akwa Ibom Champions. The Speaker congratulated the award winners and urged other Akwa Ibom youths to emulate them.

Three Akwa Ibomites were named overall best for three years consecutively. There are Dr Ekem Emmanuel John, overall best corps member 2015. The National Awardees- Best Corps member 2015, Dr Ekem Emmanuel John; Mr Michael Akpan- overall best corp member 2016 and  Dr Ubokobong Essiet, overall best corp member 2017.

In his speech at the event which held at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, representing President Muhammudu Buhari announced automatic employment in the federal civil service and scholarships to PHD level in any Nigerian University to all awardees.

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