Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike shocked local and international artistes, who performed at a grand reception he organised for the Grammy award winner, Damini Ugulu aka Burna Boy, on Saturday night, following his gift of N10milion to each of them.
Wike also decorated the Afrobeat superstar with the second highest state award known as the Distinguish Service Star of River State (DSSRS), the same honour bestowed on the deputy governor.
Wike’s wife, who hails from the same Ahoada West with the musician, presented the award certificate to Burna Boy, while Deputy Governor Ipalibo Banigo gave him the award medal in the presence of top artistes like Timaya, Duncan Mighty, Omah Lay, Mosey B, among others.
The DSSRS is the second highest distinction in Rivers State order and is conferred on individuals in recognition of their exceptional service/performance in any field.
The event, held in Port Harcourt, attracted youths and elders, who struggled to catch a glimpse of the musician that took the name of Rivers to the musical global map.
The governor, who described the homecoming reception for Burna Boy as a joyous moment for the state, said the government would allocate to him a land at the old Government Reserved Area (GRA) of Port Harcourt and give him money to build a house there.
Burna Boy, accompanied by his parents, siblings and crew, thanked the government and people of Rivers State for considering him worthy of the award.
He said: “I have collected honours everywhere in the world, but it feels different when you get it from home. This is my humblest moment and I thank each and everyone of you. I thank the best governor I have ever experienced. I don’t like politics and politicians, but this my governor has shown me that there is hope for youths and there is hope for us.”
Culture and Tourism Commissioner Mrs. Tonye Briggs Oniyide said in the entertainment sector, a nomination to any honour platform was an indication that the artiste had provided value through his hard work.