President Muhammadu Buhari, former president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and former chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Muhammadu Attahiru Jega, will today in Abuja, at the Transcorp Hilton, be honoured as LEADERSHIP Persons of the Year 2015.
Others to be honoured at the annual event are speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, as LEADERSHIP Politician and Governor of the Year respectively.
The LEADERSHIP conferences and awards is an annual event where the LEADERSHIP Group celebrates those who have distinguished themselves in the public and private sectors in the preceding year.
This year’s event is significant as it will bring together the major actors in the 2015 general elections; President Buhari, his predecessor, Jonathan and Jega, former head of the electoral umpire who conducted the 2015 elections.
It was not an easy decision for the Board of Editors of LEADERSHIP who voted for the trio.
While Buhari will be honoured for making history by being the first opposition candidate to defeat a sitting president after three attempts, Jonathan is being recognised for achieving the improbable and for conceding defeat in an election in which he was a contestant – a first for Nigeria, and the former INEC boss is to be honoured for his courage, doggedness and fairness even in the face of threats to his life in the conduct of the 2015 elections, a feat he achieved to global acclaim.
Dogara on the other hand was chosen as politician of the year for emerging from behind, galvanising House members from different political tendencies to win the speakership of the House of Representatives in a clean and transparent contest without the support of any of the party’s power centres and for being politically adroit enough to win back the confidence of his party’s leadership after this, to the extent of becoming the bridge and influencer of the rapprochement between the National Assembly and the presidency.
Dankwambo also emerged LEADERSHIP Governor of the Year 2015 for being the surviving soul of the PDP in northern Nigeria, without which the party would have been buried.
“For his unrelenting modernisation of Gombe State, his record of performance in maintaining peace, good governance and exemplary leadership, and for a feat of political engineering that has made him the last PDP governor standing in the entire north, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo is the LEADERSHIP Governor of the Year 2015,” the management said.
It is equally significant that former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar was chosen to chair the occasion and present the Persons of the Year awards because of his role before, during and after the 2015 general elections, particularly in the National Peace Committee, where he, together with other statesmen, got the presidential candidates of the major political parties in the election to sign peace accords.
It would be recalled that Gen. Abdulsalami was largely instrumental to the peaceful conduct of the candidates, a role he played using his experience in 1999, when he midwifed the peaceful transition of power from the military regime to a democratically elected government.
Tomorrow therefore, will be a day for celebration of democracy and statesmanship and patriotism which qualities are lacking in many of the country’s contemporary leaders.
Thirteen other individuals and organisations will also receive awards at the event. They include the former Managing Director/CEO of Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr Rasheed Adejare Olaoluwa and chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corp Marshal/CEO of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Managing Director of Intelsat Nigeria Limited, Mr Simone Volpi and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Others are Dangote Cement, Heritage Bank, Access Bank, SystemSpecs, Zenith Bank, Chibok Girls, the Golden Eaglets and the rave of the moment artiste, Mr Korede Bello.
By Bode George