Nigeria's People Choice Awards Makes Debut 


Professor Jibrin Ibrahim

Professor Jibrin Ibrahim

The largest platform for Nigerians to choose their best performing public office holders across a broad spectrum of categories has been unveiled.

Known as The Nigerian People’s Choice Awards (TNPCA), the awards process will be supervised by a panel of outstanding Nigerians with impeccable track records in various fields.

They are Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, who is to serve as Chairman, TNPCA Panel of Judges; Professor Adigun Agbaje, TNPCA Panel of Judges, member and secretary and outstanding journalist, Trcia Nwaubani, member of the TNPCA Panel.

A statement issued on Thursday by Mrs Adenike Olufade, the Chairperson, on behalf of the organisers of the awards, said every Nigerian at home or in the Diaspora would have the opportunity to decide through a transparent and credible process the best performing elected public officials in a calendar year.

According to the statement, the inaugural edition to decide the best elected officials in the country in Year 2017 would hold this year.

It added: “The awards will be a critical intervention in the much desired wish of every well-meaning Nigerian to experience wholesale improvement in the quality of governance across all the tiers of government. The award gives extensive power to all Nigerians within and outside the country to vote for their best choices.

“The TNPCA is a prestigious, elevated and reputable platform for the recognition and reward of excellence in governance in Nigeria. Every Nigerian can nominate and vote for their candidates of choice in all the categories.”

Giving details on the panel of judges, the organisers said, “Their first role will be to look at the list of nominations which will be submitted via SMS and Online platforms and come up with a shortlist of top three nominees in each category.

“The second role of the judges will be to assess the votes and affirm the winners in each category.”

It added that at every stage, a reputable audit firm would confirm that everything has been done in accordance with established protocols and international best practices.

“Nomination of candidates online shall be free while online voting for candidates shall be at N50 per vote or its equivalent. SMS nomination and voting shall be at the cost of N50 or its equivalent.”

In addition to the awards, the organisers said arrangements have been firmed up to establish a platform for the promotion of Good Governance where a certain percentage of the funds generated from the entire process shall be devoted to setting up the Centre and funding various capacity enhancement projects in conjunction with leading developmental agencies around the world.

According to the activities for the awards, nomination for top three in each category will hold from February 1 to 16, 2018, while affirmation of top three nominees in all categories by the judges will hold on February 20.

On February 22, the audit firm will validate the process, while the top three nominees in all categories will be revealed on February 23 and voting for winners will start from then and end on March 23.

On March 26, the winners will be affirmed by the panel of judges, while another verification will then be carried out by the audit firm on March 27. The winners will be announced on March 28 and conferred with their awards at a gala to be held on April 29, 2018.

The categories and SMS codes for the awards are Best Performing Governor of the Year 2017 (TNPCA1); Best Senator of the Year 2017 (TNPCA2); Best House of Rep member of the Year 2017 (TNPCA3); Most Outstanding Political Leader of the Year 2017 (TNPCA4); Best Local Government Chairman of the Year 2017 (TNPCA5); Best Governor of the Year 2017 – North West (TNPCA6); Best Governor of the Year 2017 – North Central (TNPCA7); and Best Governor of the Year 2017 – North East (TNPCA8).

Other categories are Best Governor of the Year 2017 – South East (TNPCA9); Best Governor of the Year 2017 – South South (TNPCA10); Best Governor of the Year 2017 – South West (TNPCA11); Best State Legislator of the Year 2017 (TNPCA12); Best Legislator of the Year – North West (TNPCA13); Best Legislator of the Year – North Central (TNPCA14); Best Legislator of the Year – North East (TNPCA15); Best Legislator of the Year – South East (TNPCA16); Best Legislator of the Year – South South (TNPCA17); and Best Legislator of the Year – South West (TNPCA18).

According to the brief backgrounds of the judges, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim who is from Kano State is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja and was formerly a Professor of Political Science at Babcock University, Ilishan. He is an outstanding scholar-activist with an international reputation. He received degrees in Political Science from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and a doctorate in Politics from the University of Bordeaux in France. He taught political science in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for twenty years. He had also been Research Professor at the Institute of Federalism in Fribourg, Switzerland among several other academic accomplishments. He has lectured, published and consulted extensively on democratisation and governance in Africa.

Professor Adigun Agbaje earned his BSc (Honours) degree in Political Science at the University of Ibadan in the First Class Division in 1979, becoming the first student to graduate in that class in his discipline in the University’s history, earning for himself in the process the Faculty Prize for the Best Graduating Student in his Graduating Class. He subsequently earned his MSc degree in Mass Communications with distinctions from the University of Lagos in 1981, and his PhD in Political Science from the University of Ibadan in 1988 – also with distinctions.

He became Professor of Political Science at Ibadan in 1998 and was Dean, Faculty of the Social Sciences (2003-2005) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of academic matters (2006-2010) at the University. He has also served as Director, Centre for Social Science Research and Development, Lagos (2001-2001), and founding Director-General, Obafemi Awolowo Institute for Government and Public Policy, Lagos (2012-2014).

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani is a novelist, journalist and essayist. Born in Enugu, Nigeria, she is the first contemporary African writer to launch a global career while fully based in her home country.

Her debut novel, I Do Not Come to You by Chance, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (Africa), a 2010 Betty Trask First Book award, was a finalist for the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Best Books of the Year. Her debut Young Adult novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, will be published by Harper Collins Children’s Books in fall 2018.