17th May, 2022
By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has bagged the 2021 Leadership Person of the Year Award.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), also bagged the same award at the 2021 Leadership Annual Conference and Awards on Tuesday in Abuja.
The theme of the event organised by the Leadership Group is “Resetting Nigeria: Culture, Politics, Geography and the Role of Big Ideas.’’
In his acceptance speech, the vice president said he was honoured to be a recipient of the award and expressed appreciation to the Chairperson and Management of the Leadership group for deeming him worthy of the recognition.
“I am also very privileged to share this award of Leadership Person of the year with Okonjo Iweala, a globally affirmed finance and development expert, and a true Nigerian patriot who is now the Director-General of the WTO.
“Every glass ceiling she has broken, and they are many, has inspired girls and women all over the world to reach for the highest heights in all fields of human endeavour.
“The late Sam Nda-Isaiah, Founder, Leadership Group, was a dogged achiever who stood for integrity in public life and embodied the finest traditions of Nigerian journalism.
“He believed fervently in the role of the media as an umpire of public discourse and in its mission of elevating the quality of public debate.
“I am gratified that the values he lived by continue to be ardently represented by this organization.’’
Osinbajo commended the Leadership Management Team, led by Mrs Zainab Nda-Isaiah, for forging ahead in the wake of Nda-Isaiah’s transition to glory.
He said that the late Ndah-Isaiah was a progressive who believed in a peaceful, just and productive society.
“Those of us who, like Nda-Isaiah belong in the same political tendency — the one that is loosely described as the progressive, agree on certain principles.
“That we must create a country that works for all of us – a peaceful and secure society founded on law and order and the rule of law, a society that enables commerce and values productivity so that large and small businesses can grow and provide jobs and opportunities for young people.
“A society where no one is left behind, providing by means of an effective social welfare scheme a safety net for the very poor and the vulnerable.
“A united and tolerant nation, where all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or political persuasion are respected–treated fairly and justly and have equal access to all opportunities.
“That we must build a Nigeria where a boy or girl does not say I am from the South-West, or I am from the North-West, or South-South or North-East, or North-Central or South-East, but I am a Nigerian, a citizen of one of the greatest and most prosperous nations on earth.’’
The vice president dedicated the award all Nigerians who were striving to build a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
“I, therefore, dedicate this award to the millions of Nigerians who believe in this new Nigeria; and who retain faith in our possibilities as a people and are doing their best every day in their various corners to build this nation through the honest endeavour.
“I dedicate it to those people of goodwill who are working hard to promote peace, tolerance and mutual understanding within their communities.
“To those working hard to build bridges across communities and have refused to be frustrated and wearied by the trials of our country as it begins to grow into the fullness of its manifest destiny.
“It is because of such Nigerians, that despite the onerous challenges we are passing through on our march of progress that I am certain that we will build this great Nigerian nation we all yearn for.
“Once again, I thank the management of leadership for this award I congratulate all awardees for their well-deserved recognition,’’ he said.
The award plaque was presented to the vice president by the Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar.
The keynote address was delivered by Bishop Mathew Kukah of Sokoto Diocese, represented by Rev. Fr Patrick Alumuku.
Other speakers at the event included Mrs Zainab Nda-Isaiah, Chairman, Leadership Group, FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello and Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State
There were also other categories of awards to deserving Nigerians.