Former Governor Osun State and first Interim National Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande and Minister of Agriculture and rural development, Chief Audu Ogbeh were among nine prominent Nigerians that won the 2017 Zik Prize Award.
Announcing the names of the winners to journalist in Lagos, Member, Advisory Board, of Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre, (PPRAC), Professor Pat Utomi, said the Zik Prize Leadership Award was instituted 24 years ago in honour of the first President of Nigeria, Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, primarily to encourage and nurture leadership on the African Continent and in the Diaspora.
“The year 2017 Zik Prize Award is set to follow this noble tradition of recognizing service excellence,” he saidf.
He disclosed that an exhaustive appraisal of nominees in various award categories have been done before these official announcing of their names.”
He said Bisi Akande who won the Zik Prize in Political Leadership, was honoured for his long standing dynamic service to Nigerian state and undying commitment to entrenchment of democratic ideas in the Nigeria polity.
While Chief Audu Ogbeh who emerged the Zik Prize winner in Public Service for his success in the last two years as he championed the return to Agriculture as a means of diversifying the nation’s economy.
Utomi added that “Today, Nigeria is now the largest rice producer in West Africa and agriculture the largest employer of labour providing up to 70 per cent of the national’s employment.”
Also, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru also won the award in professional leadership along with Mr. Ernest Ebi in this same category.
Other winners include Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike who emerged the winner as Zik Prize in Good Governance.
He was described as a dogged fighter and honoured for his people oriented reforms and the massive grassroots and infrastructural development projects across the state.
The wife of Anambra State Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obaino, the governor of Katsina State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello-Masari, wife of Bauchi State Governor, Hajia Hadiza Abubakar Mohammed, and Adedeji Adeleke were also honoured with Zik leadership awards.
The award, meant to encourage the development of patriotic leadership among Nigerians, Africans and all black people of the world, has drawn notable world leaders in the past, who recognise it as a veritable platform to earn national and international reputation in political and corporate governance, especially in an era of severe leadership crisis and organisational deficiency across the globe.
Some recipients of the prize in the past include; President J.J. Rawlings (1995), President Nwalimu Julius Nyerere (1997), Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim (1998), President Sam Nujoma (1999), Dr. Nelson Mandela (2000), President Yonweri Muzeveni (2003); President John Agyekum Kuffor (2008), Senator David Mark, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed (2010), Otunba Subomi Balogun (2010), President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2011), Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, Rabiu Kwakwanso (2012); Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (2013) and Alhaji Umar Tanko Al Makura (2014).