Prince BB Apugo
Prince Apugo

 OBINNA EZUGWU

Elder statesman and chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Prince B.B. Apugo, has emerged winner of BusinessHallmark’s Outstanding Political Leadership Award for the year 2020.

The award is part of the weekly newspaper’s concept of honouring outstanding individuals and corporate organisations that have affected the Nigerian economy and polity in productive ways.

The choice of the Abia State born politician, according to a letter addressed to him by member of BusinessHallmark Editorial Advisory Board and Co-Chair of its Public Policy Forum, Akogun Tola Adeniyi, was informed by his immense contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s democracy.

“We are pleased to inform you that the Editorial Board of our newspaper has voted you as winner of its Year 2020 Outstanding Political Leadership Award. The award is in recognition of the important roles you have played in the growth of democracy, and crusade for governance in our country,” the letter read in part.

“We recall vividly your leading contributions to the success of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the late 70s. With the return of democracy in 1999, you emerged one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It is also noteworthy that you became one of the prime movers of the coalition that birthed the All Progressive Congress (APC) and ensured its historic victory at the polls.

“Indeed, you have been at the crucible of all major political movements in our country in the last forty years. Your dogged pursuit of good governance, honour and integrity in government, and insistence on politics as a means of serving the people rather than self-interest, have marked you out as a man of principle who is worthy of emulation.”

Chief Adeniyi said Apugo has “remained consistently outspoken against ineptitude and corruption in government, often at great personal cost.”

The letter said Apugo has remained a man of integrity whose examples are worthy of emulation.

“Your strong advocacy has earned you immense admiration across the country, irrespective of political party affiliation.

“Millions of Nigerians see you as one of the few men of honour and integrity left standing in the muddled political space. Perhaps unknown to you, many of our countrymen and women, especially the younger generation see you as a role model.

“We therefore feel very privileged to bestow this honour on your esteemed person.”

The award, according to the letter, will be presented at an elaborate dinner on Sunday November 22, 2020 at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Other winners to be presented with awards on the night are the Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chike Ihekweazu; Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika among other outstanding individuals and corporate organisations.