Awolowo’s leadership qualities “in tune with our transformation agenda” – President Jonathan

Wole Soyinka was honoured with Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership in Lagos.

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has said that the leadership qualities that typified the live of the late Obafemi Awolowo is “in tune with his government’s transformation agenda” which recognizes excellent leadership.

Mr. Jonathan stated this, Wednesday, while congratulating Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, who was honoured with the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership in Lagos.

“Awolowo was a foremost nationalist and statesman. He deployed his intellect in the promotion of our country and the good of the people,” said Mr. Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo.

“He (Soyinka) has not only contributed to the survival of our country but also strengthened our national and international profile.

“He fits the award because he is imbued with leadership qualities that marked Awolowo out. It is also in tune with the transformation agenda of our government which recognises quality in leadership and service,” Mr. Jonathan added.

The Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize was instituted in 2011 by the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation on the basis of one of the major recommendations of its special dialogue on ‘Transformational Leadership and Good Governance: Lessons from Awolowo Example.

Though Mr. Soyinka was announced as the recipient of the maiden edition at a press conference last December, he formally received the prize – a medal, certificate, and plaque – on March 6, Mr. Awolowo’s birthday.

In his speech, Mr. Soyinka called on the Nigerian government to emulate the leadership qualities of Mr. Awolowo in its dealings with the citizenry.

“Government at all levels must ensure that they do not continually encroach on the intelligence of the ordinary citizens,” Mr. Soyinka said.

“Today’s event may yet make a Christian out of me since, from my admittedly imperfect recollection of the Christian bible, somewhere it is written: to him who hath, even more shall be given.

“Despite the numerous explications I have encountered from childhood regarding that problematic passage, I have never been at ease with its implicit inequity,” said Mr. Soyinka.

“Today, however, I am setting aside all such objections. I was a beneficiary of the liberal educational policy, at tertiary level, of the man whose memory we are here to honour, and now, today, I find myself recipient of yet another largesse, an inestimable honour at the hands – albeit posthumously – of that same sage,” he added.

Emeka Anyaoku, the Chairman of the Award Selection Committee, said that the award will be awarded every two years.

“The prize is established to encourage, recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in Nigerian leadership. It is awarded to a Nigerian who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and good governance, a Nigerian who has made relevant vital contributions within the country or abroad,” Mr. Anyaoku, a former Commonwealth Secretary General, said.

“The recipient could be a former head of government at various tier of government, a vice chancellor of university, community leader and a contributor to good governance and leadership through advocacy, such as a human rights activist,” he added.

Six state governors attended the event including Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), and Babangida Aliyu (Niger).

Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, were also in attendance.


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  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    President Ebele Jonathan is the most deciet and liar that ever got to that exalted position of president of Nigeria.President Jonathan must search his conscience and face the question,answer them from Nigerians people’s jury court.

    What people oriented programs of Chief Awolowo semblance has president Jonathan ever outline and implement sofar since he got to the presidency?

    It should here be recall that fuel price increase that Jonathan raised from N65 naira to N141 naira is the opposite of Chief Awolowo’s people oriented policy/program throughout his tenure.Roads were rehabilitated regularly when needed,healthcare was free and education was free,there was employment provision mechanism in his premiership governance.

    Chief Awolowo did not plough Western Region scarce funds to purchase jet or built mansion but Western Region public revenues were focused strictly on Western Region people welfare.

    But president Jonathan dereliction of official duties of the oath of office he sworn to uphold led to deteriorating education in Nigeria,death trap roads nationwide,growing corruption in the presidency to the Local Government Councils,EFCC and ICPC became ineffective on Jonathan watch,corrupt/looter of public funds by Jonathan indicted and imprisoned boss was pardoned for corrupt practices by President Jonathan thereby promoting and encouraging corruption in office by Nigeria public officials.

    Chief Awolowo would not subscribe to the idea of keeping Nigeria external reserve in foreign account-allowing the huge reserve to be revolving and developing advanced economies of Western World while President Jonathan keeps borrwing more and high interest rate foreign loans.

    Chief Awolowo would never ever subscribe to president Jonathan unconstitutional, unaccountable
    non transparent excess crude account outside the Nigeria constitutional recorgnized Federation account that belong to Nigerian state.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Question for president Jonathan over claim that his regime is following in the foot print of Chief Awolowo people oriented programs.President Jonathan where are your free education program for Nigerian children?Where is your regime free healthcare services program in Nigerian public hospitals?Where is your public works roads,housing and education revamp projects,Where is your government employment creation project to create employment for our graduates and youths.
    Chief Awolowo rode his personal car to conduct government duties and you keeps ten presidential jets for use by you and dame Patience Jonathan at Nigerian public expense.
    Infact! president Jonathan is practices the opposite of Chief Obafemi Awolowo people oriented 4-cardinal programs of free education,free health services,employment creation initiative and public works doctrin.President Jonathan should go back and re-read Chief Obafemi Awolowo electoral campaigns cardinal programs and stop deceit campaign in Chief Awolowo’s name.