The Presidency, yesterday, confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari would personally attend the LEADERSHIP Annual Awards, which will hold on Thursday October 6, 2016.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, who made the confirmation to LEADERSHIP, yesterday, said the president will grace the event.
Adesina stated that: “Mr President has confirmed his attendance of the annual LEADERSHIP awards. He has agreed to honour the event and that l can confirm to you.”
Similarly, LEADERSHIP also confirmed that former president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, would be attending the annual awards.
His spokesman, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, confirmed yesterday that his boss and former Nigerian leader would be part of the October event at which he would be an award recipient.
“The former president would be part of the event. He welcomes it, more so for such an important media event from a respected national newspaper like the LEADERSHIP Group which will be honouring him for his unique statesmanly role and achievements especially in promoting peace and true democracy in Nigeria. “Although His Excellency has been quite very busy since he left office, he nevertheless welcomes the development and l want to confirm to you that he would be part of the awards event,” Eze said.
Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, also confirmed that he would attend the annual event.
The trio of Buhari, Jonathan and Jega were nominated as LEADERSHIP Persons of the Year 2015.
Their selection followed a critical review of their various contributions to the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria and the peaceful and seamless manner in which the three eminent Nigerians handled the 2015 democratic transition without derailing the country’s democracy to the admiration and commendation of the global democratic community.
The LEADERSHIP Awards, which is an annual event, would be honouring President Muhammadu Buhari “for making history by being the first opposition candidate to defeat a sitting president after three attempts.” In the case of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he would be recognised by the newspaper “for achieving the improbable and for conceding defeat in an election in which he was a contestant – a first for Nigeria.”
The former INEC boss is to be honoured “for his courage, doggedness and fairness even in the face of threats to his life in the conduct of the 2015 elections,” to global acclaim.
Explaining the criteria employed by the newspaper’s Board of Editors in arriving at the choice of the trio LEADERSHIP said: “It always seems improbable until it is done. We may now take for granted the watershed of the 2015 presidential election but who could have thought it would come to pass? It was far from being so before it was done. When Nigeria held her presidential poll on March 28, 2015 – the fifth since civilian rule was restored in 1999 – it had all the elements of a do-or-die affair.
“Providence and three key personalities – Jonathan, Jega and Buhari, turned the tide. They jointly midwifed and protected the people’s mandate and the nation’s democracy from the pernicious machinations of contending interests. In choosing the LEADERSHIP Person of the Year, the Board of Editors could not separate the three central characters who defined 2015. We celebrate these icons of democracy for their role in the nation’s proper initiation to true democracy.”
However, apart from President Buhari, Jonathan and Jega, other eminent Nigerians and corporate organisations whose significant contributions in the various fields of endeavour and sectors of the nation that were recognised in the LEADERSHIP Annual Awards, are Gombe state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, former Managing Director/CEO of Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr Rasheed Adejare Olaoluwa and chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko.
Others are: Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corp Marshal/CEO of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Managing Director of Intelsat Nigeria Limited, Mr Simone Volpi, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dangote Cement, Heritage Bank, Access Bank, SystemSpecs, Zenith Bank, Chibok Girls, the Golden Eaglets and entertainer, Korede Bello.