Thabo Mbeki To Receive Awolowo Leadership Prize

Thano Mbeki, former South African president was on Friday, announced as winner of the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership.

The announcement was made in Lagos on Friday by Emeka Anyaoku, chairman of Selection Committee of the Obafemi Awolowo Prize For Leadership.

“Mr. Thabo Mbeki has in his distinguished career to date, demonstrated many of the core leadership qualities that have been associated with Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and which this prize is meant to encourage and reward.”

Anyaoku said the Committee decided to widen the scope of the Prize by throwing the process open to include international nominations.

He added that after an elaborate and rigorous screening of the huge number of nominees from Nigeria and other African countries, only Mbeki possesses the attributes for the award to the highest degree.

Some of the attributes that earned Mbeki the prize according to Akin Mabogunje a member of the Committee, include integrity,credibility,discipline,courage,selflessness,accountability,tenacity of purpose, visionary and people-centered leadership as well as respect for the rule of law and press freedom.

The prize, which consists of a medal, a certificate and a plaque, has no monetary reward attached to it. “It is only intended to serve as a strong incentive to Nigerians for the pursuit of excellence in leadership and good governance,” Anyaoku said.

He added that the award will be presented to Mbeki at the actual award ceremony which will hold on March 6, 2015 Awolowo’s birth anniversary, at a yet-to- be announced venue.

Mbeki will be the second recipient of the prize after Wole Soyinka who the first edition in 2012.

While responding to questions from journalists, Anyaoku, who is also a former secretary-general of the Commonwealth, condemned the inflammatory statements by politicians and certain individuals in the country regarding the forthcoming elections.

“I am highly disappointed that most campaigns are not issue-based,” he said.

He also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure that the elections hold as scheduled.

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