Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has described late Sam Nda-Isaiah, founder and publisher of Leadership Newspapers as a dogged achiever, saying also that he craved for integrity in public life.
The vice president made these remarks at the occasion of the 2021 Annual Leadership Conference and Awards which took place today in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Prof. Osinbanjo who bagged the 2021 Leadership Group Person of the Year Award, expressed pleasure that he and the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, received the same award.
“I am happy to share this award of Leadership Person of the Year with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, a globally affirmed finance and development expert, and a true Nigerian patriot, who is now Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
“Every glass cealing that she has broken, has inspired girls and women all over the world to reach for the highest heights in all fields of human endeavour,” he said.
He further described the late founder of Leadership Newspapers as one who believed fervently in the role of the media as an umpire for public discourse. He expressed happiness that the values that the deceased Sam lived for have “continued to be adequately represented” by the current management of the Leadership Group ably led by late Sam’s wife Mrs. Zainab Sam Nda-Isaiah.
“ I will like to commend the Leadership management team very ably led by Mrs. Zainab Nda-Isaiah, for forging ahead in the wake of Sam’s transition to glory, some years ago, and today, we celebrate his 60th post-humous birthday.
“ I am extremely honoured and humbled to be a recipient of the 2021 Leadership Person of the Year Award,”
“I am deeply grateful to the chairperson and management of the Leadership Group for deeming me worthy of this recognition,” said the vice president.
He disclosed that he and the late Sam belonged to the same political tendency, losely described as the “progressives tendency,” saying that the group aims at building a secure and peaceful society, founded on law, order, and the rule of law.
He continued: “We agreed that we must create a country that works for us all; a society that values productivity so that large and small businesses can grow and provide jobs and opportunities for the millions of young people.
“We agreed to build a society where no one is left behind, providing by means of social welfare scheme, a safety net for the very poor and vulnerable; a united and tolerant nation where all irrespective of religion or ethnicity or religious persuasion, are respected, treated fairly and justly.
“ We agreed that we must build a Nigeria where a boy or a girl does not say that I am from the South-West, or the South-South, or the North-West, or the North-East, or the North-Central, or the South-East, but that I am a Nigerian; a citizen of one of the greatest and most prosperous nations on earth.”
Prof. Osinbajo, who is a frontline Presidential aspirant on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC): explained that “this is the kind of Nigeria that those of us in this political tendency to which Sam Nda-Isaiah belonged, all aspire to and all believe in.
“ I, therefore, dedicate this award to millions of Nigerians who believe in this new Nigeria, and who retain faith in our possibilities as a people, and are doing their best everyday in their various corners to build this nation through honest endeavour.
“I dedicate this award to these people of goodwill who are working hard to promote peace and tolerance, and to build a country that truly represents all of our dreams … to those who are working hard to build bridges … and to those who have refused to be frustrated or even wearied despite the great challenges that we are passing through… and I am certain that we will build this great Nigerian nation that we all yearn for.”
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Hassan Kukah, delivered the key-note address.
The trio of Governor Udom Emmanuel, of Akwa Ibom State, Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhamed Inuwa Yahaya,were honoured with the Leadership Governor of the Year 2021 Award.
The Governor of Sokoto State, and former Speaker, House of Representatives Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, received the 2021 Leadership Politician of the Year, alongside Senator Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of APC.
The Ibom Air, was honoured with the Leadership Company of the Year 2021 Award, while Fidelity Bank received the Leadership 2021 Bank of the Year Award.
Several other companies and individuals were also honoured at the event attended by the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello, traditional rulers, capitains of industry, and heads of several federal government agencies.