Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
By Jaiyeola Andrews
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has emerged the 2012 African Leadership Magazine Man of the year.
The selection team which is made up of political leaders and leading African business moguls, arrived at the decision to confer the award on Atiku based on the former vice president’s contributions to the socio-economic growth of the nation as well as his reputation for jobs creation.
In a statement made available to THISDAY, the Turaki Adamawa will be decorated with this award during the forthcoming African Leadership Awards billed to hold on Wednesday, December 12, at the Al Falak ball room, situated on the 27th floor of the magnificent Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
The statement noted that the former vice president had a distinguished career in public service, private business, and philanthropy – perhaps his most outstanding legacy was his founding and support of the American University of Nigeria, the outstanding private university in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Mr. Abubakar has funded hundreds of scholarships for Nigerians to study at home and abroad,” it added.
He built hundreds of schools and health facilities and in 2004, he joined in partnership with the American University in Washington, DC to build the best private university in Africa – the American University of Nigeria.
“No private businessman in Africa has worked harder for democracy or contributed more to progress of higher education than Atiku Abubakar,’’ the statement read.
The selection team, THISDAY gathered took into consideration, Atiku’s overwhelming impact on the life and economy of Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria at large and indeed the rest of Africa, with the founding of Africa’s premier Development University, The American University of Nigeria; and the establishment of diverse range of manufacturing industries spanning publishing, media and communications, beverages, ICT and hospitality.
With this award, Mr. Atiku joins other past recipients of the Award like Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Founder Mo Ibrahim prize for leadership and founder Celtel; H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia; H.E. John Kuffour, former president of Ghana, and H.E. Xavier Luc-Duval, Vice Prime Minister of Mauritius. Other past African Leadership award recipients includes Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank Group and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank of Nigeria.