Hichilema, Obaseki, Oramah, Others Emerge Winners of 2022 Zik Prize Award

Oluchi Chibuzor

The President of Zambia,  Hakainde Hichilema; Edo State Governor,  Godwin Obaseki; President Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, have emerged recipients of 2022 Zik Price Award for political leadership, good governance, professional leadership categories respectively.

Speaking at the award ceremony in Lagos, on Sunday, the Board Chairman of the Public Policy  Research and Analysis Center( PPRAC), His Royal Majesty Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, described Zik as unrepented journalist against colonialism who gave his life as statesman with dignity.

In his open remark, at the 27th annual edition of The Zik Awards, the Obi of Onitsha and chairman of the awards, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, said it was a rare blessing that God gave Zik to Nigeria.

According to him, Azikiwe and other founding fathers of Nigeria’s independence fashioned a finely balanced federation that placed the country on a threshold of development and greatness.

“Zik was a state man of dignity and unrepentant nationalist and Africanist. A pioneer African anthropologist and unrepentant  journalist,” Achebe said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC), Jubril Aminu, said the award remains relevant on the back of the growing global economic and political management challenges.

Aminu, who was represented by Marc Wabara, stated that every nation that aspires to be great must rely on the ideas of great leaders.

 “Leadership recognition matters when used effectively,” he stated.

For the President of Zambia, who was honoured for the Zik Prize in political leadership is a celebrated economist, successful farmer, businessmen and politician who has emerged as an exemplary leader on the continent of Africa, demonstrating unmatched probity, integrity and accountability in governance.

Receiving the Award on behalf of the Zambian President, Prof. Pat Utomi, said, “the President believes in using public resources he met in office to serve the people, rather than buying new ones.”

Giving his acceptance speech as the one of the winners of 27th Zik Award prize on good governance, Obaseki said it came to him at a very interesting time in his political career.

Obaseki was honoured with the prestigious Zik Prize for Good Governance, in recognition of his government’s sterling performance across all sectors of the State over the past seven years, improving the lives of millions of Edo people and putting the State on the path of sustainable and accelerated growth and development.

The governor, during the 2021/2022 Zik Leadership Award ceremony, in Lagos, said the honour was a call to do more for the people of the State, pledging to sustain the developmental strides across various sectors of the State’s economy.

Obaseki was accompanied by his wife, Betsy, among other top functionaries said: “It’s not difficult to govern well, it could be inconvenient but it’s not impossible; just do the right thing and what is just. This award has given me a renewed energy to strive and finish well.

“I am happy to be here to receive this prize for good governance from this distinguished group, the Public Policy Research and Analysis Center (PPRAC). It’s very humbling to be honoured amongst the awardees tonight and it’s a privilege for me.

“This award comes to me at a very interesting time in my political career as I wind down my term in office. I am undergoing introspection asking, is it worth it?  Has it been worthwhile? Is it being appreciated? “

Did you make a mistake? Coming here tonight to be awarded this prize for good governance, makes one feel that it is worth it making all the sacrifices.”

For Oramah,  organisers of the award recognised his professional leadership which scaled up the bank’s intervention in support of African countries at times of global crisis such as the year 2020 Pandemic Trade Mitigation Facility ( PATIMA) and making the bank a stable continental behemoth with a total of asset of $31.10 billion.

Accepting the award Oramah said, “It is indeed an honour to be recognised with this award. I values the principles and determination of Dr. Azikiwe who lived an extraordinary lifestyle that has made it possible for all of us to travel across the continent.”

As a strategic award, the 2022 Zik prize saw founder MALLPAI Foundation and wife to  former Governor of Kebbi State, Aisha Atiku Bagudu, receiving humanitarian leadership award for her relentless service to almajiris.

Consistent with its objectives, the PPRAC said the award was held in honour of the revered elder statesman, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the First President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

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