Former Prime minister Raila Odinga has arrived in Abuja, Nigeria today for the the 2022 LEADERSHIP conference and Awards to held tomorrow.
He was received by the Director of LEADERSHIP Group, Abraham Nda-Ishaiah and officials from the Kenyan High Commission in Abuja as well as Nigerian govt officials.
Raila Odinga in Abuja has confirmed his participation as the keynote speaker at the 14th edition of annual LEADERSHIP Conference and Awards.
The event is billed to hold on January 31, 2023 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Odinga who represented Lang’ata constituency at the Kenyan Parliament and served as the country’s Prime Minister from 2008 to 2013 will speak on the theme of the Conference, “Credible Elections and an Economy in Transition”.
Currently leader of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), he is expected to share his thoughts on how African countries can ensure free, fair and credible polls as a means of further consolidating democracy on the continent.
A statement by the management of LEADERSHIP said Odinga was invited as keynote speaker because of his dream of Africa’s liberation from poverty through good leadership and deliberate evolution of strategies to take ownership of its internal and external relations in respect of politics, economics and technology.
“The theme of this year’s conference, which is coincidentally taking place at a time the country is going into the general election, resonates well with Odinga’s sustained clamour for free, fair, credible and hitch-free election.
“Hence, we expect him to dissect this topic at the conference and, ultimately, offer his views on how African countries can have enduring democracy through credible polls,” the newspaper said.
Born on the January 7, 1945 to Kenya’s first vice president, Hon Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Mama Mary, Ralia Odinga is the leader of the 2022 election coalition, Azimio la Umoja, One Kenya Coalition on whose ticket he contested the country’s August 9 general election as the presidential candidate.
A savvy politician, Hon Odinga joined parliamentary politics in 1992 when he vied for the Lang’ata parliamentary seat on Ford Kenya party ticket which was led by his father the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
He won the seat beating the incumbent Hon. Philip Leakey who was then an Assistant Minister in President Daniel Arap Moi’s regime.
Odinga was successfully reelected for four terms. In 2010, while serving as Prime Minister together with President Mwai Kibaki, he led the review of Kenya’s constitution. The new constitution provides for a presidential system and disallows presidential candidates from being members of parliament.
He has contested for the country’s top seat five times- 1997, 2007, 2013, 2017 and 2022, and has been detained for championing the second liberation of the country.
As a social democrat, he believes in equality and equitable distribution of resources and has consistently championed good governance. He is also a champion of free press and freedom of expression. His wish for Africa is to have elections that are free from manipulation and for the will of the people to prevail.
The LEADERSHIP conference is one of the two-legged activities with the other being the presentation of the Newspaper’s awards to some deserving Nigerians and organizations.
It would be recall that the newspaper, recently unveiled its 2022 awardees with the trio of the president of AfreximBank, Prof Benedict Oramah; the chairman/CEO of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig- Gen Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd); and world athletics champion, Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan, clinching the newspaper’s Persons of the Year award.
A statement by the Management said Prof Oramah jointly won the coveted award for his numerous noble accomplishments across the world, standing him out as an extraordinary ambassador of Nigeria, in his career and service to the country and the continent.
NDLEA boss, Marwa, who is currently a nightmare to drug barons in Nigeria, was also awarded Person of the Year along with Oramah for his giant strides in the war against drugs, particularly for making the biggest drug busts in the history of the country and repositioning a government agency that had been long moribund.
World athletics champion, Amusan, also made the prime honours roll for breaking Gail Devers’ 22-year-old record to defend the Diamond League 100 metres hurdle title in a winning time of 12.29secs, with her latest tittle, the Diamond League, adding to the plethora of records and titles she achieved in 2022.
“The defining criterion for this category is rewarding person(s) who have made extraordinarily positive impact on our lives through achievements that inspired and continue to inspire the country,” the Management statement said.
Rivers state governor and arguably the most controversial Nigerian politician at the moment, Nyesom Wike, emerged the Politician of the Year while the trio of Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) are the Governors of the Year.
The governors earned the award for “programmes that significantly transformed lives in their communities and for relatively transparent public records and proven interest in infrastructural development and business.”
Governor El-Rufai, who was a nominee last year, jointly won the award for his leadership, especially his effort to transform Kaduna State by delivering a strong economy, unprecedented infrastructural development and reforming the state public service and institutions into a lean but effective civil service.
Governor Abiodun also won in the Governor of the Year category for his focused and audacious efforts at infrastructural development and his strides in expanding the business profile of the state.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi clinched the Governor of the Year 2022 award for putting the state on the path of economic independence and driving significant infrastructural development across the state, in spite of the security challenges in the region.
The LEADERSHIP Public Service Person of The Year was jointly won by chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Mamman Nami; director- general of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari, and Controller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Jere Idris.
The award, according to the statement, was for “public servant(s) whose service delivery record and responsiveness made significant outcomes in the sector.”
LOTUS Bank clinched bank of the Year for its innovativeness and returns on shareholder value; LEADERSHIP Social Impact Person of the Year went to the proprietor of the Home for the Needy Foundation, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho, for his impact on the community in spite of very limited resources and Tunde Onakoya.
The Banker of the Year Award went to the Managing Director/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs. Nneka Onyealu-Ikpe, for the bank’s outstanding commitment in supporting small businesses and under-funded sectors; while the Managing Director/CEO of Mojec International Holdings, Ms. Chantelle Abdul, won the Business Person of the Year.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) won the Government Agency of the Year 2022 for the significant strides made by the corps in the last one year.
Other winners are Company of the Year, won by Bua Foods, adjudged “the company with the best performing stock on the Exchange this year”; Brand of the Year, Coleman Cable and Wire; and Telecoms Company of the Year won by MTN Nigeria, for its outstanding value proposition, and leading edge in product and service experience.
Mama Pride, one of the fastest-growing brands of household rice, won product of the Year.
The CEO of the Year went to the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, for his audaciously entrepreneurial spirit and also the dominance and resilience of the bank’s brand.
LEADERSHIP Oil & Gas Local Content Champion of the Year was clinched by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Simbi Wabote; while and the E-Commerce Company of the Year, which went to Pocket Money.
This year, the Artiste of the Year award went to Afro Pop RnB hip-hop music rave of the moment and Buga crooner, Kiss Daniel.
The LEADERSHIP Sports Persons of the Year award went to FIFA Under-17 female world cup team, the Flamingoes of Nigeria who recently won several medals for Nigeria in the August 5-24, 2016 Summer Olympics Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; while a 13-year-old primary 4 talented boy from Borno, Musa Sani, who redesigned Maiduguri flyover using mud, won the LEADERSHIP Outstanding Young Person of the Year award.