2021 Leadership Annual Conference & Awards; 60th Posthumous Birthday Of Sam Nda-Isaiah

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ACCEPTANCE REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE 2021 LEADERSHIP ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND AWARDS & 60TH POSTHUMOUS BIRTHDAY OF SAM NDA-ISAIAH AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA ON THE 17TH OF MAY, 2022

 

PROTOCOLS

 

I am extremely honoured and humbled to be a recipient of the Leadership Person of the Year Award, and I am deeply grateful to the Chairperson and Management of the Leadership Group for deeming me worthy of this recognition.

 

I am also privileged 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 the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. Every glass ceiling she has broken, and they are many, has inspired girls and women all over the world to reach for the highest heights in all fields of human endeavour.

 

The late Sam Nda-Isaiah was a dogged achiever who stood for integrity in public life and embodied the finest traditions of Nigerian journalism. He believed fervently in the role of the media as an umpire of public discourse and in its mission of elevating the quality of public debate. I am gratified that the values he lived by, continue to be ardently represented by this organization. I would 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 and today we celebrate his 60th posthumous birthday.

 

Those of us who like Sam Nda-Isaiah belong to the same political tendency, the one that is loosely described as the Progressive tendency, agree on certain principles. We agree that we must create a country that works for all of us; a peaceful and secure society founded on law and order and the rule of law. A society that enables commerce and values productivity, so that large and small businesses can grow and provide jobs and opportunities for the millions of young people. A society where no one is left behind, providing by means of an effective social welfare scheme, a safety net for the very poor and the vulnerable. A united and tolerant nation where all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or political persuasion are respected, treated fairly and justly and have equal access to all opportunities.

 

We agree that we must build a Nigeria where a boy or girl does not say I am from the Southwest, or I am from the Northwest, or Southsouth or Northeast, or Northcentral or Southeast, but I am a Nigerian, a citizen of one of the greatest and most prosperous nations on earth. This is the kind of Nigeria that those of us in this political tendency to which Sam Nda- Isaiah belonged all attest to and believe.

 

I, therefore, dedicate this award to the millions of Nigerians who believe in this new Nigeria, who retain faith in our possibilities as a people and are doing their best every day in their various corners to build this nation through honest endeavour.

 

I dedicate it to these people of goodwill who are working hard to promote peace, and tolerance and build a country that truly represents all of our dreams. A country with those working hard to build bridges across communities and have refused to be frustrated and wearied by the trials of our country as it begins to grow into the fullness of its manifest destiny.

 

It is because of such Nigerians, that despite the onerous challenges we are passing through on our march of progress, I am certain that we will build this great Nigerian nation we all yearn for.

 

Once again, I thank the management of Leadership for this award. I congratulate all awardees for their well-deserved recognition.

 

Thank you very much.