Soyinka Bags Awolowo’s Leadership Prize

Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka has been unveiled as the recipient of the maiden award of the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership.

The Chairman of the selection committee, Emeka Anyaoku made the announcement on Wednesday at a press conference held in Lagos.

The Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership which would be awarded bi-annually is an initiative of the Obafemi Awolowo foundation set up in 1992 to serve as the custodian of Chief Awolowo’s intellectual legacy.

The Obafemi Awolowo Foundation had noted in one of its special dialogues held in July 2011, that the dearth of good leadership is one of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria and many other African countries.

This necessitated the institution of the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership to encourage, recognise and celebrate excellence in Nigerian Leadership.

The selection committee is chaired by Chief Anyaoku and some other distinguished Nigerians including Prof Akin Mabogunje, Dr Olaniwun Ajayi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Olorogun Felix Ibru and Prof Funmi Soetan.

According to Chief Anyaoku, after a rigorous process of nomination and screening of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national and international life that is characteristic of Chief Awolowo’s leadership style, the maiden winner of the award is Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Literature, Prof Wole Soyinka.

The award presentation ceremony is scheduled to hold in March 2013 to coincide with Chief Awolowo’s birth anniversary.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo was one of Nigeria’s founding fathers.

He was the first premier of Nigeria’s Western Region and later leader of opposition in the federal parliament.

He has been described by some Nigerian leaders as the best President Nigerians never had in recognition of his role as a leader in the country’s politics. He passed on in May, 1987.