Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, his Bauchi State counterpart, Muhammad Abubakar as well as the National Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ben Obi, have emerged winners of the 2017 Nelson Mandela Leadership awards.
They were honoured at this year’s international roundtable on political development in Africa, organised by the Save Democracy Group (SDG) Africa in partnership with the South African High Commission in Nigeria, to propagate the ideals and values of which the late icon lived and represented.
Director General of SDG Africa, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna said the event was part of their efforts to encourage the political class in the continent to change their concept and perception of leadership, promote principle of peace and forgiveness, good and transparent governance as well as respect to constitutional term limits.
Bauchi state governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Muhammad Nadada Umar, was recognised for political tolerance and astuteness in managing the scare resources of the state.
In an acceptance speech on behalf of the award recipients, National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic |Party (PDP), Senator Ben Obi said it was a rare privilege for them to be associated with Mandela.
United Nations Consultant and former Chief of Staff to the President of Ghana, Nana Ato Dadzie, who delivered the Guest Speech on the topic, “African Democracy: Presidential Emergence Pattern, Political Conflicts and Peace Building Options,” regretted that political transitions had before now led to confusion and chaos in the continent.
He harped on the need for strong state institutions and relevant legal framework for political transitions and refocusing the attention of African leaders towards peace-building instead of peace-keeping.