Headlining a weeklong chain of events in London to celebrate the success of Nigeria over the past 100 years, GLEEHD Foundation in partnership with the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative, ROSTRA Consulting & Amandla Consulting hosted the cream de la cream of the Nigerian Public and Private sector at a Gala and Award Night to recognise the contribution of Eminent Nigerians and Nigeria’s Emerging Leaders on March 11, 2014 as Nigeria celebrates its Centenary.
The Gala Award Night honoured the contribution of Nigerian luminaries and other exceptional Nigerians at the Sheraton Park Lane Mayfair Hotel in London which had the participation of Commonwealth Leaders, British and Nigerian Political Leaders, Friends of Nigeria and Nigerians in Diaspora.
Speaking at the Gala, Dayo Israel, GLEEHD Foundation’s Director for Africa said “Tonight we gather here to say thank you to those whose effort have contributed to the continuous growth and progress of our nation Nigeria in the last 100years, those who through thick and thin have sacrificed to ensure the dignity of our nation is upheld, and the emerging leaders of these generation who would be responsible for keeping the flame alive – as we celebrate, we inspire others to rise and play their part in rebuilding the Nigeria of our dream.
The award aimed to grace the lives and achievements of Eminent Nigerians and Nigeria’s luminaries of the last 100 years, leaders who have shown exceptional imagination, foresight or resilience in a number of key fields - especially leaders that have reversed trends, shaken of traditional limitations, and acted as an example and inspiration to others.
The event also saw the presentation of the “Keepers of the Flame” Award to young inspirational Nigerians; Nigerian of the Century Award to General Yakubu Gowon – Chief MKO Abiola, HIM Oba Adesoji Aderemi, HIM Oba Okunade Sijuade and Chief Obafemi Awolowo; and the Outstanding Contribution to Women and Youth through Governance to a joint recipient of President Goodluck Jonathan and Dame Patience Jonathan.
Speaker of the House of Representative – Rt. Hon Tambuwal and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were also recipient of the A.D King Prize for Courage in Leadership; while Senate President David Mark and The National Assembly of Nigeria jointly received the CDI Prize for Outstanding Contribution under Exceptional Circumstances for their roles in the last days of President Yar’Adua and for introducing the Doctrine of Necessity to save the nation from collapse.
In his remarks, Gowon expressed gratitude to the organisers especially GLEEHD Foundation and urged Nigerians to continue to strive for excellence as the nation entered another century.
Guests at the event included over 5 Nigerian Governors including Yuguda of Bauchi, Oshiomole of Edo, Uduaghan of Delta; and Representatives of the Governors of Kwara State, Osun State, Oyo State and Plateau State; Baroness Lynda Chalker – Chair of the Honorary International Investors' Council; Lord Alan Watson of Richmond and Chair of the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative; Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria – Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie; Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group – Foluso Phillips, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly Rt Hon Monsurat Sunmonu, M.D of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry – Dr. Evelyn Oputu, Representatives of the Ooni of Ife – Their Royal Highnesses Oba Adeyemi Adediran the Owa Omiran of Esa Oke and Laroka of Wanikin Oba Kole Ojutalayo, Senator Gbenga Obadara – Chairman Senate Committee on Privatisation; Senator Gyang Pwajok; Dr. Charles Akinola; Mr. Olu Jacobs and Mrs Joke Silva, Former President of Nigeria General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s Minister of Power – Prof Chinedu Osita Nebo; Mrs Eniola Fadayomi – President of the Nigerian Institute of Directors; and many others.