Osinbajo, Dangote, Adeboye, others make list of 100 Nigeria’s foremost thought leaders
Ahead of the October 1, 2022 release date, the editors of Nigeria’s premier biographical compendium on thought leaders, Portraits of Patriots: 100 Nigeria’s Foremost Thought Leaders, have released the names of the 100 men and women who made the prestigious list.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, business mogul, Aliko Dangote, Governor Nyesom Wike, Governor Babagana Zulum, former governor Peter Obi, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye and the Continental Overseer of the RCCG, Africa 2, Pastor Ezekiel A. Odeyemi lead the pack of those profiled.
Others are Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed; President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor William Kumuyi and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.
Curiously, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, did not make the list.
According to the editors, Kammonke Abam and Tammie Edet Kammonke, the foremost consideration in determining possible listees for Portraits of Patriots: 100 Nigeria’s Thought Leaders was the extent of an individual’s inspirational value.
“Such inspirational value is judged by their level of patriotism defined by how much they put Nigeria first. These are people who, by their actions, put Nigeria above personal and sectional considerations. They are committed to the greatness of the country and are working towards ensuring that the country becomes what its founding fathers envisioned it be,” they added.
They also noted that “the book profiles true Nigerian heroes and heroines who have as a collective defined a vivid portraiture of the Nigerian story through their lives.”
This, according to them, was against the often disingenuous and stereotypical reportage in some sections of the western media that portrays Nigeria and indeed, Africa as a den of crime, wars, hunger and poverty.
“We have tons of Nigerians who are daily sacrificing in their corners either as thought leaders in the areas of business, public service, civil society, faith, among others, towards building a united, prosperous and indivisible country,” they stressed.
The editors noted that the listing would be yearly as their contribution to curating the contemporary history of Nigeria.
They further stressed that the greatness of a nation was not just measured by population and natural resources but also by the zest of patriotism of its citizens, the ability to harness and selflessly deploy that spirit of patriotism to the best advantage of the country.
They added: “Tons of Nigerian leaders are quietly working day and night, sacrificially deploying their personal goodwill to ensure the development, unity and progress of our great country, Nigeria.
“Most of these leaders are unsung because they avoid the klieg lights that come with the media yet their contributions to the overall development of our dear country are very impactful.
“It is some of these leaders we have fished out from their relatively obscure corners for the purpose of acknowledging their selfless contributions to building a virile and united country that we will all be proud of.
“We are conscious of the fact that any biographical list generates conversation energy of who should or shouldn’t be included. This is therefore not unexpected for this work.
“We have tried within human limits to profiling the best in our estimation. We want to acknowledge that 10 times the number of people listed in this edition deserve to be so acknowledged. However, our listing has put a bar of 100 for the purpose of getting the best of the best. Those who are not listed in this edition are necessarily not good enough.”