By Kayode Matthew
LAGOS â€” THE search for Nigeriaâ€™s 5 greatest living legends, initiated by Vanguard Media Limited and Silverbird Group, ended yesterday as five winners out of 20 nominees were announced in Lagos.
The winners who emerged after the collation of results of votes cast by Nigerians through text messages are Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye; Nwankwo Kanu; Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu; Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Professor Wole Soyinka.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who is the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God scored the highest number of votes with 30.8 per cent of the total votes cast followed by the current captain of the National football team, Nwankwo Kanu with 10.4 per cent of the votes. Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu polled 8.9 per cent of the votes to come third, Chief Gani Fawehinmi emerged the fourth winner with 7.6 per cent votes while Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka came fifth with 6.2 per cent.
The other 15 nominees and their votes are Professor Dora Akunyili 5.6 per cent; General Yakubu Gowon 4.7 per cent; General Olusegun Obasanjo 4.5 per cent; Anthony Cardinal Okogie 4.4 per cent; Chief Anthony Enahoro 3.2 per cent; King Sunny Ade 2.6 per cent; Professor Chinua Achebe 1.3 per cent; Phillip Emegwali 1.3 per cent; Alhaji Aliko Dangote 1.3 per cent and Professor Pat Utomi 1.0 per cent.
Others are Mallam Balarabe Musa 0.8 per cent; Chief David Dafinone 0.7 per cent; Chief Akintola Williams 0.6 per cent and Hakeem Olajuwon 0.5 per cent.
The criteria for nomination was based on selfless service; enduring achievements; sincerity of purpose; resilience; patriotism; uprightness; respectability and incorruptibility.
According to Vanguard and Silverbird, the project was borne out of the fact that â€œfor too long in Nigeria, so much emphasis has been placed on materialism and wealth, which in turn has led to the get rich quick syndrome and the erroneous praise of visibly corrupt and irresponsible individuals, a situation that has led to undeserving and unworthy people being bestowed with National Awards while the real heroes of our time, who have contributed selflessly to the upliftment and development of our fatherland have had their achievements gone unnoticed because of the present day celebration of mediocrity and corruptionâ€.
An award ceremony for the winners will hold on a date to be announced by the organisers.
At the press conference held at the premises of the Silverbird Group to announce the winners were the General Manager of Silverbird Galleria, Mrs Naomi Iwugo, Mr Jacob Akinyemi Johnson of Silverbird, Mr Ikeddy Isiguzo, Vanguard Editorial Board Chairman and Mr Victor Omoregie, Corporate Affairs Manager of Vanguard Media.