By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor and Clifford Ndujihe, Deputy Political Editor
*Tinubu, Jega, heroes of democracy
*Ekwueme, Danjuma, Dafinone, Akande others win life time awards
*Oshiomhole, Amosun, Dankwambo, Shetimma emerge Governors of the Year
Muhammadu Buhari was focused in his persistent pursuit of the presidency. Having attained the maximum political office as a military head of state 32 years earlier at the age of 41, Buhari seemed determined to regain political office as president.
He submitted himself to a democratic process that in its course projected the re-engineering of the political landscape. In the end and for the first time in the nation’s political history, an incumbent president was defeated in an election.
In the run-up to the election, the Buhari persona became a major issue, but Buhari as candidate took the inquisition with remarkable aplomb. To the credit of the Buhari personality, many of those who contested on the platform of his party won on the coattails of his remarkable victory.
His dogged pursuit, his incomparable victory and his so far unwavering efforts in sanitising the polity, Muhammadu Buhari is by the unanimous decision of Vanguard editors, Vanguard Personality of the Year, 2015.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan – Personality of the Year, 2015
Like the mortal he is, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s fairy tale political expedition was bound to come to an end. Following his advent, President Jonathan had promised to sanitise the electoral process, just as nearly all of the nation’s previous leaders. Dr. Jonathan, however, proved to be an exception allowing the incorporation of an electoral system that eventually led to his defeat.
President Jonathan’s decision not to seek judicial or other crude disruption of the outcome of the 2015 presidential election not only turned out to be his finest hour, but a glittering anchor that has helped to stabilise the nation’s democracy.
For his brave smile in the face of defeat, his efforts in refining the nation’s electoral system and his continuing continental role in the promotion of democracy, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is the choice of Vanguard editors for Joint Personality of the Year, 2015.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu – Hero of Democracy
Unarguably one of the country’s leading political engineers, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has now taken his remarkable political wizardry to the national space. His dogged resistance to the encroachments of the former ruling party in Lagos State, and to its routing in most of the Southwest states, largely bore the footprints of the former Lagos State governor.
Tinubu’s central role in the enthronement of the new administration and the eclipse of the former government has been generally acknowledged by friends and foes. Remarkably, he has achieved his aim within the rules of democracy. For his political dexterity and commitment to the rule of law in his political engagements, Vanguard recognises Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the Hero of Democracy, 2015.
Professor Attahiru Jega – Hero of Democracy
Professor Attahiru Jega, a former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, boosted his pedigree in 2011 when he conducted one of Nigeria’s most credible general elections. He was at that time less than 10 months in the saddle as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. In 2015, in spite of pressures from many quarters he introduced many innovations into balloting in Nigeria such as the Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, and Smart Card Readers (SCR), which helped to reduce ballot rigging in the general polls. His efforts led to the first undisputed presidential election in Nigeria’s practise of presidential democracy.
Lifetime Achievements Awards
*Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun, Chairman, First City Group
*Lt. Gen. T.Y. Danjuma (Rtd)
*Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group
*Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former Vice-President
*Senator David Dafinone, Eminent Accountant
*Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande, President, LCCI
African Businessman of The Year
*Dr Mike Adenuga, Jnr, Chairman, Globacom
Governors of The Year
- Adams Oshiomhole, Governor, Edo State
- Ibikunle Amosun, Governor, Ogun State
- Kashim Shettima, Governor, Borno State
- Ibrahim Dankwambo, Gombe State Gov