By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Two unpretentious politicians, two banking pioneers, an officer gentleman and two industrial icons are recognised for their lifetime achievements in the professions by Vanguard in the year 2015.
*Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former Vice-President
Dr. Alex Ekwueme, who served as vice-president in the Second Republic, is remembered for his unswerving loyalty to democratic norms a character that projected him as the rallying figure for democracy activists at the height of the abuses of the Sanni Abacha era. Dr. Ekwueme’s principled commitment to democracy, nay party fidelity, has been repeatedly tried, but despite mistreatments he has remained faithful to his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
*Lt. Gen. T.Y. Danjuma (Rtd)
A distinguished officer and gentleman who rose to become the Chief of Army Staff, and subsequently, minister of defence, Gen. Danjuma on retirement from soldiering has distinguished himself in business with interests in oil and gas, agriculture, hospitality among others.
*Senator David Dafinone, Eminent Accountant
One of Nigeria’s pioneering chartered accountants, Senator Dafinone’s life achievement is globally recognised as the father of the largest number of qualified accountants in a family in the world. Senator Dafinone, who qualified as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, had the distinctive role of fathering three sons and two daughters who between 1986 and 1999 also became members of the same institute.
*Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun, Chairman, First City Group
Founder of FCMB, Nigeria’s first indigenous merchant bank, Otunba Balogun stands in the hall of fame for his inspiring role in drawing young Nigerians of his era to the financial services industry. Before and following his retirement, Otunba Balogun has also marked out a place of distinction in philanthropy.
Mr. Jim Ovia – Chairman of Zenith Bank
Mr. Jim Ovia’s outstanding role in projecting Zenith Bank which he founded into a continental and global player especially in the use of automation has won him plaudits from near and far. Mr. Ovia has also spawned other successful business concerns in telecommunications, oil and gas, hospitality among others. Besides, Mr. Ovia has won distinctive honours in giving back to society using his business concerns and his personal fortune.
*Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande, President, LCCI
Seasoned boardroom player, Mrs. Akande, a former minister of industry has become a role model not just for women, but for Nigeria’s industrial players who seek to lift the limitations against the entrepreneurial spirit. It is perhaps in recognition of her sterling role to lift industry that she was recently inaugurated as the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI.
*Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group
Abdulsamad Rabiu’s giant strides in industry are buttressed by the success recorded by his BUA Group, in the manufacture of pasta, flour milling, sugar refinery, cement production and ports and terminals management. He has in the process distinguished himself as one of Nigeria’s leading employers of labour.