By Yetunde Arebi
Ahead of the October 1, 2022 release date, publishers 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, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Governor Peter Obi, business mogul Aliko Dangote, and the Continental Overseer of RCCG, Africa 2, Pastor Ezekiel A. Odeyemi lead the pack of those profiled.
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Others are Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed; AfDB president, Dr Akinwunmi Adeshina, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Bishop Oyedepo, Pastor Kumuyi, Governor Zulum, and Bishop Kukah.
Curiously, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the APC presidential candidate, 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“ is the extent of an individual’s inspirational value. Such inspirational value is judged by their level of patriotism, nationalism, and commitment to nation-building, 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 to be”, they added.
They said, “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, is 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”.
This prestigious listing, according to them, will be annual, as their contribution to curating the contemporary history of Nigeria.
The editors noted that the greatness of a nation is 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
In the words of the editors, “tons of Nigerian leaders are quietly working day and night, sacrificially deploying their personal goodwill to ensuring 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”, the editors noted.
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”, Abam and Kammonke said
“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”, the editors said
“We have tried within human limits to profile the best in our estimation. We want to acknowledge that ten 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 not necessarily not good enough”, they said.
The compendium will be sold on Amazon and directly by the publishers on-demand basis.