January 27, 2023

Vanguard Personality of the Year: Honouring pursuit of good over evil

By Jide Ajani, General Editor

IN life, many things happen and steal the limelight. But those things that happen occur because of some forces of conscience or nature. It is in relating to such events, and particularly the personalities behind them, that we determine our collective humanity. Some of those events or pursuits may be for good or for bad—good causes or bad causes. 

Therefore, this question becomes very pertinent:  What motivates an individual to do good and great things? What is the level of curiosity and insight available to any individual to ensure a determined engagement in a good deed?

Read Also: Video: Vanguard Personality of the Year Award 2022

A deeper interrogation of the thinking behind and the forces propelling such actions sometimes reveals motives that are at once plebeian and devoid of altruistic intentions. Enter the annual ritual for the nomination of personalities who deserve to be honoured by Vanguard.

As a result, when nominating individuals with a profundity of immense relevance to the goal of meeting the set criteria for “Vanguard Personality of the Year,” it is critical to always ensure you get the buy-in of colleagues around the table, some of whom have their own interests. Indeed, the interest of some editors was just to shoot down nominees made by others.

Such is the nature of mere mortal man. For a few others, a less than globular vision was all that motivated their support for or antagonism against a nominee.  Yet, for some, the mere mention of some names evoked a nostalgic feeling. As usual – though earlier this time around because of the February 2023, presidential elections—the process for nominations commenced in September. It still spanned eight weeks of rigorous debates from nominations to counter nominations, defence, arguments and counter-arguments before a final vote on each category of persons.

The ultimate objective is to recognise excellence. It doesn’t come with any financial benefit, but the mere action of recognising excellence in a society that perpetually runs a discount on good deeds symbolises the appreciation of noble deeds.

Members of the Vanguard Board of Editors are always conscious of the need to elect nominees and vote accordingly, keeping some things in mind: Would the eventual winners pass the integrity test?

Would members of the public, while not in total agreement, be substantially convinced about the choice made in the face of cogent and verifiable reasons? Can any member of the board go into the public sphere and persuade fellow citizens about the personality(ies) chosen to be honoured? Does the name of the winners come with the dangerous and destructive effluvium of public opprobrium?

The sessions of the debate to choose the primus, the “personality of the year,” is always enervating and come with tantalising nominations, just as it also tolerate some names of personalities that cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered awe-inspiring. The editors have always been guided by a set of values that signposts predictors and enablers that engender success.

Below is a list of the categories and winners:

Personality of the Year:

Aliko Dangote

Lifetime Achievement Nominees

1. Pete Edochie

2. Gaius Obaseki

3. Bishop Mike Okonkwo

4. Ango Abdullahi

5. Femi Okunnu

6. Audu Ogbeh

8. Chief Rasaq Okoya

9. Ray Ekpu

10. Mrs. Mayen Adetiba

Businessman of the Year

George Onafowakan:

Public Sector Icon of the Year

Mohammed Bello Koko

Energy icon of the Year

Engineer Emeka Okwuosa

Regulator of the Year

Prof. Umar Danbata

Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

 Mrs. Nkechi Obi

Private Sector Icon

Wale Tinubu

Heroes Award

Delta tanker driver, Ejiro Otarigho

Special Recognition

A woman in Ukwulu, Anambra State, who refused a bribe of N5,000 for her vote.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Julius Rone

Public Sector Icon (State)

Mr. Ayo Subair

Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS

Distinguished Public Service Award

Gen Buba Marwa (retd)

Governors of the Year

1. Babagana Zulum

2.Ifeanyi Okowa

3. Abdulraham Abdulrazaq

4. Udom Emmanuel

5. Seyi Makinde