NewsMagnus Onyibe’s Leading From The Streets Assumes New Dimension

Magnus Onyibe’s Leading From The Streets Assumes New Dimension

May 6, (THEWILL)- According to the organisers of the public presentation of the book, which will take place on May 8 at Alliance Francais/Mike Adenuga Centre , Lagos at 9am prompt, apart from a panel discussion on the theme “Tinubonomics: What’s Working, What’s Not, Why, and Way Forward” by experts, there will be presentation of merit awards tagged ‘Leading From The Streets Awards’ to deserving individuals and corporate organisations that have touched the lives of Nigerians in profound ways.

They are being honored for imbibing the message of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the  United States of America, USA, who stated during his inaugural address in 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you , but what you can do for your country.”

Also, the trio of Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Nigerian Military Head of State; Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; and Mr. Lekan Alabi, who wrote an open letter to Gen. Gowon requesting Prof. Soyinka’s release from incarceration during the Nigerian civil war , may meet on stage together for the first time.

Among those to be conferred with the Leading From The Streets Award are Prof Soyinka, Barrister Allen Onyema of Air Peace, Alh. Aliko Dangote of Dangote Industries, Dr Olisa Agbokoba, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), and Chief Mike Adenuga of Globacom.

As it may be recalled, Prof Soyinka, who will be turning 90 years-old on July 13, was committed to jail in 1967 by the then Federal Military Government of Nigeria for 22 months because he wrote and published an article in the mass media trying to dissuade the Federal Government from going to war against Biafra.

Instead of heeding his wise counsel to both sides to come to a negotiated settlement, he was incarcerated for allegedly being an accomplice of the separatist Biafran side.

Perhaps owing to his patriotic effort to stop an avoidable war and his intellectual excellence, Professor Soyinka was awarded the Nobel laurel in literature in 1986. His consistent commitment to the unity of Nigeria is one of the reasons why he is being conferred with the Leading FromThe Streets Award.

Barrister Allen Onyema, with his airline, Air Peace, has been rescuing Nigerians stranded in foreign countries during periods of conflicts, free of charge. This ranges from Airpeace flying to South Africa during xenophobic attacks against Nigerians to going to Libya, Sudan, and Ukraine to bring Nigerians home when they were stranded during wars in those countries. To cap it all, Onyema/Airpeace has dramatically crashed the cost of flight tickets from about N4million to N1.2million for the lucrative Lagos to London route that had been monopolised by United Kingdom based airlines.

Air Peace has even gone further to offer rebate fares to Nigerian students studying abroad so that they can be encouraged to come home more often. For that selfless service, which was not offered from the corridors of political power, Allen Onyema/Air Peace is being honored with the Leading From The Streets award.

Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has demonstrated passion for Nigeria and Nigerians by investing a whopping $20 billion dollars into building the recently commissioned 650,000 barrels a day Dangote Refinery. The mega refinery is aimed at stemming the hemorrhaging of scarce foreign exchange to Europe for the purchase of refined petroleum products, of which African countries have not been able to produce and had instead been importing.

It is for this reason that Aliko Dangote/Dangote Refinery will be honored with the Leading From The Streets Award.

Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) was in the forefront of the struggle to entrench democratic leadership in our country after a long period of military rule. Through his pro-democracy activism platform, the Civil Liberty Organization (CLO), he and like-minded Nigerians teamed up to agitate for the exit of the military from political leadership back to their barracks until the military gave way to democratic leadership in 1999. He has remained committed to the pursuit of public good without occupying any public office.

For the reasons above and more, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba has acquitted himself as a patriotic Nigerian Leading From The Streets, hence the honor is being bestowed on him.

Janefrances Chibuzor, THEWILL
Janefrances Ebere Chibuzor is a Tourism Writer at THEWILL

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