Dr Akinwumi Adesina, prophet of progress and development

by MMC
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Chief Obahami Awolowo serves as a compass to all of us and a guide to several generations of leaders in Nigeria. Its principles have withstood the tests of time and geography. It testifies to the resilience of his convictions. His life also serves as a compelling narrative for every student of leadership, an inspiration that continues to resonate in our community, our country, and on the world stage.

To understand the teachings of Chief Awolowo, we must confront the dark realities of leadership. The first test for every leader is overcoming the conspiracies of troublemakers, skeptics and saboteurs. For the great sage of Ikenne, its lasting impact persists despite revisionist efforts. Time sifts through prejudices and lies, hidden agendas and propaganda. Time gives us the naked truth that defines the difficult decisions and sacrifices that every sincere leader must make to create a difference.

But in everything we do, we must always draw strength from the trust of those who trust the process, those who give us the benefit of the doubt. There is no greater honor than the privilege of leading one’s people, and assuming a position of leadership during turbulent times is the ultimate test of our courage as leaders. It is in these moments of uncertainty that true character and abilities come to the fore. While the immediate judgment may be made by those who impress or displease, the long-term verdict is shaped by time, the passage of time.

During his time, Chief Awolowo was opposed both within and outside his political party. He faced hostile opposition and was pushed around to the point of finding himself behind bars, a victim of his ambition to make a difference. Over time, even his harshest critics realized there was no point in undermining him. He distinguished himself even in death by his refusal to compromise his convictions. He fought until his last days to defend democracy in Nigeria, and it is these examples that make him a hero of the nation.

There is no doubt that time has been Chief Awolowo’s ally. Time has revealed the lasting impact of his ideas and actions. As we pay homage to his memory, let us recognize that the same power of time to judge fairly is linked to the lives and achievements of the winners of the Awolowo Prize instituted in his immortal memory.

Today we celebrate a maverick changemaker who not only flew our flag around the world, but dazzled the world with the novelty of his thoughts, the indispensability of his ideas, and the dynamism of his actions . Today, we honor a man who carved his path in one of the most difficult offices to lead: Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

Like Chief Awolowo, our today’s honoree has embodied the values ​​that have shaped the course of history in every institution he has led and in every position he has held. I am therefore delighted that the Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Award is being presented today to honor a prophet at home. It is the power to stand up for one’s beliefs and serve humanity fairly.

In celebrating Dr. Adesina’s achievements, we are not just recognizing a leader, we are recognizing a role model and mentor who is paving the way for current and future generations. His journey is a testament to the transformative power of looking to the future while preparing to take the path of history. . His ability to navigate the complexities of his role at the African Development Bank demonstrates not only his competence but also his resilience in the face of challenges.

On behalf of the good people of Nigeria, I extend my sincere congratulations to our brother. This award reminds us that we cannot afford not to celebrate our prophets at home. We should always give them their flowers while they can still smell them.

Dr. Adesina, a prophet of progress and development with too few like him, deserves our collective recognition and admiration.

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