The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has been honoured with the prestigious Zik Prize for Good Governance, in recognition of his government’s sterling performance across all sectors of the State over the past seven years, improving the lives of millions of Edo people and putting the State on the path of sustainable and accelerated growth and development.
The governor, during the 2021/2022 Zik Leadership Award ceremony, in Lagos, said the honour is a call to do more for the people of the State, pledging to sustain the developmental strides across various sectors of the State’s economy.
Obaseki was accompanied by his wife, Betsy; Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq.; Chief of Staff to Edo State Governor, Osaigbovo Iyoha; Edo State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa Esq.; Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Rt. Hon. Blessing Agbebaku and other members of the EDHA; Chairman of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State Chapter, Anthony Aziegbemi, among other top functionaries.
Other guests at the event are Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Oti; Chairman of Sterling Bank, Dr. Asue Ighodalo; former Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi; former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, and former Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, among other dignitaries.
Obaseki while receiving the award, said: “It’s not difficult to govern well, it could be inconvenient but it’s not impossible; just do the right thing and what is just. This award has given me a renewed energy to strive and finish well.
“I am happy to be here to receive this prize for good governance from this distinguished group, the Public Policy Research and Analysis Center (PPRAC). It’s very humbling to be honoured amongst the awardees tonight and it’s a privilege for me.
“This award comes to me at a very interesting time in my political career as I wind down my term in office. I am undergoing introspection asking, is it worth it? Has it been worthwhile? Is it being appreciated? Did you make a mistake? Coming here tonight to be awarded this prize for good governance, makes one feel that it is worth it making all the sacrifices.”
According to him, “This honour and prize is significant because I am being told that I am a recognized leader in a State and system that perhaps some have described as failing. The award has put on us, recipients, enormous responsibilities that if you are truly a leader and recognized to be so, then you have enormous responsibilities to make sure that the system that recognized you as leaders is provided with real leadership and governance so that it doesn’t fail.
“I want to make a pledge today that the reward of hard work is more work. The reward for responsibility is more responsibility. I will take up that challenge, thanks to you all that made it possible.”
The governor further noted, “I am here tonight accompanied by friends and colleagues in government, from the executive, legislative and the judiciary. One of the things we have tried to do in Edo State is to make all parts of the system aligned and work together in synergy. It has not been easy but the evidence after seven years shows it is working.”
He added, “I appreciate the organizers of this event and to say that we truly appreciate you as the process for us has been very transparent and seamless and has been of high standards and quality. I will always cherish this and thank you for giving me the impetus to strive.”
In his welcome address, the chairman of the Advisory Board of the Public Policy Research and Analysis Center (PPRAC), organisers of the Zik Award, Prof. Jubril Aminu, said the award remains a reference point on the continent to honour and recognize leaders who have distinguished themselves in their chosen areas of specialization.
Prof. Aminu represented by a member of the board, Sir. Mark Wabara, said, “Every nation committed to becoming great must have leaders and must rely on them to be agents of growth and tackle the challenges facing the nation putting it on the threshold of development.”
The Chairman of the award ceremony, HRM Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha said the purpose of the award is to promote and recognize leadership in public life and celebrate the legacy of the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who is an epitome of leadership.