By Bukar Bolori
The Hallmark of Labour Foundation (HLF), a collection of highly respected elder statesmen and women amongst them technocrats, academics and diplomats, has presented Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, with its 2022 “Role Model Award for Excellence in Leadership and Good Governance”.
The HLF’s board of trustees is chaired by Professor Emeritus Umaru Shehu with members that include Dr. Christopher Kolade, Professor Grace Alele Williams, Professor Itse Sagay and other eminent Nigerians.
The foundation’s core objective is “to identify worthy role models and use the achievements of these role models as examples to educate the youths that success through genuine labour is more rewarding and fulfilling”:
The HLF annual awards began on 28th of November, 1997, with its first winner: late Prof. Adeoye Lambo, first African Psychiatrist and first Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The 2022 awards which coincided with the foundation’s 26th anniversary, took place at Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday and it was attended by prominent intellectuals including Professor Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku, presented Governor Zulum with the award.
“Our recipient for the award for Excellence in Leadership and Good Governance, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, is without any doubt, a performing Governor”, Anyaoku declared before a thunderous applause of guests at the event.
Zulum’s choice, HLF’s board said, was “in recognition of his outstanding performance in leadership and good governance which has greatly enhanced the well-being of the good people of Borno State” and which “has set him (Zulum) apart as a Great Nigerian Role Model”.
The Zulum administration is credited for executive 120 capital projects in its first 100 days, 326 capital projects and 49 capital-intensive programmes in his first year; 556 capital projects by the second year and over 600 capital projects in the third year.
These were beside Governor Zulum assuming the role of Borno State’s chief humanitarian officer, traversing all communities even at risk to his personal safety, to supervise security deployments, humanitarian responses, reconstruction of communities destroyed by insurgents and safe resettlements of Internally Displaced Persons and refugees from the state.
Zulum, in his response to the award, said: “I dedicate this award to my team, and most especially to the men in uniform who work with us, supporting us to achieve and deliver good governance to our people.”
He also said the award would not make him relent but rather “encourage us to do more for the good of Borno State”.
The governor noted that “there is [still] so much to be done” promising that God willing, his dream is “to build a society that works for everyone (in Borno State)”.
The HLF award was one of over 20 prominent awards and honours received by Governor Zulum since 2019.
The governor has, within the last three months, been presented with three awards by President Muhammadu Buhari at different occasions.
Meanwhile, at Saturday’s Hallmark of Labour Foundation (HLF) awards, Zulum was not the only recipients as 10 persons amongst them judges and professors were also presented with different categories of the 2022 role model awards.
The winners include: former judge at the International Criminal Court, Judge Dr. Chile Eboe-Osuji- recognized for “HLF-Emeka Anyaoku Life-Time Achievement Award”; Honourable Justice Paul Adamu Galumje- honoured for “Courageous Service to the Advancement of our Legal System”, Otumba Olasubomi Michael Balogun- honoured for “Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Corporate Governance”, and Professor Ekanem Ikpi Braide for “Consistent Advocacy for Positive Change within the University System”.
Other recipients were Professor Peter Akinsola Okebukola for “Contributions in the Field of Education”, Professor Frank Osato Giwa-Osagie for “Contributions in the Field of Medicine”, Professor Oladapo Adenrele Ashiru also for “Contributions in the Field of Medicine”, Professor Dennis Edokpaigbe Agbonlah also for “Contributions in the Field of Science”, Professor Abubakar Sani Sambo for “Contributions in the Field of Science” and Professor Tonnie Osa Iredia for “Excellence in Leadership and Professionalism in the Media”.