1. Dr. Akinwinmi Ayodeji Adesina
Elected the eighth President, African Development Bank (AfDB) in May 2015, and the first Nigerian to preside over this continental body, Dr. Akinwinmi Ayodeji Adesina, is an agricultural economist of international fame. A former Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, Dr. Adesina has been impactful in initiating reforms and innovations that have tended to change the face of agriculture in Nigeria and the African continent towards food sufficiency to end food insecurity.
As AfDB boss, his influence on African leaders to embrace and implement the idea of Green Revolution in Africa is rewarding and gradually redirecting the economies of the continent from crude oil to export of agriculture produce. Appointed member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement in 2016 by the United Nations (UN), Dr. Adesina has concretized steps to end the widespread afflictions of malnutrition and stunted growth in children caused by protracted under-nutrition at critical stages of child development in Africa.
The AfDB President has consistently inspired government and business leaders towards empowering small-holder farmers to agribusinesses to flourish. He has been recognized and awarded with the prestigious 2017 World Food Prize Laureate. END
2. Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai
He is Nigeria’s current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and leader of the counter-insurgency war in the Northeast and Nigeria. An outstanding professional soldier and astute military administrator, Gen. Buratai is famed nationally and internationally, as the Nigerian soldier who courageously broke the jinx of the once dreaded Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria by leading troops to decimate and defeat of insurgents within record time.
A fearless and visionary Army General, he is recognized and feted for his immense contributions in leading troops to enthrone the unity, stability and indivisibility of Nigeria by curtailing the excesses of the barrage of threatening and foreign- backed insurgents, extremists and separatists’ campaigners in Nigeria. Gen. Buratai’s humility and simplistic leadership style has earned him loyalty from his officers and men, and repositioned the Nigerian Army as one of the most civilized, responsible, disciplined and coordinated military institutions in the world.
This singular action has earned him local and international accolades and awards across the globe, including the conferment of the Republic of Brazil’s highest military honour on him in recognition of his efforts in extricating Nigeria from the fangs of terrorism. Gen. Buratai has impinged on the psyche of Nigerians a reputation of a loveable, respected, transparent, patriotic, dedicated and selfless military officer who has repeatedly demonstrated his unreserved readiness to die for the salvation of his fatherland.
3. Lt. Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma -GCON
Chief TY Danjuma is a retired Army General and elder statesman, who has devoted all his life to the service of humanity. After an accomplished and retirement from active politics, he established the TY Danjuma Foundation in 2008, a philanthropic and humanitarian organization, which he administers as its chairman. It has interests in alleviating poverty in communities across Nigeria through the provision of basic amenities, education for children and young adults as well as free Medicare. The Foundation has brought succor to the less privileged and vulnerable Nigerians in numerous communities, through networking with over 50 NGOs across the country, with the support of the 36 state governors.
Thus, till date the veteran Army General has continued to etch his memory on public psyche as a rare philanthropist and humanist in Nigeria irrespective of ethnic or religious divides. The TY Foundation maintains the unbeatable record in outreach nationwide, as virtually everywhere government in particular is unable to reach the poor or the less privileged, it berths presence in improving the living standards of the people.
Gen. Danjuma served as Chairman of the Victims’ Support Fund Committee, an initiative to assemble funds to carter for victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast. In furtherance of his philanthropic bent, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him to lead the Committee for the Rehabilitation of Infrastructure And Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) in the North-East sub-region; which is largely responsible for the impressive peace and rebuilding process of the devastated region.
4. Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi III
His Royal Highness, Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi III (SLS) is former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Emir of the ancient City of Kano in Nigeria. This eminent traditional ruler has the reputation of a firebrand advocate of social Justice in Nigeria. SLS as his admirers prefer to call him stands for the truth at all times, even at the risk of his life and, in Nigeria, he has severally proved to be a nightmare to any government in the country disinclined to keeping its social contract with the Nigerian people.
This revered economist and financial expert cum traditional ruler is widely known for his vocal and fearless advocacy for a better society through his periodic insightful analysis of Nigeria’s socio-economic malaise and the sound solutions he proffers.
Emir Sanusi is also a leading beacon of elite campaigns for the application of dynamism in the perception of cultural values in the county in tandem with the ever-changing trends around the world. He has elevated and coloured the campaigns against stale cultural dogmas with royal flavor, especially the crusade for the education of the girl-child which has remained a hard nut to crack in some communities in Nigeria, particularly in Northern Nigeria. The gradual shift of national attention to girl-child education is a consequence of the relentless efforts of personalities like Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.