The Vice-President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama has been honoured with a Doctorate Degree in the field of Public Administration, by the Ekiti State University of Nigeria, formally known as the Obafemi Awolowo University, in recognition of his sterling leadership qualities
The honour which was given at the university’s 17th convocation and 30th anniversary celebration at Ekiti on Saturday, also recognizes the Vice-President’s contribution to the politico-socio economic development of Ghana and Africa at various stages of his political career.
Two eminent African personalities in the field of academia and development were also honoured alongside Vice-President Mahama at the university’s 3,000-seater lecture theatre, which was filled to capacity with governors, senators, chiefs and other politicians.
They are: Professor Emeritus Tekena Nitonye Tamuno, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, who was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Letters; and Mr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella of Sierra Leon, Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, who received an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
A citation accompanying Vice-President Mahama’s award traced his political career from his stint as Member of Parliament for the Bole-Bamboi constituency, Deputy Minister and Minister of Communications, his association with the Pan-African Parliament, the National Economic Management Team, the National Communications Authority, the communications team that crafted the Value Added Tax policy and his academic background.
And noting his birth in 1958, eight months after Ghana’s Independence, the citation said “John Mahama stands tall as a child of destiny, a man with a mission and vision for the people of Ghana.”
The recognition of the Vice President by the university followed a series of similar awards he has received both locally and internationally recently.
In March last year, the Cuban government, recognising his relentless advocacy for the Cuban cause, namely the lifting of the 50-year economic embargo on the communist country and for the freedom of the detained Cuban five by the United States government, conferred on him the Friendship Medal.
Late last year, the Graduate School of Governance and Leadership honoured the Vice-President with the African Servant Leadership Award while the Institute of Public Relations also recognized Mr. Mahama for his leadership acumen in the early part of this year.
Receiving the award, which consisted of a scroll, a special plaque and also entailed a decoration with an academic gown, Vice-President Mahama, who was accompanied by his wife Lordina, dedicated it to several personalities whom he said, helped shaped him and made him who he is today.
They included former President J.J. Rawlings, for noticing the potential in him and appointing him as a Deputy Minister of Communications “where it all began,” to President J.E.A Mills, for his guidance and mentorship, his wife Lordina for the love and support she has given him through life’s journey, and to the lasting partnership between Ghana and Nigeria .
He described the honorary award as a call to action, pledging to work harder to justify the confidence reposed in him by one of Africa ’s prestigious universities. “It is an inspiration when people recognise one’s efforts made in nation building,” he said and thanked Ghanaians for giving him the opportunity to serve.
Vice-President Mahama noted the commonalities in the culture of Ghana and Nigeria and in their independence struggle, saying that though both were confronted with development challenges, there were a lot the two nations could celebrate about and be proud of.
He, however, identified government red-tapeism as one of the major draw-backs to the forward march of Africa , cautioning that “As Africans, we cannot afford to dissipate our energies but we should work harder to transform our economies.”
In another development, the Vice-President was the special guest of the former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who celebrated his 60th birthday anniversary at the plush Eko Hotel and Suites on Friday evening at Victoria Islands , Lagos .
The highpoint of the event, which attracted the cream of Lagos society and beyond, was the cutting of the anniversary cake, exchange of gifts and souvenirs and a solidarity message delivered by Vice-President Mahama on behalf of the government and people of Ghana .
Among th Vice-President’s entourage was Mrs. Lordina Mahama, the wife of the Vice-President, Mr. Alex Segbefia, a Deputy Chief of Staff, Alhaji Baba Kamara, Ghana ’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Baffoe Bonnie, Special Advisor to the Vice-President and Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.