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Seye Joseph

Nigeria’s leading sustainability management firm, Nidola Initiative has announced commencement of the Nigeria Prize for Patriotism (NPP), a program aimed at celebrating the average Nigerian living the ideals of our heroes past.

The initiative which plans to reward the overall winner with 100m prize money is designed to foster national unity.

In a statement released to the press, Abidemi David Edmond, Chief Responsibility Officer, Nidola Initiative said that the initiative intends to bring Nigerians together behind a unified purpose.

“Nigeria is a great country and I believe strongly that one of the biggest things holding back our greatness as a people is the lack of a unifying purpose, a common ideal. With the NPP, we have a platform that allows us to celebrate those Nigerians that have lived a life of purpose, serving Nigerians and Nigeria, often to their detriment – who have demonstrated a ‘love for country’ and ‘appreciation of unity in diversity’, values that shall prevail over the destructive divides that exist in our country.”

The prize is structured to reward endeavours from patriotic Nigerians in the area of Education, Health, Civil service, Business, Agriculture, Sports, and Entertainment amongst others. The overall winner of the prize is expected to receive N50m in winnings and another N50m in a grant to further the cause for which they had been nominated.

Elucidating further on the need for this program at this time in Nigeria, Mr Edmond said that having a sense of pride in nationality and purpose in unity sets a nation apart. “As Nigerians become more aware of the challenges we face as a nation, the time to call for a unified purpose as Nigerians would have been many years ago, but the second best time is NOW. There is an urgency with which we must all approach this in order to see the excellent Nigeria we all desire. ”

Lending their support and voice to the initiative are respected Nigerians like Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr. Christopher Kolade and Fela Durotoye. In a video posted on the NPP, YouTube page, Prof Utomi said that when a nation’s citizens realise that “I am because we are, a national character perception takes hold and the country can hardly go wrong.” Dr Christopher Kolade added that with NPP recognising and celebrating those that Nigerians believe are examples of genuine patriotism, those recognised will be encouraged and will inspire others to do even more for Nigeria, while Fela Durotoye also corroborated this point saying, he had come to realise that whatever gets recognised and rewarded is what gets repeated.

The TNIL team has stipulated a 5-month process that will lead to unveiling the winner of the first edition of the annual prize as part of our nation’s Independence celebrations on the eve of Independence day this year – 30th of September 2016.

Commenting further, Mr Edmond said: “Over the next few months, Nigerians can expect to receive information on how to nominate and vote for the various categories. We intend to keep Nigerians at the heart of all that we are doing. They have been involved in setting the criteria for selections, a process that is still on-going, and they will be responsible for choosing all of the winners as well. Unlike many award initiatives, this is a program that is about celebrating and recognising the ‘average Nigerian’– the unsung heroes of our great country (not just a subsection of our population) with the ultimate goal of moving her to nationhood.”

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