Zulum, who was one of eight winners of the annual award, was honoured for good governance, described by Utomi as a revolutionary governor who has become one of Nigeria’s most accomplished leaders within a short period of time.
Professor Utomi, who addressed a press conference via zoom, spoke on behalf of an advisory board of public policy research and analysis centre, PPRAC, which is chaired by Professor Jubril Aminu, a former minister and senator. The board has Prince Emeka Obasi as executive secretary, while members include Professor George Obiozor, Chief Marc Obara, Chief Tola Adeniyi, Alhaji Abdulazeez Udeh and Pat Utomi.
Prof Utomi listed Senate President Ahmed Lawan, SGF Boss Mustapha, Dr Stella Okolli, Prof Umar Dambatta and Kennedy Nduka as winners in the other categories of public service, business and professional leadership.
For good governance amongst Nigeria’s 36 governors, Prof Utomi listed Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, another governor from the southeast in same ‘good governance’ category with Professor Zulum of Borno state as winners.
Utomi however took longer time to pay tribute to governor Zulum saying his performance has made him the toast of Nigerians from all part of the country.
Zulum’s announcement has made him the first governor to win the Zik prize for leadership while serving his first term. Governors who have won in previous years did so during second term in office.
The Zik prize for leadership has become one of Nigeria’s prestigious awards given the credibility of advisory board members of the PPRAC who are notable personalities most of them with background from the academia.