Nominations for the 2019 Pride Jewel of Inestimable Value Awards opened on July 4, 2018. The Pride Magazine Nigeria Awards Committee have now selected nine eligible candidates for the award. The award is given to women, living or dead, who have contributed greatly to the betterment of our world.

The public is invited to select the four women who will be given Jewel of Inestimable Value Awards at the 2019 Pride Women Conference.

In 2017, the Award recipients were Dr (Mrs) Maryam Babangida for her contributions to the welfare of her family, nation, and humanity through her Better Life Program for Rural Women; and Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, whose personal sacrifice prevented a national catastrophe in Nigeria.

In 2018, the recipients were Dr (Mrs) Obiageli (Oby) Ezekwesili in recognition of her concern and empathy towards the well-being of the Nigerian masses, and championing the Bring Back Our Girls campaign over the past few years and ensuring that the missing girls are not forgotten by the Nigerian government; and Her Excellency, Betsy Obaseki, First Lady of Edo State, for her immeasurable efforts towards the eradication of human trafficking and modern slavery, which saves our youths from a life of misery, and in turn empowers them to lead better lives.

The nominees, in no particular order, are:

1. Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari: She garnered the courage to express her honest and heartfelt opinion about the lapses within the government and presidency, for the good of every Nigerian.

2. Late Kudirat Abiola: Following the incarceration of her husband after the 1993 general elections in Nigeria, she became a vocal advocate for free and fair elections, taking on the military junta of General Sani Abacha. Kudirat believed in democracy and fundamental human rights that allow citizens to freely express their will in elections without fear or intimidation. She paid the ultimate price for her convictions when she was brutally murdered on June 4, 1996.

3. Late Professor Dora Akunyili: Appointed Director General (DG) of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in 2001 she gained national and international prominence as a result of her leadership style in this position. During her tenure, Nigerians were sensitized on the dangers of consuming expired foods and drugs and the importance of asking questions about the expiry dates and NAFDAC numbers of these products to ascertain their genuineness. She was relentless in her aim to curtail the influx of fake and adulterated drugs into the market, making her despised by drug counterfeiters.

4. Hajiya Zainab Maina: She served as the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, and is the founder of the NGO, Hajiya Zainab Maina (WOPI) Nigeria. Her NGO, through the well-structured programmes in collaboration with some foreign organisations, has empowered many women in Nigeria.

5. Justice Kate Abiri: The Chief Judge of Bayelsa, she is one of the most outstanding Chief Judges of a Nigerian state government judiciary. She is a down-to-earth woman with no airs and graces. Her judgment is hardly overturned by any superior court. She has delivered some landmark judgments that have contributed to the development of our nation’s jurisprudence.

6. Senator Nenadi Usman: A very intelligent woman with a passion for women empowerment. Her philanthropic work stands out as she’s relentless in ensuring the welfare of Nigerians through scholarship schemes and women empowerment programmes.

7. Hajiya Halima Ibrahim Shekarau: During her tenure as the first lady of Kano state, she was acknowledged and appreciated for her concern for the welfare of the citizens of the state. One of her many achievements in this regard was to ensure that many indigent children were sent to school. Amongst other things, she empowered women and fed the poor around her, daily. She is a woman loved by her people for her good heart. And since the end of her tenure in office, she has continued to express love and care for her people.

8. Professor Joy Ezeilo: A professor of law. She is a lecturer at Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and is rated as one of the best by her students, both past and present. She has been a visiting professor at some foreign universities, including the University of California. She’s a renowned human rights activist and was Commissioner of Women Affairs in Enugu State. She’s a seasoned legal researcher and a scholar who has been published in several internationally recognised journals. She has held several United Nations positions and is the founder of Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), an organisation that promotes the rights of women and young people.

Who amongst the top nominees do you consider as your choice for the 2019 Pride Jewel of Inestimable Value Awards? To cast your votes, visit Pride Magazine Nigeria www.pridemagazineng.com. Voting ends on Friday, March 29, 2019, and award recipients will be notified on Monday, April 15, 2019. The awards will be presented at the conference, taking place on Friday, May 24, 2019, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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