By NBF News
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The Brand Journalists' Association of Nigeria (BJAN) will honour Chief Ikedi Ohakim, Governor of Imo State, and Prof. Dora Akunyili, former Minister of Information and Communications, in Lagos with special awards for their outstanding contributions to visionary leadership and branding.

The two outstanding public servants became candidates for the awards after deliberation by the executive Committee of the association, who concluded that both awardees of them have gone the extra mile to promote branding in governance.

In the light of this, Governor Ohakim would be conferred with the 'Most Visionary and Brand-Friendly Governor' award, while Prof. Akunyili would get the 'Most Distinguished Brand Ambassador'.

Before Governor Ohakim was elected, he had an elaborate vision of where he wanted to take his state to. He went about it methodically and branded the platform that would propel his political agenda for the state. He mapped out where he wanted to drive Imo and the kind of vehicle he would use in doing that.

At the inception of his administration, some did not understand what he was doing, but the 'New Face of Imo' and the 'Clean and Green' initiative became the philosophical vehicle through which his administration has undeniably brought this about a discernible paradigm shift in Imo State.

Prof. Akunyili renewed the effort at positively managing the image and perception of Nigeria and Nigerians through her home grown 'Rebranding of Nigeria'. With very meager resources, she committed so much energy toward enlightening Nigerians that 'Rebranding' must start with them. 'Charity must begin at home'. If we want the world to see us from a positive and respectable perspective, we must change our attitude. We must repudiate those unacceptable conducts that have attracted international odium. In the process of the exercise, she gave this country a twin gift of logo, which signals a national rebirth and need for attitudinal change and a slogan that reminds us whom we are: Nigeria, Great People, Great Nation.

The awards scheduled for March 18, 2011 would be presented at the EXPO Hall, Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, in a ceremony that would attract top government functionaries, friends and political associates of the awardees and captains of the marketing communications industry.

The ceremony will also feature a lecture titled: 'BRANDING IN GOVERNANCE,' by Karen Post, a renowned international speaker from the United States.

The Brand Journalists are committed to pursuing this line of advocacy as a strategy for making governance impactful and result, oriented in order to better avail Nigerians the dividend of democracy.

Chief Alex Akinyele, former Minister of Information and Communications, will chair the of the event and Mr. Biodun Shobanjo is the Special Guest of Honour.