Adeboye, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God was in January the only African named among the United States-based Newsweek magazine’s first 50 Global Elite.
The search for Nigeria’s five greatest living legends was initiated by Vanguard Media and the Silverbird Group, ending on June 16 as five winners from 20 nominees were announced in Lagos.
Nigerians voted in sms text messages for the winners.
They included Pastor Adeboye; Nwankwo Kanu, a Nigerian internal football player who plays for England’s Premier League Portsmouth Club; Dim
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who was the leader of Nigeria’s secessionist state of Biafra from 1967 to 1970; Chief Gani Fawehinmi, an author, publisher, philanthropist, social critic, human and civil rights lawyer, and politician; and Professor Wole Soyinka, won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Adeboye garnered 30.8 per cent of the total votes cast followed by Kanu, who is the current captain of Nigeria’s national soccer team, with 10.4 per cent of the votes. Ojukwu polled 8.9 per cent of the votes in third place, Gani was fourth with 7.6 per cent votes while Nobel Laureate, Soyinka came fifth with 6.2 per cent.
“The nominees for the award represent the broadest range of achievers in all fields, whose influence on the lives of Nigerians in contemporary history is widely felt across the nation,” said Jacob Akinyemi Johnson, coordinator of the project. The award he explained is to celebrate the greatness achieved by Nigerians in various fields of human endeavor.
“Our people must change their values and appreciate the virtues of handwork, patriotism, good citizenship, transparency, public spiritedness, love for humanity and God,” said Johnson.
Adeboye, a former university lecturer who holds a doctorate degree in mathematics, heads the RCCG, reputed to be Nigeria’s largest Pentecostal church with branches worldwide.