The Cross River Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Frankland Briyai, on Tuesday received a ‘‘Pan African Prize for Excellence Award’’ by the African Students’ Union Parliament in recognition of his outstanding leadership performance.
Presenting the award to Briyai in Calabar, Mr Solomon Mensah of the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana, said his leadership style was worthy of emulation by African students.
Mensah, who is also the 48th Speaker of the Parliament, extolled the exemplary leadership and performance of the REC before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
‘‘We have followed with keen interest and we have been informed by our various stakeholders here in Nigeria about your sterling leadership qualities.
‘‘Your simplicity, humility, sincerity and love for your staff.
‘‘This award is, therefore, in recognition of these leadership qualities and above all your excellent performance in the last general elections in Nigeria, where you stood out ahead of others,” he said.
The speaker decried the dwindling fortunes of African students today, blaming it on social vices such as, cultism, drug abuse and addiction.
He added that the union had organised sensitisation and awareness forum for students across universities in Africa as part of its on-campus activities, urging students to shun cultism and drug abuse.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the parliament also inducted the REC into its Hall of Fame.
Responding, Briyai expressed appreciation to the union for recognising him, adding that, the award would spur him to do more in the service to the country and humanity.
He described himself as a pan-Africanist who refused to stay and work in Britain after his degree and preferred to come back to Nigeria.
‘‘I have always believed that it is better to be a Nigerian; an African.
‘‘I love my country and have been putting in my best and will continue to put in my best for Nigeria.
‘‘I believe that, if all of us do our best, Africa will be a good place for us all,’’ he said.
Briyai said he stood his ground during the 2019 election by insisting that the right thing must be done despite pressures from several fronts.
He thanked the students for the honour and pledged to work harder to justify the confidence reposed in him.
The Pan African Students’ Union Parliament comprised of students from 54 African countries including Nigeria.