Winners of the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN 2013 Top Ten Awards have emerged after a rigorous search, scrutiny and selection process.
The CANAN TOP TEN winners will be honored on Sunday evening Sept. 22 at the Marriot Hotel in LaGuardia, New York at an event to which the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been invited.
The winners and their categories of award are:
- LAW — Judge Bunmi Awoniyi, the first Nigerian to become a Superior Court Judge in California and possibly the highest ranking Nigerian-American holding the judgeship of a state high court anywhere in the United States. Awoniyi is based in California.
- ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY — Dr. Augustine Esogbue, the first African to become a member of NASA’s Safety Advisory Board. Esogbue is based in Atlanta.
- YOUTH — Mr. Emmanuel Ohuabunwa, the Nigerian student who became the first black man to emerge as the best graduating student in John Hopkins with a 3.98 GPA. He is currently an MD candidate in Yale.
- MEDICINE — Ola Akinboboye, the New York based award-winning nuclear cardiologist who is also the leader of black cardiologists in the US.
- ACADEMICS — Professor Toyin Falola, by far the most decorated Nigerian scholar in the US known to the Nigerian community, who is a History teacher at the University of Texas, Austin.
- BUSINESS — Chief Usua Amanam, the California-based Nigerian business owner who built the first private refinery in Nigeria.
- INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE — Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, the NY-based Nigerian diplomat who served the United Nations in some of the toughest diplomatic spots in the world, including Darfur, where he led the largest UN and international peacekeeping mission ever.
- COMMUNITY SERVICE — Association of Nigerian Pharmacists, Tampa Bay Area, Florida, which has earned professional and government authority to grant certification to practicing pharmacists.
CANAN is postponing two award categories for this year due to logistics and planning constraints. These are Sports and Professions.
The Selection Panel as part of its exclusion policy decided not to consider any pastor for this year’s award.
However, CANAN will also be honoring two special categories on Sunday:
Distinguished Ambassador Award-for Professor Ade Adefuye, in recognition of his outstanding performance as Nigeria’s Envoy to the US and Friend of Nigeria Award-for Congressman Peter King.
Also, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, UNFPA, and a former Nigerian Health Minister who often spoke out for the voiceless would be delivering the keynote remarks at the Gala and Awards Dinner.