What You Need To Know
The Former Vice President of the World Bank and Co-convener of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, Obiageli Ezekwesili, has been named by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) on its 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Shortlist.
Ezekwesili and the Extractive Industry Transparency International (EITI) received a joint nomination as one out of five likely laureates, based on independent assessment.
“Ezekwesili and the EITI are worthy candidates because of their efforts in making the world more transparent and less corrupt,” the PRIO director, Henrik Urdal, said in a statement announcing the shortlist.
Explaining why Ezekwesili is a serious contender for the award, Urdal said, “Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education in Nigeria and Vice President for Africa in the World Bank and one of the founders of Transparency International, has been an international champion in the fight against corruption. Ezekwesili was also the Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and the Chairperson of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), leading the first-ever national implementation of the global EITI standards.”
Even though transparency and anti-corruption champions have not traditionally been considered as obvious candidates for the Peace Prize, the statement said Ezekwesili’s work is deserving of attention. “A Nobel Peace Prize to the field of anti-corruption and transparency would be a welcome boost now that key actors such as the U.S. have abandoned the EITI by the wayside,” the statement said.
Every year since 2002, the PRIO Director releases an eagerly anticipated shortlist of likely Nobel Peace laureates. In addition to Ezekwesili & the EITI, the four other nominees who made this year’s shortlist include: the World Food Programme; Dr. Denis Mukwege, Nadia Murad & Tarana Burke; SOS Méditerranée, Doctors Without Borders & International Rescue Committee; as well as the Reporters Without Borders.
The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced today. According to the Nobel Committee, there are 331 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 out of which 216 are individuals and 115 are organizations.
The potential laureate may also be running for the Nigerian presidency. As reported earlier this week, Ezekwesili, who been very vocal about her frustration with the handling of the nation’s affairs by the current administration, may have decided to take a plunge in politics by contesting for president with an announcement likely coming in the next few days. There has been a lot of chatter and excitement about such a run, although with just four months to the election, it remains to be seen how strong a contender she can be.