Don't Miss

Insufficient Medals as President Jonathan Decorates Nigerians at National Awards

By on November 15, 2011

Yesterday, at the country’s most prestigious honours awards in Abuja, There was a shortage of medals and certificates and as a result of the shortages; many of the honorees were unable to get their medals and certificates as is the tradition.

The event, which held amid tight security at the International Conference Center in Abuja, saw President Goodluck Jonathan conferring various classes of national honours on 355 Nigerians.

Of the 335, one person received the award of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger(GCON); 65 people were conferred with the honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger; 38 persons received the award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic; 74 Nigerians received the award of Officer of Federal Republic; 69 were conferred with the honour of Member of the Officer of the Order Federal Republic; 71 people received the award of the Order of the Niger; while 28 others were conferred with the honour of Member of the Order of the Niger. Also, two persons received the First Class Federal Republic Medal, while three others got the Second Class Federal Republic Medal.

Top on the list of the recipients are Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who got the highest honour of the day as the sole recipient of the GCON award; the Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who was among the 38 recipients of the CFR honour; and the governors of Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Edo, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Rivers and Jigawa states, who were all conferred with the national honour of CON.

the Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, In explaining the reason for the shortages, pointed out that there was a large number of recipients in the 2011 awards ceremony. He also promised those who could not receive their medals and certificates that they would have the materials in a week’s time.

The SGF explained that the award ceremony could not hold in 2010 because of preparations for the 2011 general elections. Although the combined awards shot up the total number of awardees for this year, the number wasn’t extraordinary as government also had two years to plan. In 2006, for example, 263 Nigerians received awards during the national honours event without any hiccups.

President Goodluck Jonathan in his acknowledgment of the flaws, he disclosed that he had already directed the government agencies involved to improve on the process.

He said, “…I have since directed the appropriate departments to note the concerns that have been expressed and to take steps to ensure further improvement so that the National Honours award can continue to serve its purpose,” he said.

The President canvassed a situation in which the awards could be received by all classes of Nigerians, including the lowly placed members of the society.

“A welder, electrician or anybody, who by virtue of what he does, has done it with much dedication and impacted society significantly can be honoured by the President.”

Stating that most Nigerians have no knowledge of the criteria employed for the selection of people for National Honours, Jonathan noted that even the Nobel Peace Prize was often met with criticisms.

He said, “In Nigeria you have three awards, two are parallel, and we gave two today – the GCFR and GCON series, and of course the Nigerian National Merit Award.

“The Nigerian National Merit Award is meant for scholars and not just scholars, but scholars with distinction and the (members of the) committee that will select those who will receive that award are among our eggheads.

“But for the National Honours, the criteria are different. It is based on what an individual has contributed to his community, his state, his country and how you have projected this country outside. For example, he stated that the traditional birth attendant that works in an area where there is no doctor and successfully delivers hundreds of babies can be awarded and recognized by the President. So is a sportsman who is illiterate, but a good footballer, a wrestler or a boxer that projects the image of this country globally and wins laurels and bring us to limelight, he or she could be recognized in this honours series.

He added that, in the case of the military, an officer, a corporal or even a private soldier could be given a medal that probably a Colonel or General might not have, for

One Comment

  1. G, D

    November 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm