Nigerians have spurred reactions to the publication of the names of those to be conferred national honours by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) scheduled for October 11 at the State House, Abuja.
The list of 437 nominees,including seven foreigners, which has now gone viral on the Internet, has however generated criticisms, especially over the calibre of people nominated for the awards.
Civil Society Organisations, has condemned the dominance of politicians as nominees, arguing that more Nigerians are deserving the awards.
Th nominees include politicians, businessmen, public servants,
scholars,senior lawyers, security officers, traditional and religious leaders as well as deceased persons.
The President of YIAGA Foundation, Samson Itodo, said, “The President has the prerogative to confer national awards on Nigerians, or individuals who have contributed to national development, and who have also distinguished themselves.
He said that those deserving of the awards should be icons that people see and want to emulate those qualities that they have. But if you give these awards to people who, morally, don’t have the capital to hold those awards, Nigerians would not recognise or take those seriously.it should be an award to indeed appreciate the ingenuity of selected Nigerians, who have served the country meritoriously, so that carriers of these awards can be seen as ambassadors of this country, based on values, based on good deeds.”
Amongst the Grand Commander of the Order of The Niger (GCON) are President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; the new Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola; the immediate past CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad; Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations, Amina Mohammed and Director-General, World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala;