Some national honorees may lose awards – President Goodluck Jonathan
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan on Monday sounded a note of warning to national honours awardees, threatening that the Federal Government would withdraw the honours from conferees that lacked credibility.
Already, the President said he had mandated the National Honours Committee led by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, to compile the list of awardees with questionable credibility with a view to stripping them of the honours .
Jonathan said, “The dignity, honour and respect of the national honours must never be tarnished.
“In the light of the foregoing, I have directed that the National Honours Committee compile a list of persons conferred with the national honours but that their current credibility is questionable.
“If they are found wanting, our prestigious honours will be withdrawn.”
The President spoke while conferring national honours on 155 Nigerians and friends of the country in Abuja.
Chairman of Globacom, Mike Adenuga, was awarded the nation’s second highest honour, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.
Jonathan said withdrawing the award from unworthy awardees had become essential “in ensuring that holders of national honours are truly worthy representations of our national values and honour, and especially are patriotic Nigerians or real friends of Nigeria.”
The President underscored the importance of the national honours as a very important part of the symbols of the nation’s values.
He said, “We are convinced that the national honours award is a very important part of the symbols of the country’s values and pride.
“Whilst government is always pleased to admit deserving persons into the ranks of those honoured by Nigeria, all holders must not fall short of our collective expectations.”
Jonathan said it was important that the nation recognised and appreciated the roles played by individuals in adding value to the building of the nation.
He observed that the greatness of a nation depended on the commitment, dedication, selflessness and passion of its citizens. He stressed that for the nation to sustain some of the gains of his transformation agenda, Nigerians must begin to engage in value-orientation and confidence building in the polity.
He said there was the need for all Nigerians to embrace positive attitudinal change in their collective resolve to make the country a great nation.
“For nothing can be greater that serving the nation with a strong sense of patriotism, honesty, integrity, pride and dedication.
“Whether in the public sector, educational institutions, civil society, press, sports, security agencies or our communities, we must celebrate achievers who labour selflessly for the good of the country,” he added.