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National Horrors, Sorry National Honours, again?

17 September 2012, 11:22

What is the pedigree of the people we as a Country have chosen to honour year in and out? What are the definite yardsticks for such honours? How did they even make the money we seem to be celebrating? How come we don’t have an insight to their journey into stardom? How many of them made their wealth through embezzlement of public funds and how many honestly amassed wealth?

Has there ever been any summary of achievements that has warranted the people so honoured on this list? So how do you prove to the world that they actually merit the award as we are being told? All we ever see is a long list of names known and unknown, People with clean sheets amidst those who have at one time or the other been indicted for different offences ranging from corruption to embezzlement of public funds. What better definition of confusion can one deduce from this?

It is so disheartening that respected people in the society who are known to have made {and who are still making} invaluable contributions are hardly ever mentioned whilst some unworthy people receive higher honours. Year in and out, the story has been the same with National honours given mostly to government officials to whom you could not credit with any achievement. This is usually capped with some other characters-who, in another Country, would be in jail conferred with National honours

My former State Governor who only succeeded in being the repairer of projects State Governors before him initiated {Olusegun Obasanjo reiterated this on his visit to my State} found his way into that list about a year ago. This same man was indicted as the Minister of Power and Steel before he got ‘voted’ in as the Governor and up till today cannot pin point any major landmark in that State to warrant being honoured. How then do you think I being a citizen of that State would have any form of regard for such an award?

In my own opinion, giving out National honours to serving government officials is synonymous to giving out medals to athletes even before running the race. When people such as Bode George, Tafa Balogun, Cecelia Ibru, Dimeji Bankole and the likes are still carrying National honours, then you can tell the dishonour that has become of such a ‘honour’....little wonder the likes of Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and Hon Gbajabiamila rejected such a horror!

In Abuja, a cab driver Mr Umeh Usuah found and returned the sum of N18M a passenger forgot in his cab to its rightful owner, his name should be on that list.

Another is a Nigerian Aviation Handling Company {NAHCO} employee Salami Ibrahim who found and returned a wallet containing foreign currencies of 25,000 Pounds and 5,000 Euro totalling about N7.3million when converted. He found this huge amount of money while cleaning an aeroplane belonging to an airline. It might interest you that Turkish airline was the one who rewarded this man with an all expense paid trip to Istanbul despite the fact that the aircraft in question wasn’t theirs. This young man ought to also be on that list.

The thirteen medallists who made the Country proud at the just concluded Paralympics event more than deserve to be on that honour list because they ended up saving our face after the abysmal performance at the Olympics. They have made a statement against all odds and should be rewarded so as to instil confidence in the people that hard work pays.

I am tired of a Country who chooses to honour those who have deprived the common man of their rights to a decent life over/at the expense of those who have demonstrated unquestionable integrity, valuable character, honesty, done the country proud, been good compatriots and have written their names in gold.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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