As a parting gift, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the conferment of the 2023 special national awards on 340 Nigerians and friends of the country in various categories.
The awarded list was signed Sunday by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Ibiene P. Roberts.The country’s second highest national honour of Grand Commander of Order of Niger (GCON) was conferred on former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku.
Also former Governor of Osun State and first interim Chairman of the All Peoples Congress, Chief Bisi Akande is among 23 individuals bestowed with the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).
Other individuals who bagged the award include the CEO of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, the Governor Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and former Secretary General OPEC, Mohammed Bakindo, who was honoured post-humously.
Also honoured in that category are 10 serving justices of the Supreme Court. They include Hon. Justice, Chima C. Nweze, Justice Amina Adamu Augie, Justice Uwani Musa Abba-Aji, Justice John Inyang Okoro, Justice Lawal Garba, Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, Justice Adamu Jauro, Justice Tijjani Abubakar and Justice Emmanuel Agim.Other awardees include former Governor of Ogun State Chief Olusegun Osoba, and Emir of Borgu, Mohammed Sani Dantoro Kitoro IV.
Fourteen serving ministers were among the 75 individuals that bagged the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) awards.They include Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of State Labour, Festus Keyamo (SAN), Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pallen Tallen and Minister of Internal Affairs, Senator Rauf Aregbesola among others.
The President also conferred the coveted Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic on 77 prominent individuals. Some of the recipients include former President Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, Publisher of Leadership newspaper, Isaiah Ndah, who was honoured post-humously, former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission,Timi Alaibe, Maj. Gen Olayinka Kadiri, Dr Pinheiro Adekunle Uthman (SAN), Sylvanus Ghasarah, Sulaiman Argungu, Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Isaac Shaahu, Alhaji Nasiru Danu, Chairman bet9ja, Kunle Soname, Sunday Ameh (SAN), Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), Maj. Gen Benson Akinroluyo (rtd), Wale Edun, Dr Mrs Awele Elumelu and Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi among others.
Leading musician, David Adeleke (Davido) is among the 85 individuals conferred with the Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) award.
Some of the recipients include serving federal permanent secretaries; Maurice Mbaeri, David Andrew Adejo, Nebolisa Arah, Ibiene Roberts, Tijani Umar, and Didi Easter Walson-Jack.Also honoured are the Managing Director GTB Mariam Olusanya, Chief Executive Officer Fidelity Bank, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, Laolu Akande, Olukayode Ajulo, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Tiwa Savage, Victor Ifijeh, Bayo Onanuga, and Dele Alake.
The President also conferred the Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) awards on 51persons. Some of the notable recipients are comedian Ayo Makun (AY), Executive Secretary Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, basket baller Ejike Ugboaja, Abubakar Umar, Clement Nwakwo, Tolu Ogunlesi, and personal assistant to the president on photography Sunday Aghaeze.
The president also approved the Federal Republic Medal I to be presented to three persons, Mrs Jumoke Awodigede, Alade Pamela and Mohammed Abiodun.