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CNG Reacts To Saraki’s Exclusion From National Honours’ List

 

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has condemned the exclusion of the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, from the list of nominees for the national honours.

Naija News reports that the President would honour 430 Nigerians and seven foreigners at Nigeria’s National Honours Awards 2022 scheduled for October 11 at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Some of the nominees for the national honours include the Director-General, World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations, Amina Mohammed and the former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

Others are President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamil; new Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola; and the immediate past CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, amongst others.

However, the name of the former Senate President was omitted from the list of nominees and no reason had been given for the exclusion.

Reacting to the development, CNG Spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said the attempt to deny Saraki of his legitimate place in history is unfair, unjust and demeaning.

Suleiman said it would be setting a dangerous precedent if the national awards should be seen to be politicised by the incumbent administration.

The CNG spokesman also berated the current Senate leadership for refusing to include Saraki’s portrait among those of former presiding officers of the red chambers in the main gallery of the new Senate building.

He said: “This is more so as Saraki’s successor, Ahmad Lawan is listed to bag the award. The convention and norm have always been for a Vice President, Senate President, and chief justice of Nigeria to be given the title either on the assumption of office or when national awards are being generally bestowed on recipients.

“The reality is that Saraki had not been conferred with the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON because Buhari did not confer the awards before now.

“It is the height of condescension for Saraki’s name to be removed after reports that the committee set up to recommend deserving Nigerians to the Presidency, had enlisted him.

“We are quite aware of a certain group labelling Saraki an “enemy of the administration,” and arguing that the All Progressives Congress-led government should rather beam its searchlight on other Nigerians for the award.

“But though Saraki may have differed on some of the policy decisions taken by the Buhari administration while serving as Senate President, he should not be denied his legitimate place in the 2022 honour list.

“Without a doubt, Saraki is more popular with the people and is credited to have achieved more while in office and therefore deserves the award based on his achievements.”