President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday conferred some Nigerian citizens and foreigners with national honours.
HausaToday reports that the event held at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja. This follows the release of the final list of persons proposed for various distinguished honours.
Recall that the amended final list was made public in a statement on Sunday by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Ibiene P. Roberts.
The new list now contains 447 names out of which seven are foreigners, HausaToday understands. The event is part of a series of activities to mark Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary.
Present at the event is the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who was said to have arrived at the venue at exactly 10:13 am.
There was a heavy security presence at the premises of the ICC and all the adjoining roads leading to the venue as top government officials, political big wigs and foreign citizens anticipate the conferment of the various honours.
Security agencies present include operatives of the National Defence College, a combined team of Military, the State Security Service, the Nigeria Police Force and others to ensure security at the event.
Awardees and their families, guests as well as media and others accredited had hectic periods to gain entrance into the venue due to the surging crowd at the venue, HausaToday understands.
The award in order of importance are: Order of the Federal Republic, consisting of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR), Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR), Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).
Also, in the Order of the Niger, are Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) and Federal Republic Medal (FRM).
The GCFR and GCON are customarily reserved and bestowed on former Presidents and Vice Presidents of Nigeria, including former military heads of state of Nigeria and Chiefs of General Staff.
The GCON is also customarily bestowed on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the President of the Nigerian Senate during their first year in office, while the CON is customarily bestowed on Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The 2022 list includes politicians, public officers, security officials, diplomats, academia, businessmen, traditional rulers, religious leaders and legal practitioners among others.
The six conferred with GCON are Senate President Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan; Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola; immediate past CJN, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad (Rtd); former Minister of Finance and currently Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala; a former Minister of Environment and currently UN, Deputy Secretary General, Ms Amina J. Mohammed and former President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prof. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, a report by Daily Trust noted.
Also honoured are Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha; Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara; late Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari (Posthumous) and former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami (Retd) among others.
Others are the 19th Emir of Zazzau, His Highness Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli and Registrar of JAMB, Prof Is-haq Oloyede among others.
The seven foreigners conferred with honour of FRM I and FRM II respectively are revealed as follows: Pierre Vandebeek, late George Stavros Coumantaros (Posthumous), Deepak Singhal, Dr. Attia A. Nasreddin, Chief Nabil A. Saleh (JP), Faysal M. El-Khalil and Ronald Chagoury would be honoured with OFR.