A former ally of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Buba Galadima, has faulted the national honours recently given out to some persons by the President.
He alleged that out of the 470 honourees, no fewer than 440 among them should be in prisons across the country.
The PUNCH reports that Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja conferred national honours on at least 447 persons. Those on the honours list include Nigerians and those tagged “Friends of Nigeria.”
The honourees also include living and deceased Nigerians and “Foreigners”. They were conferred with awards ranging from Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger to Federal Republic Medals.
They include the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (CON); Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku (CON); business magnate, Kessington Adebutu (CFR); Emir of Kano, Aminu Bayero (CFR); Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III (CFR); and a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Wole Olaonipekun (CFR), amongst others.
Others include Solomon Adeola (CON), Akinboro Aruwajoye (OON), Dr Prince Ibidapo (OON), A.V.M Ishaya Shekarri (CON), Mrs Comfort Eyitayo (OON), Ajibola Adebutu (MON), Demola Seriki (CON), Habeeb Okunola (MON), Mrs Shade Okoya (MON), Senator Tolulope Odebiyi (CON), Dr Gabriel Ogbechie (OON), Mele Kyari (OFR), Oba Babatunde Ajayi (CFR), Dr Attia Nasreddin (OFR), Mr Olusola Adeeyo (OON), Dr Richard Nyong (OON) and Mr Remi Makanjuola (OON).
They also include Senator Michael Bamidele (CON), Dr Samson Ayokunle (CON), Justice Idris Haroon (OFR), Justice Sulyman Kawu (OFR), Dr Sulaiman Onikijipa (OON), Dr Kamorun Yusuf (MON), Rear Admiral Abdul Adamu (OFR), Mr Victor Etuokwu (MON), Dr Herbert Wigwe (CON), Gershom Henshaw (MFR), Adeniyi Bashir Adewale (MFR), Prof Bolaji Owasanoye (OFR), amongst others.
Those honoured posthumously include former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari (CFR); former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru; and Aircraft Man Matthew Oyedepo.
440 honourees should be in prison – Galadima
But speaking on Friday when he appeared on Arise TV’s The Morning Show, the New Nigeria Peoples Party’s chieftain alleged that some of those awardees were of “doubtful characters”.
According to Galadima, of the 447 people that were given these national awards, I think 440 of them need to be in prisons.
He said, “When you say Buba Galadinma, did you use engineer, Alhaji or whatsoever? I have never taken a chieftaincy title and even the Galadima, if I have my way and if not that it is on my school certificates from primary to university level, I could have dropped the word (Galadima) because that is a traditional title and I don’t need it.
“Let me tell you, of the 447 people that were given these national awards, I think 440 of them need to be in prisons rather than parading themselves as people who deserved an honour. Of what purpose is the honour? What is an honour for some of these people? It is a reward for the boys and you know General Muhammadu Buhari himself has severally accused Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, late president Musa Yar’Ádua and Goodluck Jonathan of giving awards, medals and national honours to people of doubtful characters.
“Who is it among those that he gave these national honours have impeccable characters? for me, these awards should be given to people who have retired with unblemished careers and have not been followed by either ICPC or EFCC.
“Better still, be given to those who died in national service. I will rather give it to a cook that knows how to cook better than give it to a recharge card seller turned trillionaire and that is my view.”