Stop Honouring People With Questionable Characters, ACN Tells Jonathan

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The leading opposition party in Nigeria has condemned the Peoples Democratic Party led Federal Government of rewarding people of questionable characters.  The Action congress of Nigeria, ACN, while reacting to the list of individuals to be given National wards which include Dr. Mike Adenuga, the Chairman of communications giants, Globacom as well as 148 others said the list contained people with characters not worthy of national honours.

In a statement by its Lagos State Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, the party wondered why a serious government would honour friends and associates of those in government, discredited contractors and acolytes of those in power.

The statement reads, “Going through the names of the newest awardees of various categories of national honours, one notices that those that compiled the names see the honour as reward for their friends, associates, business fronts, party men and nothing more. We see the awards still as a whimsical ritual that further erodes the entire concept when Nigerians desire an enrichment of the nation’s moral codes. It is clearly regrettable that the government did not take into consideration recent expressions of disappointment of Nigerians with the award and make necessary amends in the current list. Rather, what we see is a mix of names of people whom Nigerians cannot place in the events that has shaped this country for good. We are shocked that the same tardy way and manner this regime has been known to handle critical issues was on display in this latest list as there is no binding code of honour that unites these latest lists of awardees, as it should be. We only see a combination of people, most of whom have played negative roles in the evolution of Nigeria till the present where we have a wrecked country in our hands.

“We would have expected that the massive public outcry against the list of awardees last year would have forced this regime to ensure the adoption strict guidelines in arriving at subsequent list of awardees but our hope for improvement has been dashed again by the current list. We do not feel that we should continue this way as such honours stand to be consigned to the dustbin in the very nearest future if nothing is done to sanitize them. We feel that this nation is making itself a laughing stock in the comity of nations when we continue to reward thousands of people every year with national honours when the country is regressing badly. We feel there is nothing wrong in suspending the awards for some years while the country grapples with the enormous problems starring it in the face.

Irked by what it said was a deliberate disregard for the condemnation of last year’s list of awardees, which according to the party also contained names of people with questionable integrity, the party concluded that no lessons has been learn. The party demanded for a clear cut criteria for the selection of people to be honoured.

“We call on the presidency not to continue bluffing through the feelings and opinions of Nigerians on such issues that determine the ethical and moral standing of the nation for that is one of the critical lessons national honors are meant to serve. We demand a thorough review of the entire process of awarding national honours to ensure that only those competent and equipped with requisite integrity are honored. We demand that well defined criteria be set for the award of national honours and not an empty, base and hollow ritual that Nigerians treat with scorn and odium at present. We demand that the federal government reform the process or stop this meaningless signal that deprecates rather than enrich the national moral base.” The statement added.

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