World leaders in Abuja, as Nigeria honors 100 personalites with award for Centenary
CHIEF Obafemi Awolowo, as well as the British monarch and head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth
II, are among the 100 personalities to be conferred with an award today
by President Goodluck Jonathan to mark Nigeria's Centenary.
Awolowo, along with Herbert Macaulay, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Tafawa
Balewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Professor Eyo Ita, Jaja Anucha Wachuku, Pa
Michael Imoudu, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Joseph
Tarka, Mallam Aminu Kano, Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and
Hajiya Gambo Sawaba, bag the heroes of the struggle for Nigeria's
Independence/pioneer political leaders.
Queen, Sir Fredrick Lugard, the brain behind the amalgamation of the
Northern and Southern Protectorates of the British Crown to form a new
colonial territory and his consort, Flora Louise Shaw, who named the
territory "Nigeria," would receive posthumous awards as contributors to
the making of Nigeria.
awards, divided to 13 categories, would be presented to the recipients
by President Jonathan in an occasion to be held at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.
former heads of states and presidents - General Yakubu Gowon, General
Murtala Mohammed, General Olusegun Obasanjo, General Muhammadu Buhari,
General Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan, General Sani Abacha,
Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua, except Alhaji Shehu Shagari and General
Abdulsalami Abubakar, who bag the promoters of democratic transition in
Nigeria award, will be conferred with the outstanding promoters of
unity, patriotism and national development award.
in professional callings/careers' award goes to Christopher Sapara
Williams, Chief Frederick Rotimi Alade Williams, Chief Akintola
Williams, Major-General J. T. Aguiyi Ironsi, Vice Admiral Joseph Edet
Akinwale Wey, Brigadier General George Kurubo, Louis Orok Edet,
Major-General Abdullahi Mohammed, Professor Thomas Adeoye Lambo,
Professor Kenneth Dike, Captain Chinyere Kalu, Brigadier-General Oviemo
Ovadje and Professor Grace Alele-Williams
Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, Chief Adeola Odutola will receive the pioneers in commerce and industry award.
Others to receive the Promoters of democratic transition in Nigeria award are Chief MKO Abiola and General Shehu Yar'Adua.
Taking the heroes in global sports
competitions award are Madam Chioma Ajunwa, Nwankwo Kanu, Richard Ihetu
(Dick Tiger), Chief Michael Okpala (Power Mike) and Monday Ochuko
pioneer public servants awardees are Chief Stanley Olabode Wey, Justice
Egbert Udo Udoma, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Sir Adetokunbo Adegboyega
Ademola, Dr Taslim Oluwale Elias, Dr Rilwan Lukman, Alhaji Ibrahim
Dasuki and Alhaji Aliyu Mai Bornu..
accomplished contemporary entrepreneurs award will be received by Alhaji
Aliko Dangote, Chief Mike Adenuga and Chief (Dr) Innocent Chukwuma.
academics awardees are Professor Kayode Osuntokun, Professor Kelsey
Harrison, Professor Chike Obi, Professor Dagogo Fubara, Professor Festus
Ade Ajayi, Professor Claude Ake, Professor Babatunde Fafunwa, Professor
Godwin Olu Patrick Obasi and Professor Umaru Shehu.
acclaimed artists, literary icons and journalists award goes to Michael
Taiwo Akinkumi, Professor Wole Soyinka, Professor Chinua Achebe,
Professor J. P. Clark, Cyprian Odiatu Duaka Ekwensi, Alhaji Abubakar
Imam, D. O. Fagunwa, Ernest Sesei Ikoli, Alhaji Babatunde Jose, Kenneth
Nnebue, Patience Ozokwor, Alhaji (Dr) Mamman Shata Katsina, Hubert
Ogunde, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Stephen Osita Osadebe, (Dr) Ladi Dosei
Kwali, Ben Enwonwu, Oludotun Jacobs.
contemporary public servants are Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, Professor
Akinlawon Ladipo Mabogunje, Dr Barnabas Sanyaolu Oloruntoba, Justice
Maryam Aloma Mukhtar.
outstanding bravery and public spiritedness award will be given to Chief
Gani Fawehinmi and Michael Chukwugekwu Ihuka, while the exemplary
service in the promotion of peace and moral excellence award goes to Sir
Abubakar Sadiq III, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi, Blessed Cyprian
Michael Tansi, Pastor E. A. Adeboye and Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi.
World leaders in Abuja, pledge support for fight against terrorism
leaders converge on Abuja, on Thursday, to join Nigeria in the
celebration of its centenary, taking turns to commiserate with President
Goodluck Jonathan and the people of the country over the activities of
the insurgents in parts of the North East, particularly the recent
massacre of defenceless students in Yobe State.
at the centenary conference, with the theme: "Human security, peace and
development, an agenda for Africa in the 21st Century," they
unanimously condemned the insurgents, pointing out that senseless
violence had no place in present day Africa.
This came as they pledged their support to Nigeria in its fight against terrorism.
separate statements at a conference to commemorate Nigeria's Centenary
celebration, the world leaders paid glowing tribute to Nigeria for its
achievements and contribution to the development of Africa and the world
in the last 100 years and stressed the need for the country to remain
president of France, Francois Hollande, was the special guest of honour
on the occasion attended by heads of state from Africa and beyond, as
well as heads and high representatives of international organisations.
European Union (EU) president, Mr Jose Manuel Barroso, who said the bloc
had contributed $1 billion to support peace and security in Africa,
warned that "radicalism and hate" had no place in the society.
lamented the killing of innocent students in Yobe State, adding that "it
was the latest mischief of brutal and unjustifiable attacks by
terrorists on innocent civilians."
also reiterated EU's commitment to share counter-piracy knowledge with
African countries, to strengthen their efforts to overcome threats to
maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
EU president described Africa as a continent of hope, saying that in
2012 alone, eight out of the world's 10 fastest growing economies were
on the continent.
speaking, United Kingdom (UK) Minister for Africa, Mr Mark Simmonds,
said the British government would "partner Africa in seeking the
eradication of violent extremism."
The minister spoke on behalf of Prime Minister David Cameron and brought a message from Queen Elizabeth II.
said it was the right of Nigeria and African governments to defend their
territory and people from terrorism, but called for respect for human
rights in doing so.
told African leaders attending the Centenary celebration that
democracy, prosperity and stability were vital ingredients for peace and
development on the continent.
challenged African leaders to allow their countries "to flourish,"
noting that the choices they made could determine the fate of over one
the 2015 elections in Nigeria, Simmonds said it was an opportunity for
the country to serve as a role model to other countries on credible
elections and democracy.
"Mr President (Jonathan), you have committed yourself to ensuring that the elections are free and fair.
confident Nigerians will accept nothing less and in doing so, you and
your government could be a role model for many other African
governments," he said.
speaking, French President, Hollande, promised support for Nigeria in
the battle against Boko Haram, in defence of democracy.
Hollande, who was the only European president at the conference, said "your struggle is also our struggle.
will always stand ready, not only to provide our political support, but
also our help every time you need it, because the struggle against
terrorism is also the struggle for democracy."
Hollande noted that in spite of the crises on the continent, there was reason for optimism in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
"Africa has a great future. It's the continent of tomorrow," he said.
French president, however warned, that such promise could be impeded by
insecurity, as he pledged that France would double its overseas
development's aid to the continent within the next five years.
President Idris Derby of Chad expressed confidence that Nigeria would win the war against terror and violent extremism.
hinged his optimism on the experience of his country which, he said,
confronted extremism some years ago, adding that since 2008, Chad had
recorded peace and stability.
President Ellen Sirleaf of Liberia commended efforts by President
Jonathan to contain conflicts in the country and the sub-region.
presidents who equally spoke at the event included president of Gabon,
Ali Ondimba; Malawi, Joyce Banda; Mali, Ibrahim Keita; Mauritania,
Mohammed Abdel Aziz; Namibia, Hifike Pohamba; Senegal, Macky Sall and
Niger, Issounfou Mohamodou.
The Gambian president steals the show
Yahyah Jammeh of The Gambia, on Thursday, stole the show at the
International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, venue of the Centenary
president delivered a speech at the event which condemned use of
religion to perpetrate acts of terror and drew deafening applause as
participants interrupted his speech and gave standing ovation throughout
the period the speech lasted.
argued that since God himself created all human beings, it was not
man's duties to dictate to the creator who to allow into His kingdom,
neither was it for man to tell who his neighbours would be in heaven.
maintained that "true Muslims do not kill in the name of religion,"
adding that "Quran permits Muslims to live in peace with their
neighbours, irrespective of what they believe or practice, moreso as it
is Allah's duties to judge all mankind."
president insisted that all religion abhorred the senseless killings
being perpetrated by terrorists, while urging dominant religious groups
in the country to always shun acts capable of causing conflicts.
to him, there was the need for Africans to continue to nurture the
culture of peaceful coexistence and embark on strides aimed at
industrialising the continent, as a way to ensure peace and development.
appeal to all Nigerians to reconcile their differences peacefully and
maintain Nigeria as a strong and unified power house of black Africa.
is no country in the world that is comprised of one region, one
religion and one ethnic group. The beauty of Nigeria and any country for
that matter lies in her cultural, religious and regional diversities.
"Our diversities should be a source of strength, unity and pride and not division, weakness and violence,'' he said.
Gambian leader noted that the continent would remain grateful to Nigeria
for its leadership role and observed that Nigeria had continued to use
its scarce resources to promote peace, development and democracy.
to him, "Africa and the civilised world will remain grateful to this
country (Nigeria) as an indispensable giant in the advancement of our
delivering his speech at the event, Ethiopian Prime Minister,
Hailemariam Desalegn, noted that addressing terror in Africa would
encompass solving the challenges suffered by Africans.
He observed that failure to address most of the challenges besetting the continent formed what was fuelling the unrest.
that the source of conflicts in the continent derived from inequality,
the prime minister observed that the only way to break the vicious cycle
was to improve on governance structure.
He called for all-inclusive politics, adding that "Africans are sick of poverty."
Jonathan wants access to neighbouring countries in pursuit of terrorists
Jonathan, on Thursday, said African leaders must not allow their
countries to become safe havens for terrorists and advocated adoption of
protocols that allow countries to pursue terrorists into their safe
havens in other nations.
Jonathan told the world leaders, notably his colleagues from Africa,
that he believed that in concert with their regional and global
partners, they would continue to respond strategically and decisively to
the terrorism scourge and, together with citizens, end the killings and
bring terrorism to an end.
told the leaders that there was the need for them to work together
across boundaries, not only to coordinate and strengthen defences, but
also to address any socio-economic roots on which extreme ideologies
president maintained that terrorism must be condemned in the strongest
possible terms and noted that the leaders must work together to rid the
world of haters of peace, who, he observed, used terror to maim, kill,
instil fear and deny people their rights to peace and security.
told the leaders that he had a heavy heart as he addressed them,
following the killings of over 40 students in Yobe and did not mince
words in disclosing that Boko Haram insurgency in the country remained
one of such condemnable acts of terror.
however, insisted that greater regional cooperation in intelligence
gathering and control of insurgents would ensure not only Nigeria's
security, but also the security of its neighbours.
lamented that out of the 500 million illegal small arms and light
weapons in the world, an estimated 100 million were in Africa, with 10
per cent in West Africa, mainly in the hands of non-state actors.
Why we rejected award for Gani -Family
of the late human rights crusader, Gani Fawehinmi, on Thursday, said it
rejected the post-humous award bestowed on the late legal icon because
it would not share podium of honour with former military president,
To the family, Babangida was responsible for Gani's death.
letter to the government through the Secretary to the Government of the
Federation, Pius Anyim, dated February 27, 2014 and signed by Mohammed
Fawehinmi, the family noted that were Gani to be alive, he would have
The letter thanked the government for the honour done to their deceased father.