Jonathan Appoints National Flag Designer As Special Assistant, To Get Salary For Life


BEVERLY HILLS, September 29, (THEWILL) – President Goodluck Jonathan Monday in Abuja announced the appointment of the designer of the nation's national flag, Pa Michael Akinkunmi, as a Special Adviser, instructing the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pious Anyim, to place Pa Akinkunmi on salary for life.

The President gave the directive at the occasion of the conferment of the 2014 National Honours on over 300 recipients at the State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Pa Akinkunmi and three other recipients of the national honour were singled out for special favour at the ceremony .

Describing the National Honours ceremony as an annual ritual of renewal in which 'our society constantly connects with its higher values,' President Jonathan explained that 'the conferment of these honours is a yearly undertaking in conformity with our laws.'

According to Jonathan, 'A nation is void and soulless if she does not have those sacred values it holds dear and individuals who project them,' adding ' It is in such men and women that you find the authentic inheritance of the generations and their nurturing.'

He therefore urged all Nigerians to actively participate in the nomination process so that the worthy get their recognition.

The President noted that there is a broader and more salutary spectrum in the honours list for this year, saying 'this demonstrates clearly that our nation is rich in men; rich in women; rich in youth; rich in the professions.'

He said the essence of the honour is to identify and celebrate men and women whose lives depict the very essence of societal existence.

'Therefore, at all times, our honourees must be sincere men and women who point society in the right direction and mirror the possibilities of greatness unlimited,' he said.

Congratulating the awardees, Jonathan enjoined them to realise that the honour the country has bestowed on them is an additional responsibility to continue to demonstrate the strength of character that has brought them to the hall of fame.

' Your lifestyle must be exemplary and reflect that of a truly honourable man or woman who at all times projects the noblest of virtues,' he said.

While congratulating them all, he said 'it is my hope that their richly deserved recognition will inspire other Nigerians and non-Nigerians in our country to recommit themselves to dedicated service to our Fatherland and our common humanity.'

The president specially appreciated three of the awardees: the taxi driver, Mr. Ime Usuah, the traffic warden, Cpl Solomon Dauda, and the steward, Mr. Michael Isaac Onuh, and asked that they should step forward and come to the stage.

'You can see that those who take to criminality do not necessarily do so because of poverty; it is possible for people to be poor and live a life of honour and dignity, because some of you here and myself know where we are coming from. We have passed through stress, but we did not take to criminality. It is also why we appreciate these three gentlemen: Onuh, the taxi driver, Usuah, and Corporal Dauda. In addition to the national honours already bestowed on you, I hereby direct the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to give you a gift of a flat each.

'And by the same token, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation should ensure that another awardee who has contributed so much to the history of this country, the person who designed the Nigerian flag, Pa Michael Akinkunmi, is placed on the salary of a Special Assistant to the President,' he said.