DANGOTE, JACOBS, GENEVIEVE, YOBO, OSITA IHEME, 359 OTHERS MAKE NATIONAL HONOURS LISTS
By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor and Benjamin Njoku
Ginevive Nnaji, Osita Iheme, Mariam Usman, Olu Jacobs, Kanayo O Kanayo, Aliko Dangote and Joseph Yobo
LAGOS - President Goodluck Jonathan has listed 364 Nigerians to receive the 2011 national honours. Business mogul Alhaji Aliko Dangote who topped the list with the award of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON becomes the first individual outside government to receive the nation's second highest national honour.
The GCON has mostly been awarded to Vice-Presidents, Chief Justices of the country and Senate Presidents.
Dangote is ahead of Speaker Aminu Tambuwal who is getting a CFR, Commander of the Federal Republic alongside the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke and a number of military and security chiefs. The newly appointed Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Sali, former First Lady Mrs. Victoria Gowon and a handful of former military chiefs were also recognized by the President for the CFR award.
A handful of serving and former members of the National Assembly including the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, former Senator Joy Emodi, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Senator James Manager, Senator Uche Chukwumerije and Senator Udoma Udo Udoma were all recognized with the Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON.
Also a handful of serving ministers including Olusegun Aganga, Emeka Wogu, Godsday Orubebe, Diezani Allison Madueke and Dr. Usman Shamsudeen were also honoured with CON. Mr. Jim Ovia and Mr. Atedo Peterside two bankers were also honoured with the CONSTITUTION.
Nigeria's first female vice-chancellor, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams is honoured with an Officer of the Federal Republic, OFR alongside a number of Chief Justices of the states including the erstwhile Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Babangida Nguroje who resigned that position at the peak of the crisis in the House in 2007.
Nigeria's football captain, Joseph Yobo, 1984 bronze medalist Peter Konyegachi and Commonwealth medalist Mariam Usman are also honoured with the Member of the Order of the Niger, MON.
Nollywood artistes were also honoured. Among them are Ginevive Nnaji, Stephanie Okereke, Olu Jacobs and Kanayo O Kanayo who are receiving the Member of the Federal Republic, MFR award.
Mr. Osita Iheme popularly known as Pawpaw of the Aki and Pawpaw fame is also honoured with MFR. Chinedu Ikedieze known as Aki was honoured last year.