By NBF News

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) to immediately withdraw the honorary doctorate degrees it awarded to Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio and Petroleum Resources Minister, Deziani Alison-Madueke last September, to preserve the tradition of the institution and the integrity of the awards.

In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said after a painstaking research on the NDA awards, it had found out that the two awardees did not deserve to be honoured by the foremost military institution, going by its tradition. 'We found out that all past honorees made direct contributions to the NDA and were thus deserving of the honours bestowed on them by the military institution. But the same cannot be said of Governor Akpabio and Minister Alison-Madueke.

'We are therefore compelled to ask the authorities at the NDA to recall the awards so as not to compromise the tradition and antecedent of the NDA as a military institution,'' it said. 'These people may have recorded some achievements in their own rights, but they are not known to have contributed anything to the growth of the NDA.'' ACN listed deserving past honorees as including Prof. Ukpabi Asika, the first provost of the NDA, who oversaw the institution's transition to a degree-awarding institution in 1991, former defence minister, Theophilus Danjuma and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

'Prof. Asika (not to be confused with the former Administrator of the defunct East-Central states), despite his huge contributions to the growth of NDA, was not honoured until 2008, years after his retirement. No one can contest the honour done to him by the institution he served so diligently.

'General Danjuma, as Minister of Defence, intervened to preserve the French language laboratory at the NDA.This added to his well-known contribution to the military, he is deserving of the NDA honour. 'For Gen. Obasanjo, no matter what anyone may say, his contribution to the military cannot be ignored. So any honour bestowed on him by the NDA is well deserved,'' the party said.