Ex-COAS Attahiru, Kyari, others that posthumously made Nigeria’s national honours award list

EVEN though he is dead, former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Ibrahim Attahiru, a lieutenant general, is among prominent Nigerians who made the list of the 2022 National Honours Award.

He was posthumously awarded with the title of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).

Known for his resolve to bring an end to the age-long Boko Haram insurgency within a short period, the top military chief died suddenly.

He died at 54 in a crash involving a Beechcraft 350 aircraft at the Kaduna International Airport. This was alongside 10 other military officers.

Many still found his death mysterious, due to his zeal, upon mounting the leadership position in the Army, to end the decade-long insurgency that had crippled the economy of most of the Northern states and displaced many across the North-East and northwestern parts of the country.

In Marte, one of the troubled Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno State, Attahiru once ordered the military to reclaim about four captured communities, including others in Ngala LGA, within 48 hours.

“You must not let this nation down. Go back and do the needful and I will be right behind you,” he told the troops. “Areas around Marte, Chikingudu, Wulgo, Kirenowa, and Kirta must be cleared in the next 48 hours.”

Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, was among the dignitaries who affirmed the deceased’s determination to end the Boko haram war.

“The commitment of the late chief of army staff to the fight against Boko Haram was very obvious,” he announced during the deceased’s burial.

Attahiru was not the only one that was honoured posthumously. The late Anthony Enahoro and Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari’s former Chief of Staff, were also given national awards. So also the late Bala Usman.

Anthony Enahoro

The late Enahoro was a foremost politician, journalist and lawmaker. Born on July 22, 1923, the deceased awardee was renowned for his anti-colonial and pro-democracy activism in the country.

History shows that the nationalist, while in the Federal House of Assembly, moved the remarkable motion for Nigeria’s self-rule in 1956. He paved the way for women’s inclusion in politics, especially in the parliament. At some point, he worked closely with the late Obafemi Awolowo during the Action Group (AG) era.

He died on December 15, 2010, at the age 87.

He was awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).

Abba Kyari

Until his death, the late Chief of Staff, Kyari, was largely believed to be the strongest and most influential member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet.

As a journalist, politician and lawyer, the President’s former close associate acted as the gatekeeper. Other cabinet members would often go through him before meeting with the President.

Though largely criticised, the Buhari government was firm on the arrangement. The President said it would foster easy decision-making on issues of national interest.

“As I said yesterday (Tuesday), in terms of coordinating communication, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in order to speed up the process of decision-making,” Buhari had said.

He played a deep role in the Siemens deal, visiting Germany to work out arrangements for improved power generation in Nigeria. While he is loved by many, others have their reservations.

The University of Cambridge scholar died during the COVID-19 pandemic after losing the battle with the viral coronavirus disease.

He was awarded the second most nationally recognised title – the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).

Ameyo Stella Adadevoh

The name of the late medical doctor Ameyo Stella Adadevoh may not go into extinction anytime soon. This is largely due to the life-saving role she played in halting the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in 2014.

Her patriotic action saved the nation after a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who became infected with the disease, found his way into the country. The late Sawyer was the first victim of the virus in the country.

As part of efforts to check the spread of the disease, the body of the late physician was decontaminated and cremated by the Federal Government. She died on August 19, 2014.

Until her death, she was the Lead Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist at the First Consultant Medical Centre (FCMC).

She was awarded Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) alongside the late Babatunde Lawal, another deceased and patriotic Nigerian.

Ibrahim Tahir

The deceased awardee, Ibrahim Tahir, was a renowned sociologist, writer and politician. He died in an Egyptian Hospital on December 9, 2009.

He is described by many as an outstanding and intelligent personality, having taken on different engagements in nation-building.

He was a senior lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, and a member of the Constitutional Drafting Committee.



    Until his death, he held the traditional title Talban Bauchi. He was awarded Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

    Others who were posthumously awarded are Bala Usman, an intellectual, (OFR); Dzama Kennedy Zikunshu, a brigadier general, (MFR); Gambo Sawaba (MFR); Abdulrahman Kuliya, a brigadier general, (MFR) and Olatunji Lukman Olayinka, also a brigadier general, (MFR).

    Others who were honoured posthumously include Ibrahim O. Mohammed (MON), a Chief Superintendent of Police Benedict Okoh Ajide (MON); L. A. Hayat (MON); Nura Hamza (MON); Folarin Olawale Shylon (MON) and the football star Rashidi Yekini (MON).

    Only three deceased were recognised in the Federal Republic Medal 1 category. They included Adesina Isaiah (FRM 1), a Sergeant in the Nigerian Police; Umar Saidu, also a Sergeant, (FRM 1) and ACM Mathew Oyedapo (FRM II).

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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