National Award: Almost all honorees should be in prison – Galadima

VIRTUALLY all the people honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday should be in prison because they are persons of questionable character, the president’s estranged ally, Buba Galadima, alleged on Friday.

Featuring on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’, Galadima described the awards as an “honour for the boys.”

He said, “You should know that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has severally accused Olusegun Obasanjo, Yar’ Adua and Jonathan of giving medals to people of doubtful character. Who among those he gave these honours has impeccable character?

“For me, these awards should be given to people who have retired with unblemished career and have not been followed by ICPC or EFCC or to those who die in national service.”

The ICIR reports that while fielding questions from the programme hosts on the TV programme, Galadima exaggerated at least once, in his response.

For instance, he said no politician in the world could gather a crowd like Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of his party (the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NPPP), for the 2023 election.

Buhari conferred the National Awards on 443 Nigerians and seven foreigners, totalling 450.

The National Honours Act empowers the President to honour deserving citizens who have contributed to the country’s development or any field of human endeavour. 

Mixed criticisms have been trailing the criteria used by the Buhari presidency to select many of the awardees.

While some believe the list contains many of the President’s loyalists who did nothing to earn such an award, others opine that the President has the prerogative to choose whoever he deems fit.

But The ICIR can confirm that prominent names such as the President of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Okonjo Iweala, renowned writer Chimamanda Adichie, and World Athletic record holder Tobi Amusan were among the persons on the award list who are believed to have contributed immensely to Nigeria’s development and image, among others.

Galadima said on the TV programme, “Let me tell you that of the 447 people that were given these national awards, I think 440 of them need to be in prisons rather than parading themselves as people who deserve honour. What honour for some of the people? It is a reward for the boys.”

Meanwhile, Galadima alleged on the TV that the Nigerian media and many citizens treated its presidential candidate for the 2023 election, Rabiu Kwankwaso and his party as insignificant in the coming polls.

“We were told that our candidate is only popular in Kano. Yes, he is popular in Kano, but not only in Kano, because subsequent events have shown that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is the dark horse, and he is the person to beat. 

“Even our appearances in several parts of this country to convince first the media, which for reasons not known to us, have decided to brush us aside as if we don’t exist. We have now shown practically that we not only exist, but we are the most popular political party, and our candidate is the best candidate with the array of credentials that are not matched or paralleled by any candidate today in Nigeria.”

He boasted that none of the presidential candidates could attract the crowd pulled by Kwankwaso.



    He claimed that Kano, where Kwankwaso hails from and had served as a governor, had seven million registered voters. According to him, Kwankwaso already had all seven million votes.

    Galadima insisted that should the election be free and fair, his candidate would win.

    He described the candidate as the most experienced politician among the presidential contenders.

    The ICIR reports that Kwankwaso faces Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and others in the presidential election slated for February 25, 2023.

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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