In order to include certain donors whose names were absent from the list of nominees for national honors for 2020–2021, a coalition of non-governmental organizations has petitioned the federal government to revise the list.
Awarded on the basis of merit, especially for individuals who have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions to the nation, the National Merit Award is a recognition that inspires many to do excellent work, according to the West-Side NGOs.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja over the weekend, Dr. Caroline Adaji of IBCA Clinic Concepts claimed that the list now in circulation omitted the names of other individuals who had and still do contribute to the welfare of Nigerians and the nation as a whole.
She said most names that are supposed to be on the list are missing, which doesn’t portrays the country in the good light.
According to her, the process was tainted by discrimination and omission of names of notable Nigerians who have made immense philanthropic contributions and clearly demonstrated high levels of patriotism.
“The process lacks equal opportunity to citizens at all levels, more especially those who in one way or the other have positively affected lives of youths and women in all national activities.
“We the CSOs know them and those who have sponsored training and retraining of women and youths through various skills acquisition programmes, balancing gender inequality amongst citizens as well as funding and supporting grassroots development.”
Mr. Ben Ato of EKA Nigeria Limited wondered why the name of someone like Ambassador Fatima Mohammed Goni could not have been conspicuous on the list.
“We are not emphasizing on Ambassador Fatima Goni as a person, no we are talking of so many other Nigerians out there whose chances of being recognized have been hijacked by political cronies, religious and ethnic allies.
“What we are seeing today is a kind of jamboree short of the real national merit award we used to know. What about the posthumous award? We did not see names of activists who fought for the democracy we are enjoying today. People like the Odumakins, the Chima Ubanis, Gani Fawehimi of this world to mention but a few.”