A renowned poet, Niyi Osundare, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Nigerian National Order of Merit, award.
This was disclosed at a press conference in Abuja on Monday by the chairman, governing board of the award, Etim Essien.
“Prof. Niyi Osundare, who through outstanding scholarship, researches and service to humanity in the field of humanities, has successfully carved his name in gold in the hearts of people of this nation and many nations of the world,” Mr. Essien said.
“Osundare, a poet, dramatist and an essayist, has been Nigeria’s noted nature poet of English language expression, and an accessible serious poet who sets out to engage the reader, and has made most significant contribution to the Nigerian poetic English diction.”
The board chairman said President Goodluck Jonathan, would decorate Mr. Osundare with the NNOM award on December 4 at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the award was a separate order of dignity that specifically sought to recognise, promote and reward outstanding academic and intellectual achievements in all fields of human endeavour.
“The establishment of the Nigerian National Merit Award scheme, as Nigeria’s highest and most prestigious prize for outstanding intellectual and academic attainment, has encouraged a highly significant number of best Nigerian minds to seek accolades at home,” he said.
Mr. Essien said as a prelude to the investiture, the governing board of the NNMA would organise the seventh yearly forum for NNOM laureates on December 2 and 3.
The theme of the forum is The National Value System, with the sub-themes carefully selected to reflect the needs of the nation and also relate them to the transformation agenda of the present administration.