Some Nigerians on Monday reacted differently to the 2014 National Honours Award Investiture by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Some of the respondents, who spoke in Abuja, commended Mr. Jonathan for honouring deserving recipients while other expressed reservations.
One of the respondents, Tosin Adeyanju, Executive Director, Conscience Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, said the 2014 awards were a departure from the past where only the highly placed were honoured.
According to him, the president deserved commendation because as many young people and sports men and women were honoured.
“Giving such national recognition to that taxi driver, who returned found money, is a welcome development; it will go a long way in telling Nigerians that integrity pays,” Mr. Adeyanju said.
A social commentator, Oraba Emeka, said that some of the recipients really merited the awards while some did not.
Mr. Emeka said that such elevated awards should not be an all comers affair but only for people of outstanding commitment to the cause of the nation.
“The award should be solely on merit; let it not be partisan,” he said.
On his part, Maxwell Opara, a legal practitioner, said the essence of the National Awards had been defeated as it had lost its credibility.
Mr. Opara said that it was a shame that a state governor who had performed poorly was given such an elevated award.
“This is governor who had been adjudged the worst governor in Nigeria.
Yet he was honoured while the late Dr Stella Adadevor, that saved the nation from a health disaster was not given a posthumous award.”
NAN reports that 313 citizens were honoured.