*Says Saraki’s Exclusion From List An Obvious Mistake

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome has reacted to the list of nominees for National Honours released by the Presidency.

According to Ozekhome, the Vice President and the Senate President are usually conferred with GCON Honour and described their exclusion from the list as an obvious mistake.

According to Chief Mike Ozekhome, the President as a matter of protocol needs to amend the list. He further urged Buhari to make right his obvious mistake before the date of the event.

Ozekhome explained thus: “By protocols and convention, Vice President and Senate President are usually conferred with the national honour of GCON. I want to believe that the president’s attention was not drawn to it. He can still amend the situation by including his name before the date of the award because this is beyond politics.”

According to a source, this year’s nomination process was jointly handled by the Justice Sidi Bage Committee, and the Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, headed by Senator George Akume, a former governor and senator expected to know better.

According to sources, Saraki’s case was a major debate among the committees, as some members reminded them of the importance of not jettisoning convention, but a few other “powerful members” were said to have brushed it aside and insisted he should be excluded, with the intention that the decision would please the president.

Also, Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to Canada, Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, who believed Saraki deserved the award on merit, said, “I believe that in keeping with the hallowed tradition in the conferment of the honourable awards, all former senate presidents deserve the title of GCON, Dr. Bukola Abubakar Saraki inclusive.

“Buhari should convoke a ceremony for such awards quickly to redeem his image as the father of the nation and not a mere patron of political bias.”

According to analysts, this is the first time in Nigeria’s socio-political history, that such well-known convention and practice was ignored by excluding a former President of the Senate from the national honours awards.

Click here to download the full list

The award ceremony is slated to hold on October 11, at the State House, Abuja.

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