Three Cross Riverians Bag Centenary Awards

Copy of crs flag broachOf the 100 Nigerians and foreigners that President Goodluck Jonathan will on Friday, 28 February, 2014, honour in a ceremony to mark Nigeria’s Centenary, three Cross Riverans feature in the list, can reveal.

First republic politician and educationist, Prof Eyo Ita will be honoured in the category, “Heroes of the Struggle for Nigeria’s Independence/Pioneer Political Leaders”, as will the activist, Margaret Ekpo. The third person, Louis Orok Edet, under the category, ‘Pioneers in Professional Callings/Careers”, will be honoured as Nigeria’s first indigenous Inspector-General of Police. However, Joseph Edet Akinwale Wey, another name on the list and the first Nigerian Navy commodore who succeeded an expatriate as the commander of the Nigerian Navy in March, 1964, could not be ascertained as at press time if he is a Cross Riverian even though records at the disposal of show that he was born in Calabar

The list also includes the like of Queen Elizabeth II, Lord and Lady Lugard, iconic afro beat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and list of former Heads of State and captains of industry.

On the social media, most people are not taken in by the rationale used in selecting those who made this list. Some Nigerians have called the list “funny” and poured invectives on it. One person wrote that, “How can two people of opposing ideologies be named recipients of the same award? Danjuma and Ojukwu, Enahoro and Lugard; those who fought colonialism will mount the podium at the same time with those who initiated colonialism. The new craze of granting awards… to serve foreign interests is so infuriating. Maybe this is nothing but some kind of criminal bonding; today’s criminals, thanking yesterday’s criminals for their uncanny inventiveness in setting up the amorphous enterprise called Nigeria.”


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