Saturday, March 8, 2014

Presidency defends Abacha’s Centenary Award honour

President Jonathan's spokesman Reuben Abati has explained why late military dictator Gen. Sani Abacha was given the controversial Centenary Award, saying that the government was in no way supporting corrupt practices...

"This (award) does not in any means translate to supporting sharp practices or corrupt practices. It is important to make the clear distinction in this regard. I think it is important to make the necessary distinction here. The centenary award, like every award, has its own criteria. That centenary award was in relation to the amalgamation, the national unity, the history of Nigeria and the roles played by certain individuals. The centenary award was not a test of sainthood. In giving the award to the former Head of State, Gen. Abacha, the committee in charge made it very clear that the award in the category in which the former Head of State appeared was awarded with regard to the contributions of those individuals in keeping Nigeria together." Continue... You will find out that under that category, there were largely former Heads of State, persons who have at one time or the other presided over Nigeria and under whose watch, in spite of whatever challenges they might have faced, helped to sustain the unity of the country and helped to defend the integrity and sovereignty of the country. That was a specific criterion in this particular category. Of course, every award at all, be it for beauty or any other thing has its own criteria.” Reuben Abati tells Punch

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