Nigeria: Airport cleaner and bank security guard who returned $22,200 found to owners, others for national honors

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The popular saying that “honesty is the best policy” will be made manifest on Tuesday when President Muhammadu Buhari rewards some Nigerians who have shown that a good name is worth more than gold.

A security guard, Mallam Musa Usman, from Jigawa State; Housekeeper Mrs. Josephine Agu from Imo State and Bank Security Officer Ogbanago Muhammed Ibrahim are among the list of 437 nominees for the National Honors Awards 2022. They will be awarded the Federal Republic Medal (FRM) II.

Agu works as a housekeeper at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja. She is rewarded for her honesty and integrity by returning $12,200 which she found in the airport toilets, same as Ibrahim who found and returned $10,000.

Also on the list are Dr. Samuel Ankeli, Senior Special Assistant to the President for Disability Issues, Mon, and three physically disabled people – Barr. Danlam1 Umaru Basharu, Hajia Rabi Y. Gezawa and Chief Samuel Okubanjo, who will be honored as a Member of the Order of the Niger, MON.

The Nigerian National Honors are a set of orders and decorations awarded annually to Nigerians and Friends of Nigeria. They were instituted by the National Honors Act No. 5 of 1964, during the First Republic, to honor Nigerians who have rendered service for the benefit of the nation.

The list of all nominees includes politicians, civil servants, security officers, businessmen, traditional rulers, religious leaders, foreigners and some Nigerians who are now late.

The awards will be handed over to the nominees by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday 11, during an event to be held at the State House, Abuja.

According to the list seen by Sunday Vanguard, five people – Senate Speaker Ahmed Lawan, Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Olukayode Ariwoola; former CJN, Tanko Muhammad; Director General of the World Trade Organization, WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and United Nations Under-Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed are appointed Grand Commander of the Order of Niger, GCON.

Predictably, seven foreigners who have in one way or another contributed to the peace, growth and development of Nigeria will also be appreciated. Among them, Pierre Vandebeeck, Chairman and CEO, Investment Company for Tropical Agriculture (SIAT); Ronald Chagoury, Founder, Chagoury Group; and Deepak Singhal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tolaram Africa. Others include Dr. Attia A. Nasreddin, Chief Nabil A. Saleh (JP) and Mr. Faysal M. El-Khalil. They will all receive the OFR award.

Those nominated for the award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) number 54 among them are the late Abba Kyari, former Chief of Staff; the late Ibrahim Attahiru, former army chief of staff; Monica Dongban-Mensem, President of the Court of Appeal; Oladayo Amao, Chief of Air Staff, among others.

Others are Commander of the Order of Niger, CON, 67; Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic, OFR, 64; Officer of the Order of Niger, OON, 101; Member of the Order of the Federal Republic, MFR, 75 years old; Member of the Order of Niger, MON, 56; and Medal of the Federal Republic, FRM 8.

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