“….For his loyalty and contribution to nstional development”
By Shola Oshunkeye
For his contribution to national development, good governance and development of democracy in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has awarded the national honour of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.
According to the letter conveying the national award to Adesina, the President approved the honour to the Special Adviser in the exercise of his power as covered by the National Honours Act No 5 of 1964.
The OON award, according to the letter conveying the President’s approval, will be formally conferred on Adesina at a ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, 2022, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The national honour is a big icing on the cake of Adesina who has a string of honours and Chieftaincy titles attached to his name.
The Man, Femi Adesina
A Pastor of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, Ipetumodu, Osun State-born Adesina is an English graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and the Lagos Business School.
He began his journalism career at Radio Lagos from where he joined the Vanguard newspaper. In 1989, Adesina joined the first Saturday newspaper in Nigeria, Weekend Concord, edited by Chief Mike Awoyinfa, with the late Pastor Dimgba Igwe as his Deputy.
Adesina worked with other stars to take Weekend Concord to unprecedented heights. These include: Dele Momodu, Omololu Kassim, Shola Oshunkeye, Aliu Mohammed, Eric Osagie, Ben Memuletiwon, Ose Oyamedan, Lateef Ogunmade, the late Sunday Umahi, Gbola Adebayo (also late), Yetude Oladeinde, Chika Abanobi, Felix Asimole, Emmanuel Otaru, Pastor Timothy Oyeola, Lanrewaju Ajeboriogbon, Gbenga Opebi, among others.
Together with these constellation of stars, and contributors like Sam Omatseye, Kunle Ajibade, and others, Messers Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe took the pioneer Saturday newspaper, a breezy human interest tabloid, to unprecedented heights, selling as many as 600, 000 copies per edition at its peak.
And while Shola Oshunkeye succeeded Chief Awoyinfa, his boss and mentor, as Editor of Weekend Concord on December 1, 1999, Femi Adesina went ahead to become Editor of National Concord, the daily edition of Concord Press of Nigeria, published by the late business mogul, Basorun M.K.O Abiola, with Dr. Doyin Abiola as Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief. Prior to his appointment as Editor, National Concord, he had been Deputy Editor to his two predecessors-Messers Dele Alake and Tunji Bello.
With the proscription of Concord Press of Nigeria by the Ibrahim Babangida regime at the height of the June 12 crisis, Adesina contributed briefly to the Nigerian Tribune newspaper as a member of its Editorial Board.
Again, in 2003, fate united Messers Mike Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe with Femi Adesina to give birth to another wave-making newspaper, The Sun. With Adesina as its pioneer Editor, Steve Nwosu as Saturday Editor, and Loius Odion as Sunday Editor, The Sun became an instant hit. It became the most patronised newspaper in Nigeria, just like its precursor, Weekend Concord.
An alchemist of a sort who not only could create news but also front-page headlines out of what others think inconsequential, Adesina rose rapidly to become Executive Director, Deputy Managing Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief, and Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of resspectively The Sun. He later got elected as President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE.
It was while serving his second term as NGE President that his long-time friend, President Muhammadu Buhari, appointed him as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity. Adesina was sworn in on August 31, 2015, alongside Mr. Babachi Lawal, who was appointed the administration’s pioneer Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria, SGF.
Among other awards, local and international, Adesina was honoured as Editor of the Year Year 2007 by the Nigeria Media Merit Award, NMMA. A prolific writer, columnist, public policy analyst and author, Femi Adesina has attended many international professional conferences, including The World Editors Forum, World Editors Network, the International Press Institute, IPI, among others. He has also contributed several thematic papers to many fora, local and international.
Married to Taiwo Adenike with whom he has two God-fearing children, Adesina, among others, holds the Chieftaincy title of Nwanne Di Na Mba of Mmaku Kingdom in Enugu State, on January 2, 2018.
Nigerian National Honours; Categories:
The Nigerian National Honours are a set of orders and decorations conferred upon deserving Nigerians and friends of Nigeria by the President of the Federal Republic in appreciation of their worthy contributions to the nation’s development from their spheres of influence.
The awards, a yearly event, were instituted in the First Republic via the National Honours Act No. 5 of 1964.
The National Honours, which are distinct from those awarded by the Nigeria’s ancient chieftaincy system, are the highest honours or awards that a citizen can receive from his or her country for service to the country.
According to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, the Nigerian government decides which citizens get the honours. Yet, everyone may not always agree on who deserves the honours. Sometimes, the person receiving the honour may decide that he or she does not want it. This was the case with the late nationalist and famous Nigerian author, Prof. Chinua Achebe, who was awarded a national honour by the Nigerian government but rejected it because he was disappointed with the way the government was running Nigeria at the time.
Categories of the Honours
The Nigerian National Honours, in descending order of importance, are:
Order of the Federal RepublicGrand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic, GCFRCommander of the Order of the Federal Republic, CFROfficer of the Order of the Federal Republic, OFRMember of the Order of the Federal Republic, MFROrder of the NigerGrand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCONCommander of the Order of the Niger, CONOfficer of the Order of the Niger, OONMember of the Order of the Niger, MON
While the GCFR and GCON are bestowed on President and Vice President of the Federal Republic, including military heads of state of Nigeria and Chiefs of General Staff respectively, the GCON is customarily conferred on the Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN. The CON is customarily bestowed on Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.