A power bloc in the Presidential Villa may have reportedly succeeded in excluding the immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for those to be honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari with a national award during events to mark Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary.
Naija News reports that the investiture ceremony is billed to hold at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
It was gathered that a Vice President, Senate President, and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) are normally given national titles either on the assumption of office or when national awards are being generally bestowed on recipients.
According to The PUNCH, the committee set up by the Federal Government to recommend deserving Nigerians to the Presidency, enlisted Saraki, but he was denied a place on the list by a cabal in the presidency.
The Aso Villa power bloc reportedly labelled Saraki an “enemy of the administration,” arguing that the All Progressives Congress-led government should rather give it to other deserving Nigerians.
Kicking against the position of the cabal, another group argued that though Saraki’s opposition to some of the policy decisions taken by Buhari while serving as Senate President was well documented; he should not be denied a place in the 2022 honour list.
The group pointed out that Saraki’s successor, Senator Ahmad Lawan is also set to bag the prestigious award next week.
According to the group, Bukola Saraki is more popular with the people and is credited to have achieved more while in office.
The group stated that the former Senate President deserves the award based on his achievement in office and that the award should not be seen to be politicised by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
However, the Aso Villa power bloc prevailed and Saraki is now reportedly set to miss out unless a dramatic twist in fate plays out.
Speaking to Punch, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) urged Buhari to right the error before the date of the event, adding that the Vice President and Senate President are usually given the honour of the Grand Commander Order of the Niger (GCON).
He said, “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.”
This article was originally published on Naija News