By Usman Aliyu, Benin.
The Federal Government has bestowed a national award, the Commander of Federal Republic (CFR), on the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.
Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Chief Press Secretary to the traditional ruler, announced this on Sunday via a statement in Benin.
Iguobaro said that the letter of nomination for the third most prestigious national award was formally presented to the first-class Benin traditional ruler on Friday by another traditional ruler in the state, the Imah of Somorika, Sule Idaiye.
“The letter was dated Sept. 16 and issued on behalf of the President by the Office of the National Honours and Awards in the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Abuja.
“The award of recognition, which is slated for Oct. 11 by the Federal Government, is, indeed, a banner year of celebration for the HRM, Oba Ewuare II and the Benin Kingdom because it coincides with the month of the royal father’s 6th coronation anniversary.
“Besides, the recognition is also coming within a calendar year after Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Amb. Sarafa Ishola, presented two repatriated artefacts — a cockerel sculpture from Jesus College in Britain and Uhun Oba Elao’s bronze bust, otherwise known as the king’s head, from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, to great Benin throne via a presidential directive.
“Oba Ewuare II thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the unprecedented move, and prayed God and his ancestors to guide the nation, in addition to granting him good health, wisdom to carry out his duties and responsibilities placed on his shoulders by his ancestors,” Iguobaro said.
The national awards will be presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the awardees in October, as part of activities marking Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary.