Why Adadevoh was excluded from national honours list- Presidency

2014-09-23
THE PUNCH Newspaper- Temitayo Famutimi



The Presidency has explained the reason why the late Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, did not make the list of the 305 Nigerians who will receive national honours this year.

Adadevoh was credited for halting a wider spread of the Ebola Virus Disease by restraining the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who brought the Ebola Virus Disease to Nigeria.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, wrote on Twitter that he had sought clarifications from the appropriate quarters confirming that only living Nigerians and friends of the country could be conferred with the national honours.

“I have received enquiries as to why Dr. Adadevoh was not included in the honours list. By the law establishing it, national honours cannot be given post-humously,” the presidential aide wrote on Twitter.

Okupe, however, noted that President Goodluck Jonathan had commiserated with the immediate family of the late physician, stating that his principal spoke with the deceased’s first son, Bankole Cardoso, shortly after the funeral service on September 12.

The presidential aide explained that there was “no need to break the law” on the basis of honouring the heroic acts of Adadevoh.

Okupe stated that Nigerians should not take the post-humous centenary award conferred on the late military dictator, Gen. Sanni Abacha, for the yearly national honour award.

“Abacha’s last year’s honour was a centenary award, not the institutionalised one done yearly. There is no need to break the law when we can still achieve same result without violation of our own laws. At the appropriate time Dr. Adadevoh will receive a befitting honour,” Okupe added.

Medical doctors and public commentators had kicked against the non-inclusion of Adadevoh on the honours list which included the Head of Presidential stewards in the Presidency, Onuh Michael, a driver at the Nigerian High Commission in Canada, service chiefs, politicians and other top government functionaries.

A medical doctor, Hamid Adediran, lamenting the exclusion of Adadevoh on the national honours list, stated that the development was unexplainable.

“I still wonder what the criteria for national honours are. How can one explain the conspicuous absence of Dr. Adadevoh’s name?” Adediran tweeted.

Another physician, Chijioke Kaduru, in a protest message to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, insisted that Adadevoh must be post-humously recognised.

“There is a list of people nominated for awards, but a real hero is missed out. She gave her life serving humanity and her country. She must be posthumously recognised,” Kaduru said in a tweet to Abati.

But a social commentator, Jeff Okoroafor, stated that while concerned Nigerians were not advocating for the circumvention of the laws of the land for the purpose of honouring the late physician, the Federal Government ought to do the needful by promptly recognising her sacrifices.

According to Okoroafor, there should be an exception to the law especially considering the “extraordinary bravery” exhibited by Adadevoh.

“Shouldn’t there be an exception to the law, for such an extraordinary bravery that saved Nigeria and Nigerians alike? This month, the United States government gave a posthumous award to a civil war hero who made an ultimate sacrifice. They respect heroes in America.

“There should and must be an exception in special cases and you (Okupe) know that. Adadevoh deserved that exception. No one is advocating for the violation of our law, the point is that we must recognise our own people and do the needful.

“Don’t you think that Nigerians will be more willing to sacrifice when they know that their contributions won’t be trivialised? Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are in anguish due to this virus but we were saved from it and all we care about is the law? Laws are made by humans and for humans, and same laws can be modified or altered by humans, for humans,” Okoroafor wrote on Twitter.

An online activist, Michael Oyebanji, asked the Presidency to promptly explain how and when it intended to honour her, stating that Nigerians were eager to know.

Oyebanji argued that it would be unfair if “rogues” were being honoured while a patriotic Nigerian who sacrificed her life to save the lives of her countrymen and women was not recognised.

“So, what form of recognition can be given for the dead who merited honours with their life and sacrifice?” Oyebanji asked on Twitter.

 

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