BY LAWRENCE ETIM.
Honoring of 100 persons with Centenary awards was slated as part of Nigeria’s Centenary celebration. But not all honorees and their families are excited about the awards. For instance, the families of late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi and afrobeat king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti have rejected the post humous awards for both late Fawehinmi and Fela even as Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka also mulls rejecting the award.
Professor Soyinka said: “I would have preferred that the entire day of infamy be ignored altogether. I’m even thinking favourably of just ignoring the obscenity, then turning up at the counter-event.” However he hopes to be at the centenary awards planned for London on June 27 during which diasporans will honour 100 outstanding Nigerians in the UK.
Femi Kuti, son of the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, has said that the family would not accept any centenary award in his honour. Femi who made the statement through a Twitter correspondence while stating that the family has not been officially informed about any centenary award for Fela, and that the Federal Government should first apologise for killing his grandmother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, and burning of Kalakuta Republic.
Asked if the family would accept the award if the government apologised for the two wrongs mentioned, Femi said he doubts if the family would accept the award. “Like I said we have not heard anything from the Federal Government. But I doubt if the family will accept the award.”
Likewise, the family of the late human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawheinmi has turned down his nomination for a centenary posthumous award.
The family cited the nomination of the former military juntas, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Sani Abacha, for the same award, the unbridled killing of students by insurgents in the North Eastern part of the country and the incessant corruption reeking across the country, including the alleged missing of $20 billion from NNPC as reasons for rejecting the nomination.