By Laide Akinboade
ABUJA—President Goodluck Jonathan has awards Professor Niyi Osundare 2014 Nigerian National Order of Merit, NNOM.
Chairman of the Governing Board of Nigerian National Merit Award, NNMA, Prof. Etim Essien, made the announcement yesterday in Abuja.
He described NNOM as a separate Order of Dignity in the high honours category, meant for intellectual of note who made outstanding original contributions in his or her area of knowledge.
Prof. Essien said: “One result of situation was that various Nigerian scholars tended to concentrate their researches on problems and issues which were not usually directly relevant to the needs and aspirations of the country.
“Therefore, the establishment of the Nigerian National Merit Award Scheme, as Nigeria’s highest and most prestigious prize for outstanding intellectual and academic attainment has encouraged a highly significant number of the best Nigerian minds to seek accolades at home.”
“NNOM is a separate order of Dignity that specifically seeks to recognize, promote and reward outstanding academic and intellectual achievements in all fields of human endeavor.
“This was the intention of government to encourage these outstanding minds concentrate and direct their immense mental energies to finding solutions to Nigeria’s problems and thus promote national development as well as enhance national image.”
He noted that while the National Honours was opened to all Nigerian citizens who met the criteria, the merit award was restricted mostly to Nigerians intellectuals and academic, both at home and in the Diaspora.
“I am, indeed, proud as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the NNMA, on behalf of the board to present to you the lone recipient of the NNOM Award for the year 2014.
“He is Professor Niyi Osundare who, through outstanding scholarship, researches and services to humanity in the field of humanities, has successfully carved his name in gold in the hearts of the people of this nation and many nations of the world.
“Niyi Osundare, a poet, dramatists and an essayist, has been Nigeria’s noted nature poet of English Language expression, and a readily accessible serious poet, who sets out to engage the reader, and has made a most significant contribution to the Nigerian poetic English diction.”The investiture will be performed by President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday 4th December, 2014 at the Presidential Villa”.