Why we shunned national honour ceremony—Dr. Datti’s family


By Ismail Auwal

The family of the late Dr Ibrahim Datti Ahmad, the former Head of the Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria (SCSN),  has broken its silence over shunning this years’ conferment of national honours by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Disappointed that they were not formally invited to the event, the family in a statement signed by   Dr Mukhtar Datti Ahmad expressed a surprise that the government was unaware that the late medical doctor was conferred with the same award by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2002.

 They noted that they had made attempts to contact the Awards Committee but were told to provide the evidence of his previous OFR award which according to the statement they did.

“They told us the matter would be looked into..However, on 11 October 2022, the date of the award, my father’s name was read out and there was no one there to receive the award because of the failure of the Awards Committee to perform due diligence on the list of awardees and act on our concerns.

“While we are grateful that Dr I D Ahmad’s decades of selfless service to Nigeria was being recognised, we are not pleased with the way it was handled. Had he been here, he would not have attended an awards ceremony based on hearsay without a formal invitation. He would most certainly not have accepted the same award twice,” the statement explained.

The family therefore called on the government to rectify the error by awarding him a higher honour at the next awards ceremony and make formal contact with his family in reasonable time to ensure there is representation.

“We the family of the late Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmad have found it necessary to release this statement regarding the post humous award granted to him by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 11 of October 2022.

“We have received several calls from well-wishers, amongst them some notable citizens asking why there was no representation from our family at the National Honours Awards ceremony. We first heard from friends a few days to the awards ceremony that a list was circulating on social media purported to contain the names of proposed awardees for this year’s National Honours,” they said. 

According to them,  no member of the family has been invited to receive the award.

“We found this level of insensitivity on behalf of the organisers surprising. While submitting ourselves to the will of Allah SWT, we are still grieving the loss of a much-loved husband, father, and grandfather.

“While we are grateful that his years of selfless service to Nigeria during his life was being recognised, it was discourteous to his memory that his family found out on social media that he has been re conferred with the National Award of Officer of the Federal Republic,” the statement reads.

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