Lagos – Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Thursday said that the award of national honours to political office holders was inappropriate.
Fashola spoke in Lagos at the 4th Gani Fawehinmi Colloquium organised by the Gani Fawehinmi Chambers of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos.
He said that the practice undermined the culture of hard work as it presumed recipients had done exceptionally well in the service of the nation, even when they had not completed their terms in office.
Fashola said national honours should, ideally, be conferred on people based on retrospective assessment of their achievements and the impact they had made to national development.
The theme of the colloquium was “ Consolidating Democratic Norms through Credible Electoral Process.“
“The concept of giving public officers national awards simply offends, because I ask, what will you give to such persons after he has left office and has done well?
“You see, we can use the game of football to explain why this is not appropriate. Will FIFA stop a game at half-time and say let’s give the Most Valuable Player award to this or that player because he has done well?
“ No, that is only done at the end of the game. Or will fans or people congratulate a striker for instance, for goals he has not scored? No, things are not done that way.
“ The whole idea undermines the culture of hard work and it is better we start recognising people the right way and for the right reasons,’’ he said.
Fashola also decried the arbitrary conferment of awards on people by tertiary institutions and other organisations, saying this promoted wrong values in the country.
He said the conferment of such honours should be strictly for exceptional and deserving individuals and not for pecuniary expectations or other favours.
According to him, the Lagos State University (LASU) has been directed to suspend the conferment of awards in order to preserve respectability of such honours.