President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday night decorated seven living former Nigerian Heads of State and Presidents with the centenary awards at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa.
The decorated leaders are Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. Others are Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar. Six late Nigerian Heads of State were honoured post-humously.
The recipients of the post-humous award are Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi, Gen. Murtala Mohammed, Gen. Sani Abacha and Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua.
Also in the category is the winner of the June 1993 general election, late Chief Moshood Abiola. Mrs Maryam Abacha received the award for her husband. However, the award for MKO Abiola, was rejected by the family. The awards for late Gani Fawehinmi, Professor Wole Soyinka and Fela Anikulapo Kuti were turned down.
The centenary awards were in 13 categories with winners both living and dead.
The first are those who have contributed to the making of Nigeria and they include Queen Elizabeth II of England, Lord Fredrick Lugard and his wife, Lady Lugard,
The second category is the Heroes of the Struggle for independence/Pioneer political leaders which include Azikiwe, Balewa, Macaulay and Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Others in the category are Sir Ahmadu Bello, Prof Eyo Ita, Jaja Nwachukwu, Pa Michael Imoudu, Chief Anthony Enahoro and Chief Joseph Tarka.
The rest are Malam Aminu Kano, Mrs Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Hajia Gambo Sawaba.
The third category is the Pioneers in professional Callings/careers which include the first indigenous lawyer, Chief Sapara Williams, and the first indigenous Solicitor, Chief Rotimi Williams.
The categories also include
the first indigenous Chartered Accountant, Chief Akintola Williams, and the first indigenous Inspector General of Police, Louis Edet, and the first indigenous medical doctor, Prof. Eyitayo Lambo,
Also in the categories are the first female Vice Chancelor of Nigerian universities, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, and the first indigenous female pilot,.Capt. Chinyere Kalu.
Others include Akinwale Wey, Gen. George, Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi, Tamunoiyowunam, Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed, Prof. Kenneth Dike, and Gen. Oviemo Ovadje.
The fourth category is Pioneer in Commerce and Industry, which has Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, Alh. Alhassan Dantata and Chief Adeola Odutola.
Awardees under Pioneer of Democratic Transition in Nigeria are Shagari, late Abiola, late Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua and Abdusalami Abubakar.
The sixth category is the Heroes in Global Sports Competitions which are Chioma Ajunwa, Nwankwo Kanu, Richard Ihetu, Chief Michael Okpala (Power Mike) and Monday Emoghavwe.
The seventh category is Accomplished Pioneer Public Servants and the awardees include Chief Olabode Wey, Justice Udo Udoma, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Sir Adetokubo Ademola.
Others are Dr Olawale Elias, Dr Rilwan Lukman, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki and Alh. Aliyu Mai-Borno.
The awardess under category eight, which are the Accomplished Temporary Entrepreneurs, are Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Mike Adenuga and Dr innocent Chukwuma.
The ninth category is Distinguished Academics and the recipients include Profs. Benjamin Osuntokun, . Kelsey Harrison, Chike Obi, Dagogo Fubara, Ade Ajayi, Claude Ake, Babatunde Fafunwa, Godwin Abasi and Umaru Shehu.
The 10th category is International Acclaimed Artists, Literary Icons and Journalists and the recipients include Chief Michael Akinwumi, Profs. Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and John Pepper Clark.
The recipients also include Mr Cyprian Ekwensi, Alhaji Abubakar Imam, Mr Daniel Fagunwa, Ernest Ikoli, Alhaji Babatunde Jose and Kenneth Nnebue.
The category also has Olu Jacobs, Patience Ozokwor, Shata Katsina, Herbert Ogunde, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Osita Osadebe and Dr Ladi Kwali.
Others are Benedict Enwonwu, Alhaji Maitama Sule, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Dr Barnabas Oloruntoba and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Mukhtar.
The 11th category is Outstanding Bravery and Public Spiritedness and the beneficiaries are Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Michael Ihuka.
The 12th category is Outstanding Promoters of Unity, Patriotism and National development and in the category are former Heads of State and Presidents.
The recipients are Gowon, late Gen. Murtala Mohammed, Obasanjo, Buhari, Babangida, Shonekan, Gen. Sani Abacha, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, and Gen. Theophilus Danjuma.
The last category is Exemplary Service in the Promotion of Peace and Moral Excellence and the recipients are Sir Abubakar Sadiq, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, Michael Tansi, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Sheikh Usman Bauchi