WHAT IS IT?
National Honours are the highest honours or awards that a citizen can receive from his or her country for service to the country.
Service to your country is when you have done something that is very good for the country or that makes the country proud. For example, a citizen may receive a national honour for inventing something useful to other citizens of the country, for performing well in an important job or for writing a brilliant book.
NIGERIA'S NATIONAL HONOURS
There are different kinds of honours that a citizen may receive in Nigeria. These honours have ranks, meaning that some are higher than others. The national honours that we have in Nigeria are :
Member of the Order of the Niger (MON)
Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR)
Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON)
Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR)
Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON)
Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR)
Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON)
Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR)
The MON is the first level of national honour and the GCFR is our highest national honour. All former presidents of Nigeria receive the GCFR and former vice presidents receive the GCON honours. These people receive national honours because of the important positions that they have had in the Nigerian government.
GIVING OUT NATIONAL HONOURS
The Nigerian government decides which citizens get honours. Everyone may not always agree on who deserves national honours. Sometimes the person receiving the honour may decide that he or she does not want it. In 2004, the famous Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe, was awarded a national honour by the Nigerian government but he rejected it because he was disappointed with the way the government was ruling Nigeria at the time.
TIME TO THINK
Do you know someone who deserves a national honour?
What ranking above would you give them? and why?