Prof. Wole Soyinka

Civil Society Coalition Honours Tinubu, Soyinka, Others

June 21, 2024

A coalition of civil society groups on Thursday honoured President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his contributions to democracy in Nigeria.

Tinubu was honoured alongside Nobel laureate and literary icon, Professor Oluwole Akintunde Soyinka and former NADECO and Afenifere chieftain, Ayo Opadokun among others.

The award was part of efforts to recognise the role of President Tinubu and other leading figures in the struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC), a coalition of 135 civil society and community-based groups spread across Nigeria which bestowed the honours on the distinguished pro-democracy activists also honoured former House of Representatives member and NADECO member, Hon Wale Osun.

The group also gave awards to private concerns like the Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL) for peace building, conflict prevention and community empowerment in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta region.

PINL, according to the coalition, was a pillar of job creation, peace and conflict prevention in the Niger Delta, which it noted led the campaign against violence and pipeline vandalisation in Nigeria, thereby increasing the oil economy fortunes in the country.

The event held at the Airport Hotel in Lagos with over 800 people from across Nigeria in attendance.

Prof Wole Soyinka sent a representative while Chief Opadokun, Prince Onuwaje; the Director-General, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Seye Oyeleye and Babatunde Ogala, SAN and others were present at the event.

Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, AlhajiTunde Rahman, who received the award on behalf of the President praised the Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC) for recognising the role Tinubu played in the June 12 struggle.

The President, Rahman noted, was aware of the historic responsibility placed in his shoulders to deliver dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

Each of the awardees, according to the coalition, had made inestimable sacrifices for democracy and liberty in Nigeria right from their twenties.

The group said it was honouring the heroes and non-state actors that were helping democracy to survive so as to serve as an inspiration to Nigerians and also to remind the people that Nigeria must never return to military rule, saying in the face of the challenges facing the country, democracy was better than the most malevolent military rule.

“There would have been no democracy without June 12. Nigerians made sacrifices. People laid down their lives for peace and prosperity of Nigeria. Many people were killed. Many were maimed. It is important to continue to reward these heroes to let them know Nigeria value their past and present contributions’’, the group said.

The coalition which noted that Nigerians were passing through very difficult moments characterised by high cost of living, corruption, ineptitude, insecurity and growing number of economically displaced people, hoped the award would stimulate the President to listen to the hues and cries of Nigerians in order for him to address their fears and meet their aspirations.

The NHRC was established in 2007 as a coalition of 135 civil society, community-based and human rights organisations spread across the 36 states of the Federation.

It has since played very important interventionist roles since its creation.

The event received a huge audience drawn from prominent leaders in the civil society and members of the International community,,
print, online and electronic media and many influencers in the social media, including the international media.