Lekwot, Agwai, Kukah, Makarfi bag Southern Kaduna’s highest honours 

December 27, 2023 Agi Onda

Former Military Administrator of old Rivers state, Major-General Zamani Lekwot (rtd), and former Chief of Defence Staff, General Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) as well as the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah, are billed for the Southern Kaduna Grand Commander (SKGC) awards in recognition for their outstanding contributions to the area and Nigeria.

The honour is the highpoint of the maiden edition of Southern Kaduna Festival 2023 which kicks off today, with the zone identifying prominent sons and daughters, including the late Wazirin Jema’a, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed and Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa among others for awards for their sterling contributions to the development of the area.

Disclosing this in Abuja, chairman of the central planning committee for the event, Rear Admiral Fergusson Dukas Bobai (rtd), disclosed that the award is to give honour to the memories of leaders from the zone and also acknowledge the contributions of leaders, both past and present, in the development of the zone.

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“Starting from Thursday 28 – Saturday 30th December, Southern Kaduna will hold the maiden edition of the Southern Kaduna Festival (SKFES 2023) on the theme: ‘Experience Unity, Celebrate Culture’. The opening ceremony shall be declared open by the Deputy Governor, Her Excellency Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe.

“The essence of this festival is to celebrate our unity in diversity and bestow awards to deserving sons and daughters, including prominent Nigerians that are not indigenes of the zone, who have contributed to our development as a region. There will also be sporting activities, beauty pageant amongst 57 ethnic nationalities in the zone, among other competition,” he said.  

According to the event planners, SKGC posthumous award would go to the late Ibrahim Yakowa who died in a helicopter crash in December 2013, while serving as governor of Kaduna state while another posthumous SKGC recipient is former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Wazirin Jema’a, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed.

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Other awardees, according to Bobai, include the former governor of Kaduna state, Alhaji Ahmed Mohamed Makarfi who is to be bestowed with the Southern Kaduna Citizen’s Award (SKCA). Makarfi is reputed to have provided vast infrastructural networks in the zone and granted more chiefdoms to Southern Kaduna ethnic nationalities.

To also receive the SKCA award is the former Military Administrator of the state, Col Jafaru Isah, who initiated efforts at granting more chiefdoms to the zone in 1996; Hon. Machu Bulus Gwall for his development initiatives.

Two recipients are billed to also receive the Southern Kaduna Service Award (SKSA). They are Chief Michael Hassan Usaini and a retired director in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Simon K. Auta.

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