President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday, in Abuja, decorated Professor Niyi Osundare, poet, essayist, dramatist, academic and public affairs commentator with the Nigerian National Order of Merit, NNOM, award.
He was presented with a medal and certificate while the award also has N10 million cash reward, which the President said would be made available to the winner electronically.
Professor Osundare was decorated as the 71st recipient of the award, which started in 1979.
Etim Essien, the chair of the council of NNOM described Osundare as an outstanding scholar and researcher whose “service to humanity in the field of humanities has successfully carved his name in gold in the hearts of people of this nation and many nations of the world.”
Born in 1947, in Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State, Osundare got degrees from the University of Ibadan, UI, the University of Leeds and York Universities, Canada.
Since 1985 he has taken poetry to a wide audience through his regular column in the Tribune newspaper. One of the most prolific and highly regarded of Nigeria’s contemporary poets, Osundare’s work uses a wide range of vernacular and literary idioms to frame its lyrical and satirical concern with social justice.
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