image caption: Bust of Commodore Salawudeen Akano at Heroes Arcade Ogbomoso
Salawudeen Akano, Ogbomoso-born Naval Officer, who lowered British flag, 10 others, to be honoured by Tinubu
As Nigeria celebrates her 63rd independence anniversary on October 1, President Bola Tinubu is scheduled to honour eleven Nigerians with citizenship and patriots awards.
The award is part of the National Orientation Agency (NOA)’s efforts to promote civic education in Nigeria.
The Director General of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, disclosed this while addressing the media.
The award ceremony is scheduled to hold on Thursday, October 5.
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The awardees are Nigerian flag designer, late Pa Taiwo Micheal Akinkunmi; Naval Rating, Salaudeen Akano, who hoisted the Nigerian flag at midnight to mark the independence of Nigeria in 1960; late Commander Onwurah Zonyanuno Chiazor, the commandant under whose order Naval Rating Salaudeen hoisted the flag; John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B.A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui, P. O. Aderibigbe (all contributed to the lyrics of the country’s National Anthem); late Benedict E. Odiase – directed the Nigerian Police Band; late (Mrs.) Felicia Adebola Adedoyin – the woman who created the National Pledge and Adewusi mi.
Abari further stated that the 16th of September every year has been set aside as National Symbols Day, and September 30 as Citizens and Patriots Day.
According to Abari, Symbols Day marks the date when Nigeria’s Coat-of-Arms and National Ordinance were signed into law in 1960 ahead of Nigeria’s Independence Day.
He said the occasion serves as a reminder of the importance of treating Nigeria’s national symbols with pride, allegiance, and respect as emblems of Nigeria’s existence and sovereignty.
Commodore Salawudeen Akano
Commodore Salawudeen Akano performed the symbolic lowering of the British flag – Union Jack and hoisting of the Green White Green flag of Nigeria to herald the country’s independence from Britain on October 1, 1960. He subsequently became famously known as “Akano Jack.”
Akano was a junior officer, a seaman (Naval rating) at the time he made history but by the time he retired form the army he had attained the rank of Commodore ( a one-star general).
An excellent officer, he also served as Acting Governor of the old Bendel state in August 1986, when Governor John Mark Inienger was away.
As fate would have it he passed on on October 1, 2001, in his country home, Ogbomoso, Oyo state.
Ogbomoso Valiant Club, an association of serving and retired officers of Ogbomoso extract in the Armed Forces and other security agencies accorded him honour along with few others years ago when their busts were put up at the Heroes Arcade at Oja’gbo (at the site of the statue of Unknown Soldier – Soja Alumota).
Others honoured alongside Akano are Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle, Lt. Col. Shittu Alao, Col. Ibrahim Taiwo and Inspector General of Police Sunday Adewusi (all who are late, indigenes of Ogbomoso and national heroes).