The title, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) is normally conferred to Nigerian presidents. However, there are two non-president who were conferred this title. They are:
- Chief Obafemi Awolowo (GCFR)l
Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a Nigerian nationalist who played a key role in the movement of Nigeria’s independence. He hailed from Ikenne, Ogun State and attended the University of London.
Awolowo was the first premiere of the Western Region and the first individual to be given the title, “Asiwaju Omo Oodua”, a title given to the leader of the Yoruba people.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo established the first television station in Africa, Nigeria Television Authority; Established the first stadium in Africa, Liberty Stadium; Founded the oldest private Nigerian newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune; Erected the first skyscraper in Africa, Cocoa House; Named Nigeria’s currency, ‘Naira’. He also held many political offices in Nigeria and was a blessing to Nigeria.
He lost the the first presidential election held in Nigeria to Shehu Shagari (GCFR) on August 11, 1979. However, he was conferred the GCFR title to by Shehu Shagari in the year 1982.
- Moshood Abiola (GCFR)
Mushood Abiola was a very active Nigerian politician during his time. He was also a successful businessman who was born into a lowly family. Records have it that the Yoruba man was the first Nigerian to win the freest and fairest election ever held in Nigeria on June 12, 1993.
Unfortunately, the election was annulled by Ibrahim Babangida and he was denied the opportunity to hold the position. However, on July 12, 2018, the CGFR title was conferred to him by the incumbent president of Nigeria, President Muhammad Buhari.
He was also awarded the Aare Ona Kankafo XIV of the Yoruba land, a title given to leaders of the Yoruba people during his days.
Moshood Abiola remains the second and the last non-president to be conferred the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic title. He was born on August 24, 1937 and was assassinated on July 7, 1998.
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