President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday conferred the National Honours Award on 447 persons at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
One of the 75 recipients of the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic honor was Afrobeats superstar Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, better known as Burna Boy, and popular singer Teniola Apata.
Burna Boy’s father accepted the honor on his son’s behalf. It was given to him in honor of his ground-breaking achievements, which include being the first modern Nigerian musician to win a Grammy.
During the award ceremony, Teni happened to be the only recipient who failed to pay courtesy to the president. She neither greeted nor shook hands with the President whilst collecting her award.
Her action generated a lot of controversies among Nigerian netizens who categorized her conduct as a total disrespect to the office of the presidenct or as commendable to the spirit of activism.
One Persian Queen wrote, “Teni disrespected our president and you all are praising her for such until behavior?”
Ada Anambra wrote, “So Teni is this, uncultured? This is not an insult to @MBuhari alone but to the office of the NIGERIAN President. A disrespectful to the President of Nigeria is a disrespect to all Nigerians. The award should be withdrawn!!”
Omotayo of Lagos wrote, “It won’t take Teni anything to be civil just like Tobi Amusan and honour the president on national tv tho, this is a national award not a Buhari award, it would have been better off if she didn’t honor the invitation at all, doesn’t speak well of her as a Yoruba lady.”
Oluyrmi Fasipe wrote, “Teni collect the national award, bone Buhari, she no Greer the president wey present the award, she no even smile. Omo! That girl go get choco for head o”.
Bodyshaming her, one Abba Bichi wrote, “Orobo with zero sense even her excellency Okonjo bowed down her head as a sign of respect to the president and commander in chief of the armed forces likewise other high-ranking government officials. Who are you not to respect the president? This is disgusting and disturbing. Yoruba people are best known for their respect for elders but it got to your turn and you decided to be arrogant”.
Meanwhile, some people commended the manner in which Teni received the award.
For instance, a user, FS Yusuf said, “People are not worried that a failed Minister of Education is getting a national award, they are worried that Paystack Ezra Olubi “didn’t dress to impress their daddy” and Teni didn’t dobalè for emperor Buhari. I don taya for una. I swear.”
“Teni did what most of your so called celebrities had no guts to do. Nigerian youths has constantly received disrespect and abuse from the Nigeria government. What does APC blind bats mean that she disrespected the President, I thought they say Respect is reciprocal?” another user, Duke of Africa wrote.
Another user, Amanda Kayode said that President Buhari deserves no respect from Nigerians considering how his government has made life so terrible for his citizens for the past seven years he assumed office.
She said, “Buhari is the perfect definition of god forbid bad thing and I don’t understand why Teni should respect the bad thing that god is forbidding.”