Despite the backlash, Nigerian singer Teni Apata has expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the national honour.
At the National Honours Award ceremony on Tuesday, the singer was awarded the Member Order of Niger (MON).
Teni has faced backlash on social media in the aftermath of the incident.
While some argued that she should have shown more respect to the president by bowing her head, others claimed she “ignored” Buhari’s gesture to shake hands with her.
The singer’s “arrogant” attitude was also described as “disturbing and disgusting” by Abba Bichi, the son of the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS).
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, however, the ‘Billionaire’ singer thanked God and the federal government for recognising her “consistent and meaningful participation in community and/or national development.”
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Teni, who seemed unconcerned by the criticism, also dedicated the award to her late father and young girls around the world, urging them to “keep dreaming, nothing is impossible.”
“It was a joyous moment to receive a National Honor yesterday, with honour and gratitude to God.” “I was conferred the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR @muhammadubuhari President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the National Awards Committee headed by Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, the Emir of Lafia, after diligently reviewing over 5,000 submissions,” she wrote.
“I want to thank God, the Federal Government, my loved ones, and everyone who has supported me since day one.” This honour is for my father, Rt. Brigadier General Simeon Olaosebikan Apata (Ascend).
“I received this award for “consistent and meaningful participation in community and/or national development; rendering unsolicited, selfless, and philanthropic services to humanity; outstanding sacrifice in defence of a cause widely regarded as positive, relevant, and beneficial to the nation and community.”
“This one is for all the young girls. Let us not forget to stop fantasising. Nothing is out of reach.”