Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi said his administration has opened a Honour’s Register in the State containing names of individuals that have contributed immensely to the creation and development of the State.
This he said is in line with the provision of the law establishing the Ekiti State Honours Award, adding that the register would be kept in the office of the Secretary to the State Government for record purpose and for posterity.
Dr Fayemi disclosed this at the weekend in Ado-Ekiti, during the maiden edition of the Ekiti Honours (Oni Uyi) Awards as part of activities marking the 25th anniversary of the creation of the state and the third year anniversary of his second term administration.
The event which turned out an evening of glitz, accolades and reminisces, saw the two former Military Administrators of the state, the late Lt. Col. Inua Bawa and Navy Captain Atanda Yusuf as well as three former Civilian governors – Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Dr Ayodele Fayose and Engr. Segun Oni receiving the state’s highest honours – Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (EEA) Award for their roles as ‘Builders’ of the State.
Former Military Governor of the old Western Region, the late General Adeyinka Adebayo, legal luminary and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, HRM Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe Aladesanmi III and Chairman of the Ekiti State Creation Committee, Chief Deji Fasuan were also awarded the Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (EEA) awards for their roles as ‘Architects’ of Ekiti State.
Other recipients of the awards in different categories include legal luminary, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), former Minister of Education, Prof Tunde Adeniran; former Minister of Information, Chief Ayo Ogunlade, former Minister for Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, second Republic Minister of Science and Technology, late Dr Bode Olowoporoku and incumbent Secretary to the State Government, Hon Biodun Oyebanji, who served as Secretary to the Ekiti State Creation Committee then as a young man in his mid- twenties.
Other recipients of the awards were three former acting governors of the state – the late Chief Friday Aderemi; Hon Tunji Odeyemi, Hon Tope Ademiluyi. A former Sole Administrator of the state, the late Gen Adetunji Olurin was also honoured posthumously.
Others are Secretary of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide; the Ajero of Ijero, HRM Oba Adebayo Adewole; the Alaaye of Efon Alaaye, HRM Oba (Dr) Adesanya Aladejare; the Obanla of Ijesa Isu, HRM Oba Gabriel Oso Adeniyi; the late Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Edward Adedoja Oni; the late Elekole of Ikole, Oba Adetula Adeleye; the late Elemure of Emure, Oba Adigun Oshin; and a former Deputy Governor of the State, Chief Paul Alabi.
Also honoured were the late renowned Economist, Prof Sam Aluko; retired Permanent Secretary, Chief (Mrs) Tola Ajumobi; World Bank Executive, Chief Bayo Awosemusi; a former Member of House of Representatives, Dr Ife Arowosoge; renowned philanthropist, the late Chief Lawrence Omolayo; Chief George Akosile, Dr Teniola Oluwadare, Dr Biodun Aladetoyinbo and late Alhaji Shehu Ajijola.
Governor Fayemi in his remarks during the award presentation, explained that the award was done to preserve the pristine principles of diligence, hard work, honesty and integrity that the recipients had demonstrated in their service and commitment to the State.
Dr Fayemi, who noted that the erstwhile edition of the honours’ award held during the first term of his administration in 2012 received wide acclamation as the best model to celebrate exceptional personalities in the state, said the legal backing given to the award would ensure its sustainability by subsequent administration.
According to the Governor, the maiden edition was designed to celebrate those who played critical roles in the state creation movement whom he described as the architect and builders of the state. He added that the awards were non-partisans and every Ekiti citizen and friend of the state who had distinguished themselves in their various endeavours are entitled to be selected for the award, which according to him would now be held annually.
“It is no longer news that our mantra for this second term is to restore those values which make us unique as Ekiti people. In pursuance of this, we have decided to resuscitate the awards. To this end, the Ekiti State Honours Roll Law, No 41 of 2020 has been enacted to give legal backing to the awards and to institutionalize it perpetually for subsequent administrations.
“Those to be honoured today include those at the forefront of the vanguard for Ekiti State creation. We have diligently researched into our archives in a painstaking move to identify these heroes and heroines whose labour and efforts resulted in the creation of Ekiti State. Our decision to honour them today is our show of gratitude to these valiant men and women.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honour and privilege for me to be in your midst at this significant event of the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the creation of our dear Ekiti State. We would all recall that Ekiti State was created out of the old Ondo State by late General Sani Abacha on October 1st, 1996. Today’s event is the culmination of about a month-long activities marking not only the 25th Anniversary of our dear State, but also the celebration of our third year in office.
“This is the maiden edition of “Oni Uyi” Award. The central philosophy undergirding our administration is the restoration of Ekiti Values. This is why a few days ago, we launched the Ekiti Values Education Curriculum and Textbooks. Today, we are implementing the provisions of the Ekiti State Honour (Oni Uyi) Awards Law, 2020 as we honour the architects and builders of Ekiti State and demonstrate that it pays to live honourably and serve the common good.”, the Governor added.
A major highlight of the event was a panel discussion on the creation of the state with the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejuyigbe; Chief Fasuan and Hon Oyebanji as panellists.
The panel which was moderated by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi had the key actors of the creation of the state reminiscence on the critical roles played by traditional rulers, members of the state creation committee and other eminent personalities in the actualization of the creation of Ekiti State.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, Dr Teniola Oluwadare commended the leadership style of Dr Kayode Fayemi for his development strides in the State and for considering it worthy to honour distinguished sons and daughters of the State.