By Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu yesterday led personalities to Osogbo, Osun State capital to honour distinguished sons and daughters of Osun rewarded by the state government for their service to humanity.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, former Oyo State Governor, Adebayo Alao-Akala, his Ogun state counterpart, Mr Gbenga Daniel were part of the entourage while the immediate past Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was not at the event neither was he represented.
Adegboyega Oyetola, charged citizens to pull their collective strength to work, irrespective of their political differences and sentiments, for a greater tomorrow, saying that state-building is a collective enterprise.
Describing the event as symbolic, Oyetola, who ensured a minute silence was held in honour of the first Civilian Governor of the State, the late Isiaka Adeleke, said it was deserving to pay tributes to the illustrious men and women who have held sway as leaders of the people.
He said: “We are here today because you all provided direction and showed distinct leadership in a manner that has earned our State its deserved recognition and reputation over the years. We are grateful to you all.
” This banquet and awards is designed to recognise and celebrate our distinguished citizens and friends of the State whose phenomenal contributions in the various fields of endeavour have made Osun proud and have helped to build the Osun of our founding fathers’ dream.” They are eminent individuals whose contributions and legacies have inspired our people, especially our youths, to believe in our dear State and continue to fly its flag high.
” Twenty-eight persons have received awards in four categories at this event as follows: 11 recipients of Lifetime Achievement Award, 10 recipients of Osun Distinguished Citizen Award, 2 recipients of Legacy Award, while 5 persons got the Osun Merit Award.” Knowing how blessed we are with the gift of highly illustrious and accomplished men in all facets of life, we have resolved to continue to honour the best of us.
This, we believe, will motivate our teeming youths to aspire high and achieve greater heights”, he said. Also speaking at the event, the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, commended the government of Osun on the awards, describing it as a welcome development because of its potential to ignite high hopes and hunger for diligence and excellence in the youths.
The honourees, under the Osun Lifetime Achievement Award, included: Chief Bisi Akande (former Governor, Osun State), Pastor Enoch Adeboye (General Overseer, RCCG worldwide), Sheikh Abdur’rasheed Hadiyatulla (President, Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria), and General Ipoola Alani Akinrinnade, rtd. (former Chief of Army Staff, Nigeria from October 1979 to April 1980, and then Chief of Defence Staff until 1981 during the Nigerian Second Republic).
Others in the lifetime achievement category are Asiwaju Hammed Omidiran, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, Prince Tunde Ponle, Professor Olu Aina, Chief Akinwande Akinola, Engr. Joanah Olu Maduka, and Chief Dr. Benjamin Adigun.The State, under the Legacy Award category, also recognised Dr Folorunsho Alakija (Chancellor, Osun State University and dynamic philanthropist), and the late Madam Susanne Wenger (a culture and tourism icon). The Osun Merit Award honourees included Emeritus Prof. Ademola Oyejide, Chief Nike Okundaye, Professor Oye Gureje, Professor Isaac Adewole, and Mallam Yusuf Ali, SAN.
The Osun Distinguished Citizens Award honourees included Pastor Matthew Asimolowo, Alagba Yemi Elebubon, Brigadier General Leo Segun Ajiborisha (retired), Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, Asiwaju Khamis Olatunde Badmus, Prince Lawal Obelawo, Chief Moses Inaolaji Aboaba, Mr Adewale Adeyemo, Mr. Kola Adeniji and Mr. Mike Awoyinfa. Chief Bisi Akande, in appreciating the honours done by past leaders, commended the government of Osun for recognising the services and labours of the former governors. Other dignitaries at the gathering include; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ogun State Governor, Dr Dapo Abiodun who were represented, former Governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Otunba Gbenga Daniel; Otunba Alao Akala; former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Alake; first-class traditional rulers, including His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi who was represented; Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Alfred Achebe, among other dignitaries, while Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola did not attend the event neither was he represented.