ADO-EKITI/Nigeria: Legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), three former Governors Niyi Adebayo, Ayodele Fayose and Olusegun Oni, were among the 48 distinguished personalities honoured by the Ekiti Government on Saturday for their contributions to the creation, growth and development of the state.
The awards, tagged: “Oni Uyi Awards 2021”, had two main categories – ‘The Architects and Builders’ of Ekiti and six traditional rulers and 11 Posthumous awardees.
The event was part of the activities marking the 25th anniversary of the creation of Ekiti State and the celebration of the third year in office of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
Fayemi, in his remarks, said the award recipients were honoured as a way of showing gratitude to them and also to put their names on the golden pages of Ekiti heroes and heroines.
He said the award conferment is in compliance with the recently-passed and signed Ekiti State Honours Law, 2020, to recognise and reward distinguished and hardworking individuals in the state.
The governor congratulated the recipients of the maiden edition of the Oni-Uyi awards, especially the posthumous awardees for their selflessness, dedication and commitment across sectors.
According to him, the awardees’ labour of love, diligence, perseverance, generousity and selfless services are being remembered, recognised and rewarded.
Fayemi maintained that the awards was devoid of partisanship, saying that every Ekiti citizens and friends of the state who had distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavor are qualified to be selected.
Going down memory lane, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, attributed the success achieved in the creation of Ekiti State to unity of purpose and the act of selflessness exhibited by the agitators.
“We are very much determined and resolute, coupled with unity of purpose to be able to achieve the unthinkable,” he said.
Contributing, Chief Deji Fasuan, an elder statesman and Chairman of the Ekiti State Creation Committee, said the struggle for the creation of Ekiti State started before the 25 years being celebrated.
“It only materialised and became actualised this year.
“The indegenes’ determination for a state they can call their own, prompted the agitation for the creation of Ekiti State,” he said.
Two former Military Administrators of the state, late Col. Inua Bawa (rtd.) and Commodore Atanda Yusuf (rtd.), also benefitted from the awards.
Other awardees are Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Biodun Oyebanji, Secretary of Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide.
Among those that received the posthumous award are late Mrs Bola Omojola, Late Josuha Ibidunmoye, the pioneer SSG and HoS, Late Alhaji Sheu Ajijola and late Dr Cornelius Ogunmilade.