• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Tinubu confers Awujale second highest national honour

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…As monarch clocks 90

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has felicitated His Royal Majesty, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland.

He also conferred on the monarch the second highest honour in the country, Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON).

Represented by the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, the President said: “We are here today to celebrate and rejoice with an outstanding and extraordinary monarch on the occasion of his 90th birthday anniversary.

“It also gladdens my heart to see the Awujale in his full glory and majesty attain this important milestone.

“I had planned to personally attend this epoch-making event as a mark of honour to our revered royal father. I returned from my travel abroad to be part of this celebration. However, the exigencies and demands of state duty have both conspired to make it practically impossible to be here.”

He further said: “Earlier, I sent a personally-signed tribute to Kabiyesi Awujale, underscoring his transcendental and preeminent status as a royal father not just in our country, but also as one of the most adored around the world.

“Kabiyesi Adetona deserves all the accolades we can accord him because he earned them. In the last 64 years, Kabiyesi had served the people of Ijebuland with great wisdom and rare dedication. It is not surprising that his kingdom and people have continued to thrive.

“While we rejoice with Oba Adetona today, it is important to state that what we are celebrating is much more than this 90th birthday anniversary.

“In Oba Adetona, we are celebrating courage, dignity, honour and a life that is wholly committed to duty and service.

“In time of adversity, Oba Adetona showed strength and kingly character. He stood his ground and confronted injustice and oppression during our just struggle for the restoration of democratic rule in the land between 1993 and 1999. If democracy is blossoming in our country today, it is because patriarchs like Oba Adetona stood firmly on the side of the people.

“Motivated by higher and noble ideal to entrench democratic good governance in our country, Oba Adetona recognised the importance of expanding the frontier of knowledge with his endowment of a professorial chair at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye in Ogun State.

“It is appropriate that as part of activities marking this birthday anniversary, we are also inaugurating the Post-Graduate School on Policy and Governance Studies funded by Kabiyesi.”

According to him, “Because Oba Adetona has honoured our country and humanity with his many years of meritorious service, I therefore, on this special occasion of his 90th birthday ceremony, confer on him the second highest National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON).

“To ensure that the knowledge production and intellectual output of the post-graduate school benefit the entire country, the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos will be asked to take over the running and management of Oba Sikiru Adetona School of Governance Studies. This will be a fitting compliment to Kabiyesi’s educational legacy.

“I wish Kabiyesi Awujale more years of service to the people of Ijebuland and robust health on the throne. Many happy returns Kabiyesi.”