BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Sunday in Ado Ekiti, conferred the prestigious Ekiti ‘Oni Uyi’ awards on 36 indigenes and residents who have distinguished themselves in different areas of endeavours and contributed to the development of the State.
This, he said, was in line with provisions of Ekiti State Honours Roll Law, No 41 of 2019 and part of the move by the state government to promote the ethos and values associated with Ekiti people.
The honours award which is the second edition, kick started activities marking the 26th anniversary of the creation of the state as well as the valedictory and inauguration ceremonies for the outgoing and incoming administrations.
At the glamorous event, Governor Fayemi conferred the highest honour Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (EEA) on seven former deputy governors of the state, (four of whom served under Governor Ayodele Fayose), as “Builders of Ekiti State”.
Five prominent leaders, who were in the vanguard of the struggle for the creation of the state, were also awarded the EEA honour in recognition of their roles as “Architects of the State”.
The former deputy governors are: Sikiru Tae Lawal; Modupe Adelabu; Abiodun Aluko; Abiodun Olujimi; Adebisi Omoyeni; Kolapo Olusola-Eleka and the late Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka, who was honoured posthumously.
The prominent leaders who bagged the EEA award are: the Eye Sorun of Ado Ekiti, Olori Abosede Adejugbe; an educationist, Chief J A A Alibaloye; a former Sole Administrator Ekiti Central Local Government, Mr Jonathan Adeyemi; Late Chief George Adefemi; and Prince Alonge Gabriel.
Member of Ekiti Exceptional Achievers award was also conferred on legal luminary and former Secretary General, Nigerian Bar Association, Dele Adesina, SAN; and Bishop of Ekiti Catholic Diocese, Rev Felix Ajakaiye, while six former Heads of Service were also awarded Members of Ekiti Meritorious Service.
While former Heads of Service in the State, Olusegun Bankole; Olufemi Adewumi; Olubunmi Famosaya; Olugbenga Faseluka; Ayodeji Ajayi and Mrs. Peju Babafemi received Members of Ekiti Meritorious Service award.
Others who were honoured included International Table Tennis Super star, Miss Tosin Oribamise; foremost Juju Musician, “King” Femi Ariyo; President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief Official Photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo, a former Tutor -General, Mrs. Rhoda Ojo; a bronze Medalist of National Royal Mathematics competition (2021) Ikeoluwa Okunola; a medical doctor turned Agriculture Entrepreneur, Temitope Aroge and a popular Yam farmer, Awe Thomas Odunayo.
According to Governor Fayemi, the legal backing given to the honours award was part of the legacy his administration is bequeathing to succeeding administrations to ensure its sustainability in the State.
He noted that those honoured were chosen from different socio-economic sectors of the State without bias to encourage the virtues of diligence, hard work, honesty, and integrity.
The Governor added that every Ekiti Citizen and friends of the state who had distinguished themselves in their various endeavours are entitled to be selected and considered for the award.
“It is no longer news that our mantra for this second term in office is restoring those values which make us unique as Ekiti people and in the pursuant of this we resuscitated the honours roll and awards. To this end the Ekiti State honours roll law No 41 of 2020 was enacted to give legal backing to the award and to institutionalize it permanently for subsequent administration.
The awards are non-partisan and every Ekiti Citizen and friends of Ekiti who had distinguished themselves in various field of endeavours are qualified to be so honored,” he said.